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November 2015

Summer Service

This summer three FPDS faculty members, Jennifer Dryden, Janie Hatcliff, and Patti Lewis, had the opportunity to visit Sweetwaters, South Africa – the home of our school’s mission outreach project over the past two years.
During the week, Jennifer and Patti, along with their daughters Sara Foster and Maddie, spent their days teaching the children of the Sweetwaters orphanage Vacation Bible School activities such as Bible stories, crafts, and games. Janie led a soccer camp in the middle of an open field with Bible stories in the afternoons, culminating at the end of the week with a “World Cup Tournament.”
“Some of the kids would walk for hours to come to the soccer camp,” said Janie. “They don’t get to just play and be kids like our students do because oftentimes they are the oldest and have to be responsible for so much. It was an incredibly joyous thing to be a part of.”
The group took many FPDS products from last year’s inventory and t-shirts students donated from the Day School Dash. They toured the boys’ wing that FPDS chapel offering helped build in the dorm at the orphanage.
“We just have to be faithful and do what God has called us to do,” said Jennifer. “God used all of our gifts in different ways to serve these children in this place.”
The group flew to Johannesburg, South Africa, and traveled six hours to the community of Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
“Even though these children are at Sweetwaters, they have been rescued,” said Patti. “They are blessed to be there. We have many things in common, but the main thing is that they love the Lord like we do. God calls for them like He does for us."

Mission Outreach Partnership

Brown Elementary students with FPDS students

For the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, FPDS will partner with Brown Elementary School, which serves approximately 200 students in K4-sixth grades. Located about a mile from FPDS near Baptist Hospital, Brown Elementary is led by Principal Serenity Luckett. Our partnership plans include collecting toiletry items for students, sharing teacher in-service sessions, working with their PTA organization, and having our students visit to read and work with technology.  

On October 23, FPDS was honored to host Brown Elementary’s Student Choir in a chapel service with our first through sixth grade students. The group enjoyed popsicles on the playground with several FPDS classes, and friendships were planted in just that short time. Please join us in prayer for this partnership.

To view photos from our Chapel service, visit

FPDS Sports News

The FPDS Swim Team was the winner of the Elementary Mississippi Association of Independent Schools State Swimming Championship and third overall (1st-12th grades). Of special note, sixth grader and Fabulous Friend class member Allyson Plunkett has competed in each meet since first grade, with this year marking her sixth for FPDS.
FPDS Football Coach John Andrew Griffin, who is retiring from that position, was presented a set of golf clubs in appreciation for 18 years of coaching football. The FPDS Sixth Grade Blue Team and FPDS Sixth Grade White Team each advanced to the Second Round of Play-offs, with the White Team bringing home the Championship trophy.

Alumni Spotlight: Barry Wolverton


Barry Wolverton

Author Barry Wolverton was voted Most Likely to Succeed in both eighth and ninth grades at FPDS. And with his second book out in print and a third in the works, he has truly lived up to the title. Wolverton’s debut novel, Neversink, published in 2013, is an “epic adventure of a puffin who has to save his home,” said Wolverton. His newest children’s fiction novel, The Vanishing Island, is adventure fantasy partly inspired by Wolverton’s fascination of ancient maps. The first in a trilogy, the book is set in 1599 and best fits ages fourth graders and up.

After attending FPDS from 1973-1982 for first through ninth grades, Wolverton attended Jackson Prep and was a Rhodes Scholar to the University of Memphis. After starting out as a business major (with an interest sparked by Mrs. Carolyn White’s math class), he changed his course and moved to Washington, D.C., after college to pursue a career in writing. His resume of creative and documentary writing includes pieces for Time Life Books, Looney Tunes Books, Money magazine, several Discovery Channels, Library of Congress, National Geographic, and Scholastic.
“I remember my third grade teacher reading Mouse in a Motorcycle to our class,” Wolverton said. “I loved books about animals like that one and The Jungle Book. These went on to inspire Neversink.”
To learn more about Barry Wolverton, visit

50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend
April 1 - 3, 2016

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