The story of PBDA is as unique as the history of our town of Palm Beach. Our school has maintained academic excellence for generations, cultivating deep traditions that alumni value so much that they enroll their own children to carry them on. Our school continues to change as it always has to meet the challenges of changing trends in education, society, and technology, but we remain what we have always been — a family.
For a more in-depth look at the past, present, and future of our “school by the water,” please visit:
Click each photo below to view captions and to see additional timeline photos.
Palm Beach Day Academy was established in 1921 as two separate schools: The Palm Beach School for Girls and The Palm Beach School for Boys.
In 1930, the two schools merged to form Palm Beach Private School.
The annual Field Day event was established in 1931 with Pelican Captains Alice Wyeth and Wiley R. Reynolds, Jr., while Flamingo Captains were Marie Bassett and Frank Quigley.
In 1959, the Matthews Auditorium was built with support from Mrs. Jean Flagler Matthews in honor of her three sons: George, Robert and William Matthews.
In 1965, Palm Beach Private School became Palm Beach Day School and Walter H. Butler Jr. began his 23-year tenure as Headmaster of Palm Beach Day School.
The school broke ground on the construction of the Wean Library in 1970 with support of the Raymond J. Wean Foundation.
The school for young children was established in 1981 under the direction of Barbara Durrer. Founding Directors were Mr. & Mrs. H. Loy Anderson, Mr. & Mrs. Murray Goodman, Mr. & Mrs. A. Faxon Henderson, and Mr. & Mrs. John F. Koons.
In 1995, the school became the Academy of the Palm Beaches.
Seaview Avenue's Halmos Gymnasium is built with support from Vicki and Peter Halmos.
The Lower Campus Academic Building with the Library and Media Lab is built. The Library & Media Center were constructed with support from William I. Koch. The classroom portion was later named by the Lloyd-Roman Family.
The Lower Campus Primary Building, now called the Pitt Building, is purchased and renovated with support from the William H. Pitt Foundation.
Palm Beach Day School and The Academy of the Palm Beaches join forces to become Palm Beach Day Academy.
The official dedication and opening of the Matthews Center for the Performing Arts and Tracey & Matt Smith Family Theater on Seaview Avenue.
The very first Pelican and Flamingo Hatching Ceremony is held.
The Mandel-Palagye Education Center on the Lower Campus is built with support from the Barbara and Morton Mandel and Stacy and Keith Palagye. The dedication was held on the morning of September 18, 2018.
On February 18, 2021, Palm Beach Day Academy celebrated the 100th day of our 100th year.
The foundation of our program is the education of our students in an academically challenging and compassion-rich environment that guides each child toward personal excellence of mind, body and character.