On behalf of the Board of Trustees of First Presbyterian Day School, I am writing to express sincere appreciation to TEAM FPD for their extraordinary efforts and results during the continuing COVID-19 crisis. First and foremost, I want to thank the teachers. With only a few days’ notice, this group of talented and dedicated educators made it happen for Viking Nation. I stand amazed by their example. In addition, the Board would like to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the FPD Administration for their vision and clear leadership through this crisis. Their hours have been long, and their decisions have been difficult.  Great job, TEAM FPD! Lastly, to our parents and students, I want to thank you for your patience, grace, and love that you showed as we navigated this together. You are an amazing community of people.

To further this conversation, I want to offer Viking Nation an update within the framework of “Now, Near and Far” (utilized by Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett). We hope this summary provides some clarity as we move forward together.


Three months ago, FPD’s Administration began to formulate a plan in the event circumstances necessitated a transition to a distance learning mode. However, the foundation for FPD’s successful Distance Learning Plan (DLP) began more than eight years ago when FPD launched our 1-to-1 Initiative. This initiative was a first for Middle Georgia education and placed FPD in a position of technological leadership that it maintains today. Leveraging our technology platform, foundation and expertise, our administration and faculty very quickly implemented our successful Distance Learning Plan. We believe our DLP delivery and the quality of instruction is both excellent and market-leading. Feedback from FPD families has been overwhelmingly positive for our DLP. They have offered the highest praise for our faculty’s execution and delivery.


A busy summer in the life of FPD starts in the coming weeks. FPD’s incoming Head of School, Dr. John Patterson begins his transition to FPD. John, Cindy and their daughter, Grace, arrive in Macon in early June. He will begin officially on July 7, 2020.

Graduation for FPD’s Class of 2020 takes place July. We salute our seniors and their tremendous accomplishments. While we all acknowledge the disappointing impact the coronavirus crisis has had on the last two months of their senior year, we celebrate their move into the next chapters of their lives with the goal to change the world for God’s glory. Congratulations, Class of 2020!

Finally, as announced earlier this week, FPD plans to re-open campus for the
2020-21 school year on schedule on Thursday, August 13, 2020.  Please know that Dr. Patterson and his TEAM are focusing on contingencies and safety plans for the upcoming school year.


Earlier this year, FPD celebrated its 50th anniversary. To God’s glory FPD has been blessed with a half century of mission-driven successes! I’ve stated on numerous occasions that I truly believe FPD’s very best days have begun. The recent and on-going success of our Distance Learning Plan is evidence of this.

As FPD’s new Head of School, Dr. John Patterson brings a track record of exceptionalism in Christian education, forward-looking leadership, and enthusiasm to our school. We are blessed to have Dr. Patterson at FPD and appreciate his work thus far.

Remaining true to our Mission and Core Values, the Board and Dr. Patterson will embark on the process of formulating an updated strategic plan. FPD’s future is exciting and bright. We pray for the Lord’s continued wisdom, guidance, and provision for our school.

Again, to TEAM FPD:  THANK YOU!  Viking Nation is blessed each of you are at FPD.

Finally, the Board would like to express its sincere and deep appreciation to Joe McDaniel for his service and leadership as FPD’s Interim Head of School over the past 16 months. Joe is a special individual who has touched the lives of those in Viking Nation. I am pleased to confirm that “Mr. Joe” will remain at FPD for a season to assist Dr. Patterson. We love you and appreciate you, Joe!

Now, Near and Far:  FPD’s very best days have begun!

Go Vikings!

Danny Smith
Chairman, FPD Board of Trustees