A Grand Success

Bishop’s hosts its annual Grandparents’ Day


Sofi Verma ('24)

Ema Valdes Papenhagen (’27) enjoyed lunch with her grandparents, Marsha and Julio Valdes.

On Friday, Nov 19th, grandparents were eager to travel from far and wide to visit family and our beautiful campus with a shocking turnout of an estimated 300 grandparents. The photobooths, long and very very slow walks to the Science Center, and participating in class activities are among some of the essential ingredients to Bishop’s past Grandparent’s Days, on top of the pleasure of hosting grandparents on campus. 

Having to navigate the difficulties of larger gatherings, many people put in a lot of work had to make some changes to ensure the health and safety of our loved ones joining us on campus for the day. The Parent Association and Parent co-chairs for the event: Dede Watson and Kerry Perlman, Campus Scheduler and Events Manager Kanda Maynard, our facilities staff, Director of Food Service Sara Sweet, and our kitchen staff, all put in a tremendous amount of effort to make this years event so special. 

Instead of accompanying students to classes, the grandparents joined their grandchildren for an outdoor lunch and Thanksgiving Chapel on the quad. Despite being unable to teach grandpa how to make an indestructible bridge out of newspaper in science class, or watch grandma attempt to play charades in drama class, several students and especially grandparents loved the togetherness of the outdoor event (and probably weren’t too upset about not participating in middle school PE).

This year, all those contributors worked hard to set up an outdoor lunch on the field. Sat at an array of decorated tables, grandchildren met their grandparents to enjoy a delicious thanksgiving meal served by parent volunteers. Head of School Mr. Ron Kim further explained why some of the changes this year were made. “We wanted to make sure it was safe for very different age groups, some of who are more vulnerable,” Mr. Kim said. “We didn’t want a lot of grandparents inside of small classrooms, so that was something we had to change,” he continued.

Mr. Kim began the lunch by honoring two very special guests who traveled from very far to join their grandkids on campus. Ema Valdes Papenhagen’s (‘27) grandparents, Marsha and Julio Valdes, traveled a long 7 hour flight from Panama. Mr. Valdes commented, “we came to visit and it happened that Bishop’s was having this celebration so we extended our trip!” Lukas Kapicha’s (‘27) grandpa, Jirka Kapicka, traveled all the way from the Czech Republic. Although he didn’t speak much English, Lucas translated, “He feels very blessed to come to this beautiful school!”

“We love it this year!” Lani Meneses, senior Cristian Casillas’s grandma, happily gave her feedback. “Being outdoors and having lunch with our grandson has been great.” She has attended Grandparents Day every year for 7 years and was thrilled to be back on campus after being unable to attend last year. “It seems very well attended this year compared to the years in the past,” she remarked in between bites of apple pie. 

My grandmother, Harsha Parekh or as I call her, Nani, was very eager to give her two bits. “We very very much enjoyed this year’s Grandparents Day. It was different this year, and I liked sitting down with our grandchildren outside. It felt very covid safe, and I didn’t have to walk anywhere. You know Nana (my grandpa) and I have bad knees so it was nice to sit and enjoy. The chapel service was also very nice. I liked hearing students share their stories.” Nani would also like to give a special shout out to Mrs. Sweet: “The food was superb.” 

Larry Millam, Nick Ratto’s (‘24) grandpa, also expressed his fancy in the outdoor event, “I actually like it out here a lot. The weather is beautiful and it feels new and different than years in the past.” Mr. Millam has attended 6 grandparent’s days, making the two hour drive down from Chino Hills. Although he did enjoy getting to go to classes in the past, “my favorite part is always just seeing my grandkids.