On Wednesday, January 21 at 6:15 pm, Head of School John Palfrey raised his iconic blue squash racquet above the crowd in Lower Right of Paresky Commons.

Head of School Day is an annual event in winter term in which students get a day to rest and catch up on work in the midst of a hectic week. It has been a tradition since 1991, after an overflow of students in Isham led Donald McNemar, former PA Headmaster from 1981 to 1994, to cancel classes so students could enjoy a day for “health and recovery.”

“I decide Head of School Day mostly based on gut feel,” said Palfrey in an email to _The Phillipian_. “When do our beloved students need that unexpected break most?”

This year’s Head of School Day will push Thursday’s class schedule to Friday. All classes and sports will be canceled, with the exception of Boys Varsity Hockey, Boys Varsity Squash and Boys Junior Varsity 2 Squash.

The timing of the day has always been purposefully ambiguous and at the discretion of the Head of School. This year, the day falls just before midterms.

“I hope students will take the time to rest, sleep in, exercise, and have good clean fun,” said Palfrey. “Catch up on work only if that makes you happy. Enjoy the day off!,” he continued.

 Here are some of Palfrey’s tweets leading up to the anticipated moment:

> Expect the unexpected, [@phillipsacademy]( [#hosd2015](
> — John Palfrey (@jpalfrey) [January 21, 2015](> Selfie: Just thought I would dig this old blue squash racket out of the closet … might be feeling… []( — John Palfrey (@jpalfrey) [January 21, 2015](


> Heading now over to Paresky Mural Room for post-MLK Day informal reflection – at least til 6 pm or so … [@phillipsacademy]( [#connectedandover](
> — John Palfrey (@jpalfrey) [January 21, 2015](