The Game Behind the Game

TEDxPaceAcademy Fall 2022

In 1998, Chuck D doused the English language with gasoline and struck matches with his bars on bars in "He Got Game": "What is game? Who's got game? Where's the game in life? Behind the game behind the game."

The Organizers

Davis Rice '23

Co-Chair of the TEDx Committee

Davis joined Pace Academy in kindergarten and has played varsity baseball, basketball, and football. Davis is a leader in the classroom, on the field as varsity football captain, and serving the community through the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and Chattahoochee Nature Center. Outside of school Davis likes to spend his time with friends, enjoying the outdoors, and is an avid fisherman.

Davis organized and designed the banner as Senior Art Director for last year's TEDxPaceAcademy event and is looking forward to building off the momentum from last year and making this year's event even better!

Claire Jiang '25

Co-Chair of the TEDx Committee

Joining Pace Academy in ninth grade, Claire Jiang has become deeply involved in the Pace community. She is a Student Ambassador, varsity tennis player, Co-President of the Junior Classical League, a member of Covenant House Georgia, and actively participates in the Model UN program. Claire also leads the Agape Art Enrichment program, which she founded, that partners with elementary students at the Agape Youth and Family Center. She is an arts laureate, recognized for her painting, drawing, and talents in the fine arts. Outside of school, she plays in the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra as the second chair cellist, coaches tennis, and loves to draw.

After serving as Production Art Director during the second TEDxPaceAcademy event in the fall of 2021, Claire is looking forward to coordinate with Davis and Mr. Kaufman to build off the success of last year.

Robert Kaufman

Organizer of TEDxPaceAcademy

Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Brown, graduate degree from Dartmouth, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Norway. He arrived at Pace in 2017 and teaches 9th and 11th grade Honors English.

He is ineffably grateful that so many extraordinary Pace students are daring greatly with TEDx. His inspirations include Norwegian hip-hop duo, Karpe, daily workouts at CrossFit Resurgens, and his first and greatest teacher, Marilyn Dreiseszun Kaufman, his mother.

The Lineup

Click on each speaker's headshot to watch their talk

Camille Caton '23

Camille Caton bravely shares how she discovered her perceived struggle with dyslexia was actually her greatest superpower. Camille joined the Pace community in sixth grade and participates in Women's golf and played volleyball her Freshman and Sophomore year and was a captain for both of those two years. At Pace, Camille serves on the Honor and Discipline Committee and is a Student Ambassador. Camille has received the Michael Murphy Courage to Strive for Excellence Award. Outside of school, she loves to practice yoga as she continues this practice by working at Yonder Yoga. She has a passion for English and Journalism and hopes to continue this love by majoring in Journalism in college. Camille would like to thank Mr. Kaufman for this unbelievable opportunity and she would also like to thank her family for always believing and pushing her closer to her dreams.

View her talk "Slaying the Monster: Battling Dyslexia."

David Fu '24

David Fu chronicles his circuitous journey to discover his own voice with the cello. David Fu joined Pace in the 9th grade. At Pace, he is the 2024 class president, a staff writer for the Knightly News, a varsity tennis player and a student ambassador. He is also a member of the Pace math team, Junior Classical League, and the Model UN program. David has received the Orkin scholar award and qualified for the AIME. David has also been playing cello for almost five years and was an art laureate in his freshman year for his passion and talent in music. Outside of school, he is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Franklin Pond Chamber Music program. David would like to thank Mr. Kaufman, Claire, and Davis for all their help. He would especially like to thank his family and friends for shaping his life to where he is now.

View his talk "My Tchaikovsky: How I Found my Voice through Cello."

Leah Negero '25

Leah Negero brilliantly unpacks the synergy between running and writing. After joining the Pace community as a freshman, Leah invests her time outside of school in reading fiction and horror, sprinting for the Pace track team, debating, and acting in theatrical productions such as the winter showcase and one act. She aspires to become a novelist in the near future and thanks her parents greatly for guiding her in a direction where she feels confident in her writing.

View her talk "The Sprinting Poet: The Synergy of Running and Writing."

John Hardesty '26

John Hardesty shares his childhood struggles with pneumonia and reveals the hidden power of kindness. John joined Pace in pre-first and has been involved in the cross country, swimming, basketball, and soccer programs. He serves as the Middle School Student Council President and a student ambassador. In addition, he is an Orkin scholar and recipient of the "To have the courage to strive for excellence" award. Outside of the classroom he enjoys playing golf and hanging out with his friends. He would like to thank his family, teachers, and coaches for always pushing him to work his hardest on the field and in the classroom. He would also like to thank Mr. Kaufman, Davis, and Claire for giving him the chance to speak and for helping him through the process.

View his talk "The Power of Fifteen: What We Can Learn from Life's Curveballs."

Amina Zubairi '25

Amina Zubairi shares how she embraced her cultural identity through martial arts. Amina Zubairi started at Pace Academy in pre-first. At Pace, she is on the flag football, debate, and lacrosse teams. She leads the community engagement club at Pace for Covenant House Georgia, which is an organization working to support homeless youth, and she has earned the Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Award. Amina is also an accomplished martial artist and recently earned her first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She would like to pursue a career in medicine and hopes to major in pre-med in college. Amina would like to thank everyone who has helped her throughout the process of writing this speech, as well as those who have encouraged her to embrace new opportunities. She would like to dedicate this talk to her family, and especially her parents, who have been her biggest supporters since day one.

View her talk "میری کہانی: My Path to Self-Acceptance."

Drew Schiffer '19

Drew Schiffer teaches us how we can all strive to be one percent better and achieve goals we define for ourselves. Drew is a junior Sport Management student in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Drew focuses on sport and social justice, applying his passion towards organizations like Meals On Wheels Atlanta, and the Ross Initiative in Sport for Equality (RISE). When he's not working, Drew is an active volunteer with Meals On Wheels Atlanta, Student Manager for the Syracuse University Men's Basketball Team, and determined triathlete. In 2021, he competed in his first triathlon, the Callaway Resort; Gardens Olympic Triathlon, finishing first in his age group and twenty-fourth overall. Drew dedicates his TEDx speech to his grandmother, Jacqueline Mayer.

View his talk "One Percent Better: How I Became a Triathlete."