Four-year-old Jackson walked patiently around the AP psychology class, holding one of the devices that makes him so special and letting the Williston Northampton School students gently touch his head.
On the floor, his two-year-old brother, Chase, played with stuffed toys, while at the front of the room, his mother, Corinne Walters, explained to the class the process both boys had gone through while learning to use their cochlear implants.
“When it first got activated, he was in tears for days,” Ms. Walters said of Jackson. “Shoes walking on the floor were freaking him out. Silverware freaked out Chase.”
On Friday afternoon, Ms. Walters and her sons, both of whom were born deaf and have been gradually adjusting to life with implants, were in class to provide a hands-on component to a unit on sensation and perception.
Students in the psychology class leaned over their desks to ask questions about the implants as the boys played and doodled on the white board.
The visit was a serendipitous one. Since Williston Northampton science teachers Amber Rodgers and Christina Berghoff share a classroom, when Ms. Rodgers left the words “cochlear implant” on the white board after her lesson, Ms. Berghoff spotted the note and mentioned that she had both previously worked with deaf students and was still helping to assist the Walters family.
Three dozen academically outstanding students were honored at the Williston Northampton Upper School assembly on October 7. Academic Dean Greg Tuleja presented kudos and certificates to the students, who achieved distinction on either advanced placement or National Merit Scholarship qualifying tests.
AP exams, which test students’ ability to take the equivalent of an introductory-level college course, take place in May and are graded on a scale of 1 (no recommendation) to 5 (extremely well qualified). The AP scholars were recognized for their performance on all such tests they’ve taken previously at Williston. Senior Tanmay Khale achieved the highest award, National AP Scholar, for scoring 4 and higher on more than eight exams.
The following students were recognized during the assembly:
On May 24, during the 174th Commencement ceremonies, Associate Head of School Jeffrey W. Ketcham recognized outstanding members of the senior class for their athletic and academic achievements.
“We have had an exciting week as we have celebrated many student accomplishments and appreciated the results of the passion and creativity of their endeavors during the school year,” Mr. Ketcham said. “While we could not possibly recount every awesome outcome of this very talented student body, I am honored to share with you the most notable of those accomplishments and recognize overall distinction among the class of 2015.”
Seniors had been honored during the annual Athletic Awards Assembly on Friday, May 22. Mr. Ketcham asked these incredibly talented athletes to again stand and be recognized. First, he called upon the 24 seniors who received the Blanket Award, which recognizes seniors who have participated on a team every season during their junior and senior year (or students who missed only one season during either their freshman or sophomore year, if they been at Williston for more than two years).
Mr. Ketcham also recognized the two Senior Athletic Awards, given to the outstanding young man and young woman for “general excellence in athletics, with emphasis on good sportsmanship, and helpful spirit.”
Students and faculty assembled on the Quad on Saturday afternoon to celebrate what Head of School Robert W. Hill III described as “the essence of our lives at Williston: academic accomplishments” during the annual Academic Awards Ceremony.
“Hard work, persistence, resilience, determination, integrity—whether in the classroom or in an extra-curricular pursuit—are traits that should always be praised and will take you far in life,” Mr. Hill said during his opening remarks. “This year teemed with incredible intellectual and creative accomplishments generated by students all year long—often outside of the public gaze.”
The academic awards ceremony began with Peter Valine, Williston’s Dean of Faculty, recognize and sharing thoughts about the departing faculty. Mr. Hill III noted, “Each year there are faculty that move on from Williston and we are diminished by that.” He commended the school’s teachers, who he described as “unique in my experience in the ends to which they go to advise, mentor, listen, and support their students.”
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this week that two Williston Northampton School seniors have been selected as National Merit finalists.
Emily R. Peirent and Callum S. Poulin had been named semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program in September. The finalist designation means that they are now eligible for a merit scholarship, which will be announced this spring.
Mr. Poulin has received awards in boys junior varsity skiing and Latin; Ms. Peirent received the Asahel Lyman Williston prize in English last year, a commendation for her work on The Log, and was inducted into the Cum Laude Society this fall.
For receiving the finalist designation, Ms. Peirent and Mr. Poulin will be honored during an Upper School assembly on February 18 and will be presented with certificates of merit.