“We were tied with less than a minute left and I had a free position shot,” recalled Karly Simpson ’13 of a home game against Suffield she played in as a seventh grader. “At the time I didn’t think it was a lot of pressure, but I did my little bounce shot, and it went in and it was crazy.”
The South Hadley native has been playing lacrosse since third grade and this is still Ms. Simpson’s favorite lacrosse memory. She was a member of the varsity team at the time, a very rare achievement for a seventh grader. “Karly was one of the best skilled kids out there right from the start…and grew to be one of our top players pretty quickly,” explained Jen Fulcher, the head girls varsity lacrosse coach.
This year Ms. Simpson co-captained the girls varsity lacrosse team to an undefeated season (15-0), Ms. Simpson was named both All-American and Academic All-American by U.S. Lacrosse. In addition, with her fellow co-captain, Amanda Cronin ’13, Ms. Simpson was awarded the Alumnae Bowl, a Williston Northampton award for the highest achieving female athlete. Continue reading
“The essence of our school is founded on community,“ said Head of School Bob Hill in his opening remarks on Sunday at the 172nd Williston Northampton School Commencement, and that sentiment was at the center of this year’s ceremonies.
Traditions are a part of a school’s “perpetual current,” said Mr. Hill. This year, for the first time, underclassmen attended Commencement to celebrate the Class of 2013 as they bid farewell to their teachers, coaches, and friends. A representative from each class carried a banner that featured traditional Williston icons such as the lion, the Victory Bell, and a lamppost. Matt Freire ’13, the student body class president, carried a banner designed by senior Keely Quirk.
“I urge the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 to enjoy this moment and cheer for your friends, but also to project forward and imagine yourself on this stage in a year, or two, or three hence and consider what you have to do to get here, like the seniors before you have done so successfully,” said Mr. Hill.
The Williston Northampton School celebrates the outstanding members of the senior class during two celebrations at the end of the year. Two prizes are presented during the Athletic Awards Ceremony, held on May 24, 2013; The George Denman Award and Alumni Bowl celebrate “general participation in athletics, with a special emphasis being placed upon faithful training, good sportsmanship, helpful spirit, and loyal devotion to the best interests of the school.”
The recipient of The George Denman Award was Andy Pierce.
The recipients of Alumnae Bowl were Amanda Cronin and Karly Simpson.
Other prizes, including Williston Northampton’s top three awards (Galbraith prize, the White Blazer award, and the Valedictory prize) are voted on by the full faculty. The following are the Senior Prizes, awarded each year at Commencement, as voted by the full faculty. The awards were presented on May 26 by Head of School Robert W. Hill III.
Prep schools often are known for their competitive athletic programs. At the Williston Northampton School, students have the opportunity to go beyond their own play in a course taught by History and Global Studies teacher Diane Williams. Sports Studies, one of this year’s Williston Scholars courses, encourages students to evaluate how gender, race, economics, and politics interact with the world of sports.
“Teaching this class has been a really amazing opportunity to expose student-athletes to a variety of topics related to sport, sport culture, and dominant ideologies in society,” said Diane.
With Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in such close proximity, Williston works to take advantage of the diversity and opportunities to be found on those campuses. Over two trimesters, with the help of five college and university professors and staff, Williston Scholars classes introduce students to research and writing more commonly found in higher education.
When it comes to admission decisions, seniors at The Williston Northampton School have faced stiff competition—and have done very well, said Tim Cheney, director of College Counseling. Cheney said that the admission landscape this year continued to be extremely competitive, but that many members of the class of 2013 had begun to hear good news from their top choices.
“The last few years have seen record increases in applications at scores of colleges nationwide,” Cheney wrote in an email. “Simply put, it’s all about supply and demand—there are often too many qualified candidates vying for admission from across the globe and not enough spaces to accommodate them all.”