Commencement 2015: Senior Awards

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.”

The recipient of the The George Denman Award was Richard “Anthony” Aquadro.

This year the Alumni Bowl Award was given to Gabrielle Thomas.

Mr. Ketcham also recognized the 97 different students who received prizes for their academic accomplishments in upper school classes at Academic Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 23, including those honored for overall excellence at each grade level:

For the 9th grade: Caroline Channell was the recipient of the Yale Prize and Anabelle Farnham was the recipient of the Bowdoin Prize.

For the 10th grade: Molly Zawacki was the recipient of the Smith Prize and Emily Yeager was the recipient of the Williams Prize.

For the 11th grade: Haley McCreary was the recipient of the Lincoln Granniss Prize, Samuel Canney was the recipient of the Holy Cross Prize, Calvin Ticknor-Swanson was the recipient of the Dartmouth Prize, and Caroline Borden was the recipient of the Harvard Prize.

Mr. Ketcham then announced the senior prizes, starting with the five seniors who have been awarded the “pass with distinction” for their spring senior projects: Gabriel Jacobson, Emma Kaisla, Elyssa Katz, Loren Po, and Cade Zawacki.

Ten seniors were recognized for their exemplary work in the six Williston Scholars courses. (Underclassmen will be recognized at the start of the next school year):

For their work in Literature and History of the Elizabethan Era as a collaborative course between the English Department and the History and Global Studies Department: Elyssa Katz and Katelin Murray.

For their work in Sports Studies within the History and Global Studies Department: Charles Fogg, Aidan Greenwood, Terence O’Brien, Julia Valine.

For her work in Contemporary Linguistics within the Language Department: Emma Kaisla.

For their work in Advanced Integrated Science within the Science Department: Emily Grussing, Emily Peirent, Callum Poulin.

The following are the Senior Prizes, awarded each year at Commencement, as voted by the full faculty and presented by Head of School Robert Hill.

The Tara Michelle Katzner Memorial Prize is awarded annually to that student who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination and dedication. This year the prize is given to: Elyssa Katz.

The Henry Teller Prize, in memory of a history teacher and choral conductor, 1947-1983, is awarded to that person in the Williston Northampton community who by active example encourages intercultural understanding and good will. This year the prize is given to: Yiting Zhang.

The Henry E. Donais, Jr., ’59 Award is given “to a senior who has manifested a love of the natural world and who has taken an active interest in the protection and preservation of the world’s environmental resources.” This year the prize is given to: Hannah King.

The Westcott E. S. Moulton Award, honoring a member of the Class of 1927 and Williston Alumni Secretary, 1961-1973, is presented to that member of the senior class who has shown a high degree of effort in publications, sportsmanship, leadership, and community involvement leading to continued loyalty and interest as an alumna or alumnus. This year the award is given to: Cameron Hill.

The Tim Wallis, Class of 1962 Prize was established in memory of an English Speaking Union exchange student at Williston; the prize is given at Commencement to that senior “who gets much from the School because he or she puts much in.” This year the prize goes to: Marie Innarelli.

The Class of 1942 Prize is awarded in recognition of “Outstanding Service to the School.” This year the prize is given to: Curtis McLeod III.

The George H. Higgins Prize is given to “that student in the graduating class who has displayed outstanding character in school life.” This year the prize is given to: Julia Valine.

The Katherine M. Ockenden, Class of 1949 Prize is given to that senior who “in the opinion of the faculty has contributed moral, positive leadership.” This year the prize is given to: Stephen Goldsmith.

The L. G. Treadway Citizenship Prize, established by Richard Treadway, Class of 1932, in honor of his father, is awarded to a senior who has been at the school for at least two years, who has maintained a strong scholastic standing, and who has given promise of future achievement. The chief qualities to be considered are personal integrity and contributions made to the best citizenship of the school. This year the prize is awarded to: Loren Po.

The Joseph Sawyer Memorial Prize, honoring the 7th Headmaster of Williston Seminary, 1886-1919, is awarded to a young man who has made outstanding contributions to the intellectual and community life of the school. This year the prize is awarded to: Emmett O’Malley.

The Dorothy Bement Prize, honoring a co-founder of The Northampton School for Girls, is given to the young woman who has exhibited excellence in her academic endeavors and in her contributions to citizenship and the overall life of the school. This year the prize is awarded to: Margaret Glick.

We now come to the final three prizes which carry the greatest distinction; the first two being awarded to the outstanding young man and young woman in the senior class, the third honoring the first scholar in the class:

The Archibald V. Galbraith Prize, honoring the 8th Headmaster of Williston Academy, 1919-1949, is awarded to that young man who in academics, athletics, and citizenship is exemplary, representing that which is best in the school. The Galbraith prize is awarded this year to: Cade Zawacki.

The Sarah B. Whitaker Prize, honoring a co-founder of the Northampton School for Girls, and co-Principal, 1924-1962, is also known as the White Blazer Award. The White Blazer is given to the young woman who has distinguished herself with the greatest contributions to the academic, athletic, and community life of the school while exhibiting exemplary leadership and integrity. The White Blazer is awarded this year to: Emily Grussing.

The Valedictory prize is awarded to the first scholar of the class. It is a combination of two awards from an era in the school’s history, when the Edmund H. Sawyer Prize was given for work in the classical curriculum and the Horatio G. Knight Prize was given for work in the scientific curriculum. These prizes are now combined into one. It honors the student who, by record of performance during the senior year, is judged by the faculty to be pre-eminent in academic achievement. This year the recipient of the Valedictory prize is: Cade Zawacki.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

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