By Alice Roche Cody
On Tuesday, Lower and Middle School Director Kyle Armstrong welcomed eighth graders and their parents back to the Athletic Center for Closing Exercises and to commemorate an enthusiastic class that handled the year's unprecedented changes with courage, adaptability, perseverance, and enthusiasm.
"This was not just another school year – it was filed with face coverings, social distancing, pods, wrapped sandwiches, and telling students not to share," said Mr. Armstrong. "We want to thank our students for rising to the challenge and not letting the restrictions define this school year. Our eighth graders led the way, establishing clubs and embracing a new schedule and learning outside, just a few ways this group showed flexibility and adaptability, each and every day. Thank you to our eighth graders for setting the tone and making this year special in so many ways."
Mr. Armstrong also thanked the MS teachers and announced that this year's Chair of Excellence Award honors all GSB's outstanding teachers, including its stellar subs. "This year was the challenge of our career," he said. "GSB thrived this year because of your hard work." Then Mr. Armstrong acknowledged the parents. "Celebrate and enjoy this moment and thank you for sharing your child with us," he said.
After a group of students sang a beautiful rendition of For Good, eighth graders honored with Awards and Prizes were recognized. (Please see complete list below).
Next, Head of School Sid Rowell invited the students to stand. "It is my great pleasure to recognize this year's eighth grade, the Class of 2025," he said. All pupils received Certificates of Completion and congratulations from Mr. Rowell and Zoe Tuohy, Lower and Middle School Dean of Academics.
The Upper School Choir, led by MS Music Teacher Amy Southerland, sang the GSB Alma Mater, followed by the piano Recessional, played by Mrs. Southerland.
As the audience left the Athletic Center, Mr. Armstrong's parting advice to his students echoed. "Complete your math and reading," he said. "And enjoy summer like never before!"
Middle School Honors and Prizes
BRETT MERSHON CITIZENSHIP AWARD: The most important prize that a Middle School student can obtain, the Brett Mershon citizenship award is presented annually to the student who best upholds the Gill School motto of faith, honor, and consideration.
Fifth Grade: Madelyn Sabol
Sixth Grade: Lily Liu
Seventh Grade: Maurice Boyd
Eighth Grade: Harry Pambianchi
FRANK MAZZOCCHI AWARD: A silver bowl presented to the eighth-grade boy who best exemplifies a friendly manner, integrity, sincerity, loyalty and a willingness to help others, and a devotion to GSB.
MARTHA GRAY AWARD: Presented to an eighth-grade girl who has consistently demonstrated loyalty, integrity, and sincerity during her time in the Middle School.
BOYS’ ATHLETIC AWARD: Awarded to the eighth-grade boy(s) who, in the opinion of his coaches, best represents the qualities of determination, leadership, cooperation, and sportsmanship.
Brady Domsic & Kevin Pikiell
GIRLS’ ATHLETIC AWARD: Awarded to the eighth-grade girl(s) who, in the opinion of her coaches, best represents the qualities of determination, leadership, cooperation, and sportsmanship.
Ema Hercules & Catherine Lutz
FRANCIS WINSTON AWARD: Presented to the eighth-grade student who, in the opinion of the faculty, has demonstrated the most significant personal growth.
MARJORIE HIBBLER AWARD: Presented to the eighth-grade student who consistently demonstrates passion for and devotion to independent reading.
Character Club Award - Sanjay De Silva, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez
SCHOLASTIC HONORS AWARD: Presented to the eighth-grade student who maintains the highest cumulative grade point average throughout the academic year.
SEVENTH GRADE HIGHEST SCHOLASTIC HONORS AWARD
EXCELLENCE IN ENGLISH
Josephine Adebambo, Sanjay De Silva, Emily Dicks, Sophie Elber, Lucy Halstead, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez, Katherine Horton, Abigail Novinski, Addison Rodriguez, Caroline Simonelli, Benjamin Spinowitz
EXCELLENCE IN GEOMETRY
Emily Dicks, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez, Katherine Horton, Harry Pambianchi, Caroline Simonelli, Benjamin Spinowitz
EXCELLENCE IN ALGEBRA
Noah Most, David Pressley, Elsa Racine, Mary Young
EXCELLENCE IN HISTORY
Josephine Adebambo, Kendall Bell, Sanjay De Silva, Emily Dicks, Lucy Halstead, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez, Katherine Horton, Abigail Novinski, Harry Pambianchi, Addison Rodriguez, Elizabeth Scott, Daniel Vasquez
EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE
Josephine Adebambo, Sanjay De Silva, Emily Dicks, Matthew Dicks, Lucy Halstead, Ema Hercules, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez, Katherine Horton, David Pressley, Elizabeth Scott, Benjamin Spinowitz, Daniel Vasquez
EXCELLENCE IN SPANISH
Kendall Bell, Sanjay De Silva, Emily Dicks, Ema Hercules, Caroline Simonelli
EXCELLENCE IN FRENCH
Josephine Adebambo, Jacqueline Herrera-Perez
EXCELLENCE IN LATIN
Lucy Halstead, Katherine Horton
EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMING ARTS
Giacomo Messina, Harry Pambianchi, Caroline Simonelli, Mary Young