Wakefield Country Day School held its 34th commencement exercise June 1 in the school’s Senior Garden, where 20 seniors graduated and received their high school diplomas.
Head of School Jessica Lindstrom presided over the ceremony, while Rev. Mark Moretti delivered the invocation and speaker Deb Richard addressed the graduates. A former professional golfer and philanthropist, Richard has built two successful nonprofit foundations: one to provide college scholarships for physically challenged children and one to develop a new generation of responsible leaders.
Richard encouraged the graduates to follow their dreams – to dream big, to dream often and to remember that dreams do come true. She used her career as a golfer and what followed as examples for the seniors to consider.
Student government president Katie Brown was the class valedictorian. In her speech, she addressed her classmates and referenced some of the high points of their shared experience. “Wakefield students are taught by a phenomenal collection of teachers and staff to go for the gusto,” Brown said, “to have their ideas be seen and heard and talked about. And we do so with a great deal of style. Every day is memorable here.
“I think there are three things that really encompass this school: its traditions, its people and its depth,” Brown added. “It’s tradition that fosters a sense of accord, of interconnection between every individual lucky enough to experience this place. Everyone cares about you here; it’s absolutely infectious. You not only learn things, but you learn how to learn things. You understand how to appreciate the world, how to question and how to be passionate.”
In his remarks, class salutatorian Marc Cugnon urged his classmates to strive for excellence, to be passionate in what they do and to make positive changes on society. “We’re in a perfect position to forge our own paths, to be the architects of our own dreams and to make a mark on the world,” he said. “I think that’s pretty special, don’t you?”
Numerous awards were presented to the seniors and other members of the upper school, including Most Improved Student, Jessica Leskovec; Courtesy Award, Gage Landis; Citizenship Award, Katie Brown; Athletic Awards, Daniel Chadduck and Hannah Tufts; Art History Award, Will Scaring; Art Award, Emily Hennessy; Dramatics Award, Katie Brown; Writing Award, Shannon Weir; Yearbook Award, Emily Hennessy; Mathematics Award, Michael Chen; History Award, Tanner Perry; and the Laura Virginia Hale U.S History Award, Anne Katherine Burns.
Wakefield grandparent Louise Eastham and past parent Mary Ann Cowherd presented Shannon Weir with the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award.
Members of the graduating class, including Brown and Cugnon, were Grace Albert, Alexandra Cancio-Bello, Daniel Chadduck, Rachel DuMez, Mike He, Henry Johnson, Brittany Kwolek, Mary Leskovec, Sam Lilburn, Carl Liles, Makenzie Magaro, Caroline Murray, Conor O’Heir, Alejandro Rodriguez, Will Scaring, Dhruv Thummar, Hannah Tufts and Shannon Weir.
Sperryville resident Brittani Dodson was recently named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Shenandoah University. Dodson, who has been a member of the dean’s list since fall 2011, also served as the co-secretary for Alpha Lambda Delta (an honor society for freshmen students) this school year. Dodson was also a member of the Big Brother, Big Sister program in Winchester. To make the dean’s list at SU, students have to maintain a 3.25 or higher GPA.
Washington’s Elizabeth Guevremont was among the 552 students who earned dean’s list honors for the spring semester at Mount St. Mary’s University. Guevremont made the dean’s list by maintaining a 3.4 or higher GPA. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Guevremont.
Juniata College recently named 371 students to the dean’s list for the spring semester, including Sperryville’s Leah Michelle Tester. Tester is the daughter of Howard and Kathleen Tester, and a 2009 graduate of Fauquier High School. The dean’s list recognizes a GPA of at least 3.6.
Two local girls made the dean’s list at the University of Mary Washington for the spring semester – Sarah J. Hazel, a junior from Sperryville, and Calynn M. Hulsey-Liong, a senior from Flint Hill. The dean’s list recognizes outstanding academic achievement by full-time students who attain a minimum GPA of 3.5.
Several local students attending Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) in Front Royal were recently recognized for athletic achievement during the 2013 spring sports season. Benjamin Gillis, son of David Gillis of Front Royal and Gracie Gillis of Flint Hill, received the Coaches’ Award for his impressive performance on the varsity lacrosse team. Gillis is a junior at R-MA.
A team of Wakefield Country Day School eighth graders won the Roller Coaster Mania contest on May 17 at Kings Dominion. Their entry, “Pac Man’s Final Run,” was awarded as the overall winner in the middle school division (grades 6-8).
The winning team, consisting of Sydnei Eachus, Dante Parker, Tanner Perry and Harrison Wells, spent two weeks building the coaster using their knowledge of gravity, centripetal force and friction in the construction. They beat 15 other middle school teams from both public and private schools in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
The team of Campbell Baker, Lucas Dumez, Gage Landis and Nicholas Leskovic also competed in the contest; they won a prize for the most frightening roller coaster design with their entry, “Pompeii’s Revenge.”
On May 31, Wakefield Country Day School held its closing ceremony for the primary and grammar schools. Head of School Jessica Lindstrom presided and made introductory remarks, while Rev. Jon Heddleston, a past Wakefield parent, gave both the Invocation and the Benediction.
During the evening, several seventh grade students performed, showing their talent and knowledge. Tyler Johnson played the banjo, Zoe Porterfield played piano, Chris O’Heir recited poetry and Douglas Griffin recited a speech from “Henry V.”
The highlight of the evening was a performance of the King’s List play by Bernie Cieplak, Tony Elar, Grayson Galeone, Griffin, Harmony Lindstrom, Porterfield, Jackson Romine and Landon Thede.
The play consists of a series of short skits about some of the more memorable kings of England, including Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, John, Richard II, Henry VIII and more. Narrators read rhyming couplets about the monarchs while students acted out various events from their rule. The seventh graders master the names of these monarchs, together with their key events, as part of the British History curriculum.
Numerous awards for the year were given to student winners. They were: First Grade Handwriting Award, Lily Griffin; First Grade Reading Award, Lily Griffin; Most Improved Student Awards, Jack Gerard and Hope Burnett; Courtesy Awards, Beverly Eborn and Brighton Craig; Citizenship Award, Zoe Porterfield; Sports Awards, Tyler Farley, Claire Mullins, Christopher O’Heir and Casey Poe; Music Awards, Lincoln Day, Lauren Mehl, Douglas Griffin and Rachel Cieplak; Art Awards, Shayla Nelson and Zoe Porterfield; Grammarian Award, Bernard Cieplak; and Creative Writing Award, Casey Poe.
Also given were: Mathematics Awards, Beverly Eborn and Shannon Kelley; History Awards, Douglas Griffin and Lincoln Day; Geography Award, Douglas Griffin; Religion Awards, Cooper Guiffre and Anna Schuster; Science Awards, Tyler Farley and Samuel Klopp; Spanish Awards, Anika Pruntel and Eva Parios; Latin Award, Zoe Porterfield; All-Around Girl Award, Shannon Kelley; All-Around Boy Award, Jackson Romine; Head of School Award, Grayson Galeone; William E. Lynn, Sr. Awards, Michael Marciano and Casey Poe; Pamela Lynn New Student Award, Harmony Lindstrom; and Pamela Lynn Leadership Award, Bernard Cieplak.
Lindstrom also paid tribute to retiring fourth grade teacher Christine Chatelain, who has been at the school for 11 years. “Wakefield is not going to be the same without her,” Lindstrom said. Lindstrom also praised and presented gifts to teacher Kathleen Weghorst and librarian Susanna Spencer.
Wakefield Country Day School held its annual kindergarten graduation ceremony on May 22. Ten proud kindergartners processed into the school’s auditorium; the boys in coats and ties and the girls in white dresses. The achievements of the preschool and pre-kindergarten students also were celebrated that morning.
After opening remarks, the pre-school class mounted the stairs, sang “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” took bows and left the stage. They were followed by the pre-kindergarten class which recited the poem “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” with each student saying two lines.
Finally, each kindergarten student went to the stage and recited a chosen poem, from William Blake to A. A. Milne to William Wordsworth. Following the performances, reading awards were given to students in all classes who had earned them.
Next, the preschool and pre-kindergarten students were given certificates of achievement, while the kindergartners were awarded their diplomas. The teachers coached each child to accept his or her certificate from head of school Jessica Lindstrom while shaking hands and making eye contact, a useful habit for life.
The members of the kindergarten class were Garrick Church, Ethan Frost, Sydney Gerard, Alexander Ichiuji, Kamran Mashaw, Carmen O’Neill, Arielle Shepard, Charlotte Summers, Marion Walker and Lily Yacubian.
All the children then returned to the stage and together sang the “Grand Old Flag.” Following that, Yacubian invited all the families back to the classrooms for refreshments and pictures before the new first graders processed out with their diplomas.