The White Mountain School’s

One Hundred Thirty-Third Commencement Week

As the 2018-2019 school year drew to a close, The White Mountain School focused on its students’ achievements, community connections and path forward into college and life beyond.

Awards Night

Each year, Awards Night gives members of the White Mountain community the opportunity to gather in the Lovejoy Chapel and celebrate the hard work, discovery and enlightenment of themselves and their peers. Part of the evening is also dedicated to celebrating excellence in different areas of academic achievement and character.

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Our Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning Mike Peller kicked-off the evening by offering some context for our student’s accomplishments by way of a treasured verse:

“Each of you, and the work that you have done, reminds me of one of my favorite poems, To be of Use. In this poem, Marge Piercey writes about engaging in meaningful work.

‘Greek amphoras for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used. The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.’ 

“You, each of you, have found and immersed yourself in work that is real.”

This year, the following awards were presented by our staff to recognize the distinctive efforts of White Mountain Students:

The Richard J. Hayes Prize for excellence in mathematics, presented by Mike Peller, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning
Paul Guo, ’21

The Frederic L. Steele Prize, presented by Gabe Boisseau, Chair of the Science Department
EJ Rimerman, ‘19

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The Jack Cook Sustainability Prize, presented by Eben Kopp, Sustainability Department
Marlon Andrew, ’19

The Ethel W. Devin Prize, presented by Barbara Buckley, Chair of the English Department
Eliza Polich, ’19

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The Goodrich Prize, presented by Tory Dobbin of the World Languages Department
Djenebou Semega, ’19

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The Alice C. Humphrey Prize, presented by Leah Boch, Chair of the World Languages Department
Yalda Mauj, ’19

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The Valpey Prize, presented by Hiapo Emmons-Shaw, Chair of the History Department
Marlon Andrew, ’19

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The Philosophy and Religious Studies Prize, presented by Kelsey Sullivan of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
Fatimata Cham, ’19

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The Hamish MacEwan Prize for excellence in art, presented by Rachel Van Wylen, Chair of the
Visual and Performing Arts Department
Alanna Bonilla, ’19

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The Mountaineering Award, presented by Gabe Boisseau of the Outdoor Education Department
Simon Duggan, ’19

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The Athletics Prizes, presented by Nate Snow, Athletic Director
Young Woman: Delaney Nightingale, ’19
Young Male: Gus Scchrevelius, ’19

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The Samuel Robinson II Community Service Award, presented by Mike Peller, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning
Ethan Bernstein, ’19

In his closing remarks, Interim Head of School Tom Reid imparted some wisdom that is probably better than any award any one of our students could ever hope for:

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“In closing, I would like to offer my congratulations to our award winners. The tributes to your efforts, approaches, and successes captured all that we as a school hope to inspire in our students.  We are proud of you.
 
I also want to speak to those who did not come forward to receive a prize. I am certain that you, too, have achieved success and have had important victories during the year.  Some of those victories may have been recognized in some fashion; some may be known only to you. Remember, extrinsic rewards are wonderful, but it is the intrinsic ones that will sustain you. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. My congratulations to you all.”

Until next year, we’ll see you in Lovejoy Chapel!

You can watch highlights from the Awards Ceremony online. Parents and students can see photos from this event on Vidigami.


Baccalaureate Ceremony

An ancient tradition with roots in medieval England, the Baccalaureate Ceremony at The White Mountain School is an opportunity to hear remarks, reflections and music from students, faculty and parents the night before a graduating class crosses the threshold of their final rite of passage as Seniors and become Alumnae/i.

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Delivering the Faculty Address was English Teacher Eliot Taft, who shared much wisdom in his remarks, which emphasized the beauty and power of solitary reflection:

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“Do not be afraid to be alone. Because loneliness and being alone are not the same. Maybe Thoreau had it right, in a quote that, in high school I thought was the most depressing thing ever: ‘I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.’
 
“Take the time and silence to find what’s in your heart, especially this summer, and onward. And, hopefully, then at some point, use it. There is a world out there that needs the person that you are. This is a vitally important task. I wish you the best of luck.”

You can watch the entire Baccalaureate Ceremony online. Parents and students can see photos from this event on Vidigami.


Commencement Ceremony

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The White Mountain School Board President and New Hampshire Episcopal Dioscese’s Right Reverend A. Robert Hirschfeld opened the One Hundred Thirty-Third Commencement with a prayer that emphasized the golden blessings and opportunities that lies ahead in life for the Class of 2019:

“…we are blessed with myriad opportunities to find ourselves, to gain new knowledge, new friendships and perspectives for our lives and our world.  Help us to remember. Help us to become. Help us to be of service. Bless this hour of Commencement with cheer, gratitude, and awe for all that we have been given….”

Interim Head of School Tom Reid offered his perspective on the meaning of this life event accompanied by a passage from A.A. Milne:

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“At our first Morning Meeting, I read a children’s picture book about the beauty and value of New England stone walls. I am going to end with another piece from childrens’ literature… this from Winnie the Pooh, capturing another aspect of our location and this day.

 ‘By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” But all the little streams higher up in the Forest went this way and that, quickly, eagerly, having so much to find out before it was too late.’

“I hope you do feel a bit grown up today; I hope you do have some sense of where you are going. Most of all, in the years ahead, I hope that you will find a balance- that you will always still run and jump and sparkle, while recognizing there is no hurry, you will get to your “there” some day. May your “getting there” bring you joy and may you be a blessing to all you encounter on the way.”

Harvard-MIT PhD student Davi Da Silva, ’09, emphasized how fortunate White Mountain students are to have the experience afforded to them here. Davi wrapped up his remarks by asking students to lean into life’s uncertainties:

“So for the current White Mountain students, I just want to remind you that there’s so much you can do here, and so much you can do after. Not many people get the chance to have the kind of high school experience you get at a place like White Mountain—honestly, when I tell people I meet about where I went to high school and what it’s like, a lot of them are super jealous.  But if you ever feel confused or stressed because you don’t know what you want to do next….[e]mbrace that uncertainty, and see it as an opportunity to try different things and figure stuff out. You don’t have to know where you’re going. You just have to keep going.”

Our Senior Commencement Speaker Simon Duggan, ’19, shared a meaningful and sincere way to consider the ‘goodbye’s’ in our lives and how we remember our friends in his remarks:


The following awards were granted prior to the Diploma Ceremony and Presentation of the Class of 2019:

THE COURAGE PRIZE, presented by Eliot Taft, English Faculty
Yalda Mauj, ’19

THE ROBIN MACQUIRE PEARSON CLASS OF 1916 PRIZE, presented by Matthew Toms, Director of the Student Assistance Program
Djenebou Semega, ‘19

 

THE LT. MICHAEL S. PIERCE Class of 1982 AWARD, presented by Lawrence Alexander, Director of College Counselling/Chief Diversity Officer
Judah Borges, ‘19

BISHOP’S AWARD, presented by The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Board President and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
Emma Rimerman, ‘21

THE FACULTY AWARD, presented by Gabe Boisseau, Chair of the Sciences Department
Hudson Marks, ‘19

HEAD’S AWARD, presented by Tom Reid, Interim Head of School
Eliza Polich, ‘19

The Class of 2019 includes the following alumnae/i of The White Mountain School:

Rex Hayden Amer, Brooklyn, NY

Marlon Olivia Andrew, New Canaan, CT

Rosalind Renee Bailey, Barnet, VT

Alana Jordan Bonilla, Bethlehem, NH

Fatimata Damba Cham, New York, NY

Anastasia Quinn Chambers, Granger, IN

Justin Cavero Chomas, Braintree, MA

Simon Patrick Duggan, Woodbury, CT

Roxana Adriana Falcon, Bronx, NY

Christopher Enrique Harrison Faulkner, New York, NY

Emani Tru Gonzalez, Chelsea, MA

Jacqueline Lee Harris, Fort Mill, SC

Angel Kay Hofmeester, Kirkland, WA

James Austin Howe, Greenwich, CT

Rinju  Kishida, Kyoto, Japan

Olivia Rose LaHote, Ann Arbor, MI

Chance Tomas Lee, Philadelphia, PA

Juntong  Liu, Beijing, China

Hudson Daniel Marks, Littleton, NH

Yalda  Mauj, Kabu, Afghanistan

Jack Rowling McDermott, Wilmington, DE

Veronika Mojikova Rychvald, Czech, Republic

Delaney Jude Nightingale, Lisbon, NH

Dylan Patrick Nightingale, Lisbon, NH

Eric Henry Norfleet, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Sabrina Gi Ollerman, Littleton, NH

Lydia Isabel Pinkham, Bethlehem, NH

Eliza Trotter Polich, Franconia, NH

EJ  Rimerman, Stamford, CT

Gustav Mac Schrevelius, West Chester, PA

Djenebou Semega, Bronx, NY

Evelyn Elizabeth Thompson, Seattle, WA

Zihan  Wang, Beijing,  China

Junyu  Yang, Beijing,  China

Tianhao Zhang, Beijing, China

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You can watch some highlights from the Commencement Ceremony online. Parents and students can see photos from this event on Vidigami.

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