A Memorable Farewell for Gunston’s Class of 2013

group (small) (400 x 187)The Gunston School’s 32-acre waterfront campus was filled with sunshine and smiling faces on June 7-8, as 31 graduating seniors were honored at the Green & White Awards Ceremony on Friday and Commencement on Saturday. Opening the Green & White Awards Ceremony was Student Government president Maddie Clemens. Headmaster John Lewis then addressed the Class of 2013 and praised them for their accomplishments, adding what a privilege it had been to lead such an extraordinary group of young men and women. He wished them all the best in their future endeavors.

Valedictorian Olivia Keene also had insightful words to impart on her classmates in her address as she recounted the highs and lows of her journey through high school. Her advice came in the form of an analogy on mosaics—”Life is tough and the people who pick themselves up and keep going are the people who in the end, achieve excellence or create something beautiful. It is because Gunston expected excellence everyday that I was able to pick myself up and rebuild. It was because of the relationships I had with my teachers and the support from my friends that I was able to succeed. Every broken shard has the potential to become part of something beautiful just as Gunston recognizes that every student has the potential to succeed. Thank you Gunston for giving me no other option than to keep moving forward. We all are capable of greatness; all we have to do is believe in our potential and work very, very hard.”

Several faculty members participated in the presentation of awards, which recognized the following students:

Samuel A. Middleton Award (Valedictorian): Olivia Keene
The Gunston Award: Madeleine Clemens
Faculty Award: Katherine Rhodes & Jay Wegner
Leadership Award: Madeleine Clemens
Moore Award for Improvement: Shane Wetmore
Environmental Stewardship Award: Olivia Keene
Marguerite Thomas Award (Community Service): Madeleine Clemens
Paul M. Long Award: Alexandra Kukorowski
Clare Poussard Award: Mary Ford
Megan V. Batdorf Award: Meghan Moorhouse
Athletics Award: Dan Lohr, Olivia Keene
Studio Art Award: Chloe Meyerhoff
Photography Award: Katherine Rhodes
Music Award: Morgan Bannon
Theatre Award: Jay Wegner
Science Award: Shirley Liu
Mathematics Award: Shirley Liu
Capt. John P. W. Vest Award (History): Philip Kenlon
Sandra Slacum Spears Award (English): Olivia Keene
Hila C. Ferguson Award(Literature): Anne Agee
Junior Symposium Award: Annabelle Fichtner
Senior Paradigm Project Award: Katherine Rhodes
Marie W. Whittico Award (Latin): Annabelle Fichtner
Spanish Award: Olivia Keene
Rensselaer Medal: Elaine Wu
Delegate Eckhart Scholarship: Madeleine Clemens
Delegate Jacobs Scholarship: Shane Wetmore
Ridgely Lions Scholarship: Kaitlyn Collins
Rotary Youth Leadership Award: Kimberly Schlosser
State of Maryland Merit Scholastic Award: Olivia Keene & Shirley Liu
Student Government Leaders for 2013-2014:

-Student Body President: Kimberly Schlosser / Vice President: Annabelle Fichtner / Secretary: Tyler Urquhart

-Senior President: Alex Kukorowski / Vice President: Elizabeth Davis / Secretary: Emma Showalter / Treasurer: Mary McLean / Representatives: Megan Moorhouse, Jules Shipps

-Junior President: Andy Camp / Vice President: Kendyl Walton / Secretary: Lizzie Katz / Treasurer: Hailey Wallace / Reps: Rosie Eynck, Clare Ingersoll

-Sophomore President: Tatiana Baughmann / Vice President: Claire Schmittinger / Secretary: Alea Murray / Treasurer: Kylee Naumann / Reps: Angus Cawley, Hanna Gonzalez

The final award, the coveted Green & White Cup for the 2012-2013 school year, was presented to the Green Team! Twice each year, Gunston declares a “green & white field day” as students, faculty and staff divide into two teams and compete in activities that range from canoe races, tennis matches, a pie eating contest and sack races, to math competitions, creative writing challenges, ultimate frisbee, photography and more.

On Saturday, a touching commencement ceremony was held on the Headmaster’s house lawn. Bagpiper Robert Wallace led the processional, as the girls in white formal dresses carrying flower bouquets and boys in blue blazers and khakis processed slowly into the ceremony. Class president Kat Rhodes opened with a warm greeting, followed by the Class of 2013 each presenting a favorite quote, a long-time tradition at the school.

This year’s commencement speaker was Dr. Michael Glaser, Professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and former Poet Laureate of Maryland. The theme of his address to students—be nobody but yourself. “What I want to urge is that you practice listening to yourself – that you grow to identify and know your gifts, your passions, that you honor your better instincts, those wee small voices calling your name and wanting to be heard; that you pay attention to your uncertainties and confusions and curiosities – not as problems to be solved, but as gifts – as friends – to be embraced because they – perhaps more than anything else—will lead you to your true calling, your unique gifts, your special contributions.”

In photo: Class of 2013 pictured with Headmaster John Lewis, Speaker Dr. Glaser and Board Member James Clauson