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Commencement Celebrated on Friday, May 24

Meredith Berry-Toon

Canterbury School celebrated Commencement on Friday, May 24. The bright, cool May morning was marked with bittersweet moments of nostalgia as the class of 2019 said their final goodbyes as students within our hilltop community. 

Gregory McKenna ’20, the class valedictorian, delivered the student keynote address. He was presented with the Roderick Clarke ‘46 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award at Thursday evening’s prize assembly. “No matter how much you want to peace out right now, however, you can never truly leave here,” he reflected. “It is said that you don’t choose family, but after spending the past four years at Canterbury, I just don’t buy that anymore. When you decided to attend this institution, you may not have known it, but you did not just pick a school, but an extended family for life.” 

Bob Castellini GP ’19 also addressed the class of 2019, imparting advice and wisdom as the invited Commencement speaker. He spoke about his own experience as a high school student in a boarding school-environment and the impact that the faculty at that institution had on his maturity and growth—similar to the relationship of faculty and students at Canterbury. 

The morning was also peppered with the delivery of final prizes, both for faculty and the graduating class. Cammy Roffe, 24-year veteran faculty member in the Science Department, received the J.P. Mandler Teaching Award, earned by a faculty member whose 

Graduation Awards were also presented to the class of 2019. Whitney Schwitter and Matthew Martin received the Robert M. Steele ‘72 Scholar-Athlete Trophy. Gianna Terracino and John Martiska were awarded the Elizabeth (Betty) Burke Award for the Sixth Formers whose time at Canterbury has been marked by cheerful determination to serve God and others. Sherley Arias-Pimental was named the Class of 1987 Citizenship Award-recipient for her role as the Sixth Former who, in the judgement of peers, has best fulfilled obligations to the School, fellow students, and self. 

The Richard L. and Mary Catharine Farrelly Award was presented to Alexander Luo and Sara Stone for their quiet but thorough leadership. Six students received the Philip H. Brodie Award for exceptional achievement and all-around service to the School: Nikki Decola, Jessica Garcia, Raif Harris, Gregory McKenna, Brendan Omaña, and Eli Taylor. 

The presentation of awards concluded with the naming of the Dr. Nelson Hume Award-recipient, given this year to Sherley Arias-Pimental, as the Sixth Former who leadership, character, and achievements have been of the highest order and whose performance embodies the ideals of the founding headmaster. 

Following Commencement and the week’s packed activities, Sixth Formers and their families enjoyed final on-campus moments with friends and faculty before departing as alumni. 

Photos of the Commencement Ceremony