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Prize Assembly Celebrates Members of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Forms

Kelly Slonaker

The Underform Awards Assembly took place the morning of May 24 to honor Third, Fourth, and Fifth Formers for their academic accomplishments and extra-curricular leadership in the 2020-21 academic year. Held in Maguire Auditorium, the assembly was attended in person by award recipients and via Zoom by the rest of the student body, who joined virtually from across campus, the country, and the world. The event took place during School Meeting and was livestreamed for faculty, family members, and friends. 

Head of School Rachel Stone addressed the community in her opening remarks and expressed gratitude and pride for the students’ collective commitment to the Canterbury community and making an in-person school year possible. Rachel also referenced several highlights of the year as well as growth exhibited by the entire student body: “Let me offer congratulations to all of our students for reaching these final days of the academic year. And what a year it has been: you have learned in new spaces, from outdoor classrooms, to English in the Science Lecture Room, to theology in the brand new D’Amour Center; you have started each day with CrisisGo and endured nasal swabs most Mondays; you have figured out how to communicate and collaborate despite plexiglass dividers and masks that made it difficult to read expression, emotion, and empathy; and you have approached “special schedules” in stride as a constant throughout the year. For this, and for the extraordinary efforts of your teachers, we are both proud and grateful.” She continued, “These stories, friendships, accomplishments, and funny moments create and define the Saints community. As I say every year: your experiences here—the relationships you build, classes, sports and instruments you try for the first time, faculty you learn to lean on and trust—and your individual growth that stems from those experiences . . . that’s the true prize, wouldn’t you agree? So as we celebrate success and noteworthy performance this evening, please remember that these awards are an acknowledgement of excellent, persistent work but not a definition of where you stand, or who you are, as students and people.”

Ruari Bamrick ’24 and Kip Stone ’24 were selected for The Nicholas DiTullio Award ’01, presented each year to a girl and boy from the Third or Fourth Form who competes at the sub-varsity level and has demonstrated a love for and dedication to athletics. 

A speech competition was held earlier in May, and the Underform Speech Competition Awards for the event were presented to Isabella Carioscia ’22 and Ziyi (Owen) Wang ’24 for their outstanding delivery.

The Francis T. Carmody ’25 Prize Awards, given in memory of Trustee Francis Carmody (son of founding Trustee Terrence Carmody), were awarded to three students for creative talent in poetry: Benjamin Bochicchio ’22, Irene Chen ’24, and Beckett Reynolds ’23.

The James P. Shea Award was earned by Mason Santomero ’22 for her improvement in persuasive argument and general appreciation for historical interpretation as demonstrated in their spring semester research project. 

The James D. Higgins ‘44 History Thesis Award, awarded to the author of the best research paper written for U.S. History classes, was presented to two students enrolled in Honors US History, who have conducted a thorough process of research and writing to create the best historical research paper: Laurence Brady, Jr. ’22 and Nicola Sherriff ’22. The Award was also presented to two students enrolled in AP United States History, who have written the best historical argument using historical documents and research: Alastair Ostrowski ’22 and Hanyan Cai ’22.

For excellence in the study of Vocal Performance, the Stephen N. ’43 and Lacey Hume Award was presented to Ava Faruol ’24. The award was given in memory of Trustee Emeritus and son of Canterbury’s founding Headmaster, Stephen N. ’43, and his wife, Lacey.  

The Edward F. Mack Awards, given in memory of Edward F. Mack, who was a Master at Canterbury from 1928–1957, were presented to several students for their contribution in a particular area of school life. The awards for Outstanding Service as a Proctor were presented to Maxim Mochalov ’22 and Diego Paredes ’22. The award for Outstanding Service as an Admission Ambassador was earned by Cullen Mulhern ’22. The award for Outstanding Contributions to Theatre for Performance in a Female Role was awarded to Sylvia Pinheiro ’24. 

Rachel Stone also presented a group of Fifth Formers with book awards; the awards are given by prestigious colleges and universities to outstanding high school juniors from participating schools. 

In recognition of the value that the St. Lawrence community places on service to others, the St. Lawrence University Book Award honors the achievements of a student who has displayed significant commitment to community service. The award was presented to Ryan Desantis ’22.

Given to a student in the Fifth Form with significant academic potential and a commitment to making a difference in their school community, the Smith College Award was presented to Ziqian Yang ’22.

Awarded to a student in the top ten percent of the Fifth Form whose academic performance in advanced math and science courses has been outstanding, who demonstrates potential for success in a challenging academic setting, and exhibits significant involvement in extracurricular activities, the Rensselaer Award was given to Hanyan Cai ’22.

The Dartmouth College Book Award, presented to a student in the Fifth Form who is in the top ten percent of the class, who has demonstrated strong character, has made a positive contribution to the school community and has excelled in at least one non-academic area, was awarded to Ian Fernandes ’22.

Presented to a student in the Fifth Form who combines excellence in academics with significant achievement in extracurricular endeavor, the Harvard College Book Award was presented to Qixiu Yao ’22.

Sarina Sheth ’22 was given the University of Pennsylvania Book Award. The award is presented to a student in the Fifth Form who is ranked near the top five percent of the class, is enrolled in the most rigorous academic program, demonstrates leadership in athletics and the school community, and is highly respected by peers and faculty for high personal and academic integrity.

Members of the Fifth Form class who earned a cumulative GPA of highest honors, are enrolled in a rigorous academic program, and challenge the most demanding courses in at least three disciplines were inducted into the Honor Society. Those students included Hanyan Cai ’22, Emily Chickering ’22, Ian Fernandes ’22, Jerry Liu ’22, Maxim Mochalov ’22, Katelynn Pizzano ’22, Logan Sanford ’22, Sarina Sheth ’22, Qingzhi Tu ’22, Ziqian Yang ’22, and Qixiu Yao ’22.

The final awards of the morning were the Roderick Clarke ‘46 Distinguished Academic Achievement Awards, given by the Class of 1956 in memory of Former Headmaster Rod Clarke ‘46. It is awarded annually to the member of each class with the highest cumulative GPA. Irene Chen received the award for the Third Form, Lily LaVigne for the Fourth Form, and Sarina Sheth for the Fifth Form. 

The ceremony featured two beautiful, musical performances: “Take Me Home” by Varsity Voices and “Fall On Me” by the Canterbury Chorale. Rachel Stone concluded the event with words of inspiration for the Underform classes: “Tomorrow marks the end of the 2020-2021 school year, a year of persistence, flexibility, frustration, victory, and extraordinary community spirit. After a summer intended for rejuvenation, health, time with family and friends, and some goal-setting mixed in, you will return to our hilltop a summer older and wiser, finally sit by Form in Maguire, NOT eat in dinner waves, and realize that you are one year closer to your graduation from Canterbury. In three quick months, you will be welcoming new students, looking forward to Friday School Meeting with a new Sixth Form Council, and rebuilding the Saints community once again. Know that we look forward to your safe return and that our high expectations of you stem from hope and confidence. We believe in you.”

Congratulations, Saints!

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