Outstanding Seniors Recognized at Virtual Senior Prize Assembly

Blair community members came together from their homes around the globe on May 18 to honor outstanding members of the graduating class during the School’s first-ever virtual Senior Prize Assembly. Dean of Academics Nathan Molteni welcomed parents, students and faculty members to the online event, which celebrated students’ achievements in academics, athletics and student life. To view the Senior Prize Assembly, click play below:

“We must start by celebrating your resilience through this spring,” Mr. Molteni said to the members of the class of 2020. “We are very proud of what you have accomplished, despite the challenges of the last two months, and know that you head off well-prepared into the next phase of your lives. While we aren’t physically together tonight, we can still share in each other’s joy and pride for the success you have achieved. If there’s one lesson we all learn each year at Blair, students and faculty alike, it is this: experiencing this journey of learning and growth together is what makes our experiences worthwhile.”

Mr. Molteni announced that in recognition of the impact Blair’s award-winning students will have upon the world, a donation will be made in the name of each academic departmental prize winner to a charity that aligns with the department’s broader mission. 

The first awards of the evening were presented for academic excellence, and department chairs from across Blair’s curriculum took pride in recognizing their top students. English teacher Kaye Evans announced those seniors who had earned membership in Blair’s Cum Laude Society, and this was followed by the presentation of prizes for overall development in all areas of student life. Finally, Director of Athletics Paul Clavel ’88 accorded recognition to Buccaneer athletes for their noteworthy accomplishments as members of Blair’s athletic teams. (Please see below for the names of student award-winners.)

The James M. Howard Jr. Fellowship Prize, which honors a faculty member early in his or her career who has especially impacted the Blair community over the course of the school year, was the final award of the evening. Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty Lorry Perry presented it to history teacher Marianna Paone, noting that, according to tradition, the Senior Class Council had helped to choose her as the recipient. 

Head of School Chris Fortunato concluded the Senior Prize Assembly by sharing warm words of congratulations with the class of 2020, noting that this was the final gathering for seniors—albeit virtually—before they become Blair alumni. “Congratulations to all of you who have been recognized for your achievements today,” he said. “I so wish we could be together in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts, but I can visualize standing at that podium and looking out at all of you, and I think about how extraordinary your accomplishments have been during your time at Blair.” The premier of the Senior Video, a retrospective of the 2019-2020 school year created by members of the senior class, brought the assembly to its celebratory close.


2020 Awards Presented to Students:

THE HARDING MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who has contributed most to musical organizations: Hannah Kate Picabo Starorypinski

THE ROBERT F. HARRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY, awarded to a member of the senior class for special interest and outstanding achievement in the study of English literature: Cameron Goodwin Bentley & Emia Musabegovic

THE ROBERT F. HARRIS DRAMATICS AWARD, presented to that member of the student body who has shown the highest standard of excellence in dramatics: Ryan Gomez & Audrey Katherine Sacks

THE PAUL R. WHITE HISTORY PRIZE, awarded to that student who is considered to be the most proficient history student in the senior class: Katherine Danforth Holding & Carmen Joseph Liuzza III

THE CHARLES H. BREED LATIN PRIZE, awarded to an outstanding student in advanced Latin: Hugh John Crossen III

THE DUMONT ENGLISH PRIZE, awarded to the member of the senior class who ranked highest in English and presented in memory of the late Senator Wayne Dumont and his father, Wayne Dumont Sr. by Mrs. Helen Dumont: Dylan Robert Benson & Hugh John Crossen III

THE JOSEPH F. EBERLE MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who exhibits outstanding achievement in music: Abigail Paige Morris & Kendra Lee Payne

THE WINSON D. EWING PRIZE, awarded to that student who is considered to be the most outstanding mathematics student in the senior class: Tanadol Lamlertprasertkul

THE AP SCIENCE PRIZE, presented to that student who exhibits an overwhelming passion and commitment toward science and who has written a superior academic record in multiple AP science courses: Peter Chun Pang Li & Olivia Shea McLaine

THE DONALD E. LAWSHE PRIZE, presented in memory of former Blair physics teacher Donald E. Lawshe and presented to that student who has consistently demonstrated a passion for science and a dedication to interests beyond the classroom: Chloe Park

AN ART PRIZE, awarded to the student who, in her study of art, is widening her life by sharpening her perceptions: Elizabeth Brandon Sigety

PURCHASE ART PRIZE, awarded to the student for the purchase of their artwork to be displayed at the School: Thomas Franz Engel, Kate Mackenzie Gerdsen & Julia Josephine Thomas

THE PETER L. AMERMAN RELIGION PRIZE, awarded to that student of religion who has been most challenged by the material encountered and who has demonstrated an effort to re-evaluate the philosophy of life accordingly: Muzi Marilyn Fang


Other prizes given for outstanding performance were:

Chinese: Dylan Robert Benson

Spanish: Joop Alexander Olthof

Two-Dimensional Art: Helena Siobhan Frawley

Three-Dimensional Art: Elizabeth Ann Negvesky

Photography: Lydia Duval Richardson

Newton Prize for Calculus: Dylan Robert Benson

John Wyeth Yearbook Prize: Emma Mei Bo Abbott, June Dinias & Ally Eun Kim

World Religions: Olivia Shea McLaine



Inducted as juniors:

Cameron Goodwin Bentley

Samantha Bianca Cerami

Thomas Franz Engel

Katherine Danforth Holding

Alexandra Leigh Kirby

Seo Yeong Kwag

Timothy Matthew Harry Launders

Peter Chun Pang Li

Emia Musabegovic

Joop Alexander Olthof

Lydia Duval Richardson

Audrey Katherine Sacks


Inducted as seniors:

Dylan Robert Benson

Kathleen S. Devlin

Muzi Fang

Helena Siobhan Frawley

James Patrick Hinsperger

Kelsey Amelia Jackman

Ashton Paige Martini

Olivia Shea McLaine

Chloe Park

Robert Frederico Rucki

Priscilla Arpana Sharma

Hannah Kate Picabo Starorypinski

Jordan Anne Ullman

Jinghan Zhang


THE FRANKLIN PRIZE, awarded to the senior who has shown the greatest development and improvement throughout the course: Gwen Allison Safin

THE ELAINE & JAMES KELLEY PRIZE, awarded to that student who best represents the spirit of the postgraduate program by strengthening academic skills and his or her horizons through meaningful participation in the life of the community: Sarah Elizabeth Richardson

THE HERBERT J. SIEGEL ’46 SPORTSMANSHIP PRIZE, presented to those seniors whose sportsmanship, spirit and selfless dedication to their teams best represents the ideals of Blair Academy: Ashlyn Nicole Alles, Kendra Lee Payne, Thomas Franz Engel & Ryan Vincent Miller

THE ROBERT DALLING PRIZE, presented to the male athlete who has best represented Blair Academy in athletic competition: Elijah Lee Anthony

THE WILLIAM ZESTER MEMORIAL AWARD, presented to the female athlete who has best represented Blair Academy in athletic competition: Kathleen Emerson Antonelli

Senior Athletic Award, given to students who have earned seven or more varsity letters (five varsity letters for new juniors or three varsity letters for postgraduates):

Ashlyn Nicole Alles

Elijah Lee Anthony

Kathleen Emerson Antonelli

Dylan Robert Benson

Nathaniel James Castimore

Corey Stephen Downey

Cameron Edward Grant

Rebecca Hope Groseibl

Martin Kirk Holton

Savannah Lee

Ashton Paige Martini

Elizabeth DuBois Montfort

Kendra Lee Payne

Chloe Liquan Axelson Rayer

Zoë Nolan Reinert

Aidan Gilmore Riano

Sarah Elizabeth Richardson

Madina Amani Shabazz

Damon Myles Washington

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