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2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
2019 Senior Prize Assembly
Senior Accomplishments Recognized at Prize Assembly
Joanne Miceli

In the lead up to commencement, members of the class of 2019 were recognized for their academic and athletic achievements at the Senior Prize Assembly on May 20. Dean of Academics Nathan Molteni welcomed seniors and their families to Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts’ DuBois Theatre and opened the ceremony with congratulatory remarks and words of advice for the soon-to-be graduates.

“This is only the start of the next story, the next part of your life. We know you are ready, and we’re proud of the people you have become,” Mr. Molteni said. “Share in each other’s joy, sadness, nostalgia, uncertainty and even pride, the last and essential part of tonight’s assembly. If there’s one lesson we’ve all learned each year, students and faculty alike, it’s this: Experiencing this journey of learning and growth together is what makes our experiences worthwhile.”

Academic department chairs and administrators took their turn at the podium to recognize students for their outstanding work across the curriculum (please see below for full list of awardees)

Finally, Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty Lorry Perry presented the James M. Howard Jr. Fellowship Prize to Director of Vocal Music Ryan Manni. The award honors a faculty member early in his or her career who has especially impacted the Blair community over the course of the school year. Each year, the Senior Class Council helps choose its recipient. 

“Mr. Manni is known for his deep and genuine care for everyone he encounters,” Ms. Perry said in presenting the award. “With great energy and verve, he pushes his students to be better. He dedicates his entire self to helping his students reach their goals…[Mr. Manni] knows how to have fun and how to teach at an elite level, thanks to his high standards and creativity.”

Head of School Chris Fortunato concluded the Senior Prize Assembly by thanking the faculty members who have been seniors’ teachers, coaches, cheerleaders and confidants over the years, and expressing his pride in the class of 2019. “It’s extraordinary what you’ve done to distinguish yourselves as scholars, performers, athletes and friends,” he said. “I don’t know if you realize just how much that inspires all of us, and how it truly serves as a wonderful model for those who aspire to be on this stage in the years to come.”

2019 prize winners:

THE HARDING MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who has contributed most to musical organizations: Cornelia Ring Sigety & Summer Savannah Will 

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: Linda Kaihua Tong & Summer Savannah Will

THE ROBERT F. HARRIS DRAMATICS AWARD, presented to that member of the student body who has shown the highest standard of excellence in dramatics: Matthew Michael Bottone 

THE PAUL R. WHITE HISTORY PRIZE, awarded to that student who is considered to be the most proficient history student in the senior class: Linda Kaihua Tong & Cleary Ruth Waldo

THE CHARLES H. BREED LATIN PRIZE, awarded to an outstanding student in advanced Latin: Summer Savannah Will

THE DALE ROSENSON DRAMATICS PRIZE, given in memory of Dale Rosenson '72 and presented to a senior who has demonstrated dedication, reliability, imagination and technical proficiency in lighting, sound, special effects and set management for theatrical productions at Blair: Jingyi Chen

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: Zoe Elizabeth Affron & Andrew Paul Brooks

THE JOSEPH F. EBERLE MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who exhibits outstanding achievement in music: Yu Cao & Joy Cheng

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

THE DURLAND PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, awarded to that student who has demonstrated extraordinary ability and interest in computer programming or computer applications while at Blair: Justin Shi 

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: Sixiang Dong & Summer Savannah Will

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: Jessica Lee Schable

THE KAMPMANN VIDEO PRIZE, named for Blair video program creators Judith Kahan Kampmann and Steven Kampmann and awarded to that student each year whose exceptional talent, enthusiasm, dedication and accomplishment in visual expression and storytelling not only meets the highest standards of excellence, but uniquely sets him/her apart from all others: Maxum Joseph O’Halloran 

AN ART PRIZE, awarded to the student who, in her study of art, is widening her life by sharpening his perceptions: Cecelia Mae Fralick

PURCHASE ART PRIZE, awarded to the student for the purchase of their artwork to be displayed at the School: Clare Yao Yanting Lieberman Grant

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: Hai Thanh Phan

THE MARGUERITE DEYSSON HABERMANN MEMORIAL FRENCH PRIZE, awarded to a senior who has done exceptionally well in French: Andrew Paul Brooks & Cleary Ruth Waldo

Other prizes given for outstanding performance were:

Chinese: Ava Elisabeth Katz

Spanish: Alexandra Foster Glickman

Outstanding Achievement in the Study of a Foreign Language: Linda Kaihua Tong 

Two-Dimensional Art: Cheuk Kiu Justin Leung

Three-Dimensional Art: Nancy Monahan Beaujeu-Dufour

Photography: Jessica Marie Van Valkenburg

U.S. History: Hai Thanh Phan

Newton Prize for Calculus: Hai Thanh Phan

John Wyeth Yearbook Prize: Olivia Claire Altman, Xiaofei Gu, Samantha Porsche Tsang

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):

William Arnold

Kerem Ayhan

Karenna Benanti

Victoria Benanti

Avery Clavel

Tiheem Crocker

Ian Willis Crosland

Madison Jones

Abigail Kreider

Emily Mooney

Rachel Ninomiya

Junhan Park

Esther Pasternak

Alexa Setteducate

Kate Setteducate

Henry Somerville

Caeley Tierney

Cleary Waldo


News Headlines

Class of 2020 banner

Blair Academy’s 172nd commencement ceremony was a tradition- and joy-filled celebration of the class of 2020, as well as the first graduation in School history to take place online. Families and friends from around the world came together virtually on May 21—appropriately a beautiful, sunny day in Blairstown—to listen to words of wisdom, honor the achievements of students and faculty members, and celebrate a truly outstanding senior class.

Read More about Blair’s 172nd Commencement Celebrated the Class of 2020 in Virtual Ceremony