Gunnery School graduates its Class of 2014
The Gunnery in Washington recently held its commencement exercises for 94 students, including nine from Greater New Milford.
The ceremony for one of the largest senior classes in recent memory was held at the meetinghouse of the First Congregational Church in Washington.
Russ Elgin, the retiring senior master, a 39-year veteran teacher, coach, advisor and dorm parent, was the commencement speaker.
He recalled the words of another speaker, Edsel Ford of the Class of 1968, who had donated a Zamboni to the school.
"He said that the job of the commencement speaker was much like that of a Zamboni driver," said Elgin, who enjoyed driving the Zamboni. "Both needed to get out, make things tidy and get off the stage as quickly as possible."
He advised the graduates to "Challenge yourselves, get involved, unplug and travel. Not very complicated things to think about as you enter the next phase of your life."
Gerrit Vreeland of the Class of 1961, board chairman, gave the approval of the Board of Trustees for the granting of the diplomas.
Becker joined Eileen Kelly-Aguirre, associate head of school, in handing out the diplomas.
Fatema Almeshqab from Bahrain received the honors for top scholar in the class.
Becker presented the school's three top awards.
Simeon Giraldo of Corsier, Switzerland won the Brinsmade Prize for unselfish and sympathetic interest in people with a purpose for citizenship and social responsibility; Amanda Lacey Payne of Bridgewater won the Head of School Award for constant excellence and dependability in studies and extracurricular activities; and Kori Lynn Rimany of Kent won the Gunnery Cup, the school's highest honor for the student whose character and achievement has contributed most largely to the success of the school year.
Amanda, who graduated cum laude, was also cited as MVP for girls' soccer and MVP for girls' tennis, while Kori, who also graduated cum laude, was recognized with the Michael Post Award in English.
Other local graduates and their commencement prizes include Erin Montgomery Bond and Nicholas Fulton Ireland of Roxbury; and Skyler Tucker Clark (MVP boys' soccer and Red and Gray Tour Guides Award), Alexander Houldin Cornell, Lily Claire Hedley (Excellence in Spanish and Michael Eanes Award for "Most Improved," Jacob Isaac Mandl and Patricia Lindsay Theobald (MVP spring and fall crew, Excellence in Journalism and McClellan Citizenship Prize).
Other awards had been presented the previous evening during prize night celebrations.