Senior Awards Spotlight Exceptional Achievement


Assistant Head of School Ann Pickrell conferred senior awards at Williston Northampton School’s 181st Commencement Ceremony. More here.

Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Gabby, for being here with us today to celebrate this extraordinary Class of 2022. Your words of inspiration will resonate with our community long after our ceremony concludes today. Forgive me for remembering you when I first met you during your admission visit to campus! The Williston extended family is proud of you, Gabby! You certainly have pursued your passions in science and running beyond Williston!

How fitting it is to be celebrating the Class of 2022 under this tent today with our full school community and unlimited guests in attendance. Your class has shown great leadership in the face of adversity, enthusiasm for the return of school traditions like Convocation, the musical, CID’s, the Prom, and Willy Gras and lead the way with new traditions including the Asian Night Market and Senior Grill & Chill!

Over the past several weeks, Williston students have shared their passions and talents widely with our school community. We have celebrated those endeavors in many ways including performances by our actors, dancers, and singers; senior day for our athletes along with the impressive Williston Scholars showcase last Thursday evening in the Reed Center. It gives me great pleasure to share with you all the most notable of these student accomplishments and to recognize overall distinction among the class of 2022.

On Thursday afternoon we held our Athletic Awards Assembly to celebrate another incredible year of success for Williston’s Athletic teams. The Athletic Department presents a senior award, the Blanket Award, to honor exceptional participation in the Williston athletic program.  Seniors who have been at Williston for more than one year are eligible for this award if they missed only one season, not including their senior year.  22 seniors were presented the Blanket Award on Thursday.  I ask that they all stand now and be recognized.

I would also like to acknowledge the senior recipients of our top 4 athletic awards and ask those individuals to stand now and be recognized.

The George Denman Bowl (for boys), and the Alumnae Bowl (for girls) are “awarded to seniors whose contribution to the athletic program has been characterized by exceptional achievement, faithful participation, and loyal devotion to the best interests of the school.”

This year The George Denman Award was given to: Jack Haddad

 This year the Alumnae Bowl Award was given to:

Natalie Stott

Abigail Touhey

The Athletic Leadership Awards is presented to seniors who have distinguished themselves in terms of the quality of the leadership they have demonstrated as student athletes.  The recipients exemplify what it means to be an outstanding teammate, competitor, and representative of the school.  Their selfless leadership, sportsmanship and integrity have provided inspiration to their coaches and teammates throughout their time at Williston.

This year the Athletic Leadership Awards were given to:

(boys) Jerry Landman

(girls) Praghya Athavan Rava and Emma Merrill

Yesterday afternoon we held our Academic Awards Ceremony which celebrated outstanding academic achievement for the year. There were over 100 different students who received prizes for their academic accomplishments in upper school classes during the school year. At this time I ask that all recipients of course awards and prizes stand and be recognized for their achievement.

We also recognized overall excellence at each grade level and I’d like to highlight the winners of each of the prizes and ask them to stand, and we can applaud them together as a group.

For the 9th grade there are three prizes: Jacob Waah was the recipient of the Head of School Prize. Isabelle Baxter Paris was the recipient of the Yale Prize and Jack Berrien was the recipient of the Bowdoin Prize.

For the 10th grade there are three prizes. Caroline Aufiero was the recipient of the Head of School Prize, Soliel Richardson was the recipient of the Smith College Prize, and Emily Hamman was the recipient of the Williams College Prize.

For the 11th grade there are four prizes. Dyson Haaland was the recipient of the Head of School Prize, Elsa Frankel was the recipient of the Lincoln Granniss Prize, Louisa Coughlin was the recipient of the Dartmouth Prize and Catherine Kang was the recipient of the Harvard Prize.


Before presenting the senior class prizes and awards, I am pleased to make announcements about the Williston Scholars program. This year we offered 7 courses within our Williston Scholars program and there are 14 seniors who will be recognized at this time for their exemplary work.  As I read the names of the seniors, I ask that they come forward to receive their certificates from the Director of the Williston Scholars Program, Kim Polin.

For Work in the History and Global Studies Department:

Edward Bergham

Jakob Frates

Sarah Markey

Melody Pan


For Work in the Visual Arts Department:

Samantha Friedman

Sarah Markey


For Work in the Performing Arts Department:

Edward Bergham

Sage Friedman

Tucker Motyka

Lily Vengco


For Work in the Science Department:

Victoria Hop


For Work in the Math Department:

Kai Hori


For Work in the Language Department:

Rosie Crooker

Annika von Schoeler-Ames


 The following are the Senior Prizes, awarded each year at Commencement, as voted by the full faculty, and presented by Head of School, Robert Hill.

 The Henry Teller Prize, in memory of a history teacher and choral conductor, 1947-1983, is awarded to that person in the Williston Northampton community who by active example encourages intercultural understanding and good will.  This year the prize is given to:

Owen Fu

The Henry E. Donais, Jr., ’59 Award is given “to a Senior who has manifested a love of the natural world and who has taken an active interest in the protection and preservation of the world’s environmental resources.”  This year the prize is given to:

Tucker Motyka

The Westcott E. S. Moulton Award, honoring a member of the Class of 1927 and Williston Alumni Secretary, 1961-1973, is presented to that member of the senior class who has shown a high degree of effort in publications, sportsmanship, leadership, and community involvement leading to continued loyalty and interest as an alumna or alumnus.  This year the award is given to:

Melody Pan

The Tim Wallis, Class of 1962 Prize was established in memory of an English-Speaking Union exchange student at Williston; the prize is given at Commencement to that senior “who gets much from the School because he or she puts much in.”  This year the prize is given to:

Jules Constantinople

The Class of 1942 Prize is awarded in recognition of “Outstanding Service to the School.”  This year the prize is given to:

Will Gaca

 The George H. Higgins Prize is given to “that student in the graduating class who has displayed outstanding character in school life.”  This year the prize is given to:

Edawrd Bergham

The Katherine M. Ockenden, Class of 1949 Prize is given to that senior who “in the opinion of the faculty has contributed moral, positive leadership.”  This year the prize is given to:

Praghya Athavan Raja

The L. G. Treadway Citizenship Prize, established by Richard Treadway, Class of 1932, in honor of his father, is awarded to a senior who has been at the school for at least two years, who has maintained a strong scholastic standing, and who has given promise of future achievement.  The chief qualities to be considered are personal integrity and contributions made to the best citizenship of the school.  This year the prize is awarded to:

Rosie Crooker

 The Joseph Sawyer Memorial Prize, honoring the 7th Headmaster of Williston Seminary, 1886-1919, is awarded to a senior who has made outstanding contributions to the intellectual and community life of the school.  This year the prize is awarded to:

Sage Friedman 

The Dorothy Bement Prize, honoring a co-founder of The Northampton School for Girls, is given to the senior who has exhibited excellence in academic endeavors and in contributions to citizenship and the overall life of the school.  This year the prize is awarded to:

Sarah Markey 


 We now come to the final three prizes which carry the greatest distinction; the first two being awarded to the outstanding students in the senior class, the third honoring the first scholar in the class:

The Archibald V. Galbraith Prize, honoring the 8th Headmaster of Williston Academy, 1919-1949, is awarded to that senior who in academics, athletics, and citizenship is exemplary, representing that which is best in the school.  The Galbraith prize is awarded this year to:

Benning Johnson

The Sarah B. Whitaker Prize, honoring a co-founder of the Northampton School for Girls, and co-Principal, 1924-1962, is also known as the White Blazer Award.  The White Blazer is given to a senior who has made the greatest contributions to the academic, athletic, and community life of the school while exhibiting exemplary leadership and integrity.  The White Blazer is awarded this year to:

Natalie Stott

The Valedictory prize is awarded to the first scholar of the class. It is a combination of two awards from an era in the school’s history, when the Edmund H. Sawyer Prize was given for work in the classical curriculum and the Horatio G. Knight Prize was given for work in the scientific curriculum.  These prizes are now combined into one.  It honors the student who, by record of performance during the senior year, is judged by the faculty to be pre-eminent in academic achievement.   This year the recipient of the Valedictory prize is:

Sage Friedman

On behalf of the faculty and staff, Congratulations and Best Wishes To The Class Of 2022!

We will miss you! Remember you will always have a home away from home here at Williston!