Upper School Awards Celebrate Pursuit of Academic Excellence

The Tartan pursuit of academic excellence and achievement among the junior and senior classes was celebrated and recognized this week at St. Margaret’s 2019 Upper School Awards Ceremony.

The faculty awarded academic book prizes from distinguished colleges and universities, defined by qualities representative of those schools. St. Margaret’s academic department distinctions were also recognized, along with St. Margaret’s senior awards that were presented to students with messages from each presenter.

“To all our students, thank you for a terrific year, for your hard work, your care for the school community and each other,” Dr. Graham said. “And, to our families and special guests, thank you for joining with us in this recognition and celebration of our unique learning community.”

Also recognized was the work of many Upper School student leadership groups, including Admission Ambassadors, Associated Student Body, Honor Committee, Peer Counselors, and Tartan Inclusivity & Diversity Education.

The complete list of honorees follows:

Junior College Book Awards
The George Washington University Book – Recipient: Lauryn Wilson. Awarded to a junior who embodies the George Washington drive and spirit, specifically with their academic excellence, leadership outside of the classroom, diversity of thought, and ability to put knowledge into action.

The Harvard Book Prize – Recipient: Serena Carson. Awarded to an outstanding junior who exhibits superior academic, personal and extracurricular achievements.

The Kenyon College Book – Recipient: Jacqueline Leung. Awarded to the member of the junior class who best embodies the central tenets of the liberal arts—a high level of intellectual engagement, creativity and commitment to community.

The University of Pennsylvania Book – Recipient: Logan Burke. Awarded to a high school junior who best exemplifies the qualities and characteristics of Benjamin Franklin—a scholar, innovator and server of the community.

The Princeton Book – Recipient: Samatha Hasani. Awarded to an outstanding junior who exhibits intellectual promise and academic excellence; exemplary service or extracurricular activities; and outstanding personal character.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Medal – Recipient: Serena Carson. Awarded to a junior who excels in advanced math and science, adheres to rigorous academic standards, and exhibits a well-rounded interest and involvement in the community.

The Saint Lawrence University Book – Recipient: Whitney Kaemmer. Awarded to a junior who, like the St. Lawrence University community, values a commitment to the service of others.

The Smith College Book – Recipient: Grace Zhou. Awarded to an outstanding junior female who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership qualities, and concern for others.

The Wellesley Book Award – Recipient: Jasper Adams. Awarded to a young woman who has been a top scholar in high school as well as a talented performer in extracurricular activities.

The Williams College Book – Recipient: Thomas Hughes. Awarded to a junior who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school.

The Yale Book – Recipient: Shawn Chen. Awarded to a junior who demonstrates “lux et veritas,” enlightenment and truth, the motto of Yale College, combining outstanding personal character—the “lux” – with outstanding intellectual promise, the “veritas.”

Dominic Ondryas Memorial Award – Recipient: Angela Mendoza Ortega. Awarded to the junior who has exercised leadership during his or her years at St. Margaret’s and who has shown a willingness to improve the community and the world by leading others through personal example and commitment.

Athletics Awards
Scholar-Athlete Awards – Recipients: Alex Smith and Andi Carnell. Awarded to one female and one male who have demonstrated the highest level of combined academic, athletic and extra-curricular achievement while maintaining a minimum unweighted 3.5 grade-point average during their sophomore, junior and senior years. This award is the highest individual award bestowed upon scholar athletes by the CIF Southern Section.

Jon Balak Award – Recipients: Alex Smith and Stephanie Amoukhteh

Athletes of the Year: Recipients: Koa Todd and Maddie Barkate.

Senior Awards – Departmental Honors
A Departmental Book is awarded to seniors who have achieved excellence in an academic discipline.

Computer Science: Paul Boranian
English: Keely Yeargin
Mathematics: Drew Vollero
Science: Natalie Yee
History: Joey Westendorf
Chinese: Grant Kinsey
Latin: Gillian Mann
Spanish: Sarah Thurin
Performing Arts: Gilbert Chung
Visual Arts: Hannah Olsen

Senior Awards
The Founder’s Award – Recipient: Natalie Yee. Awarded to the senior who has maintained the highest grade point average in the class.

Salutatorian Award – Recipient: Taylor Wong. Awarded to the senior who has maintained the second highest grade point average in the class.

The Father Ernest D. SIllers Award – Recipient: Sarah Thurin. Awarded to the senior who has set an example of overall achievement, combining an excellent academic record with exemplary service to the school, citizenship and leadership.

The Board of Trustees’ Award – Recipient: Layla Shakerin. Awarded to the senior who has grown the most both as a person and as a student, and has taken advantage of the many opportunities for involvement.

St. Margaret’s Award – Recipient: Grant Kinsey. Awarded to the senior whose academic work is distinguished by the love of scholarship and who, by example, has contributed most to the academic morale of the school.

PTF Service Award – Recipient: Isabella Blount. Awarded to the senior whose leadership emobides the spirit of selflessness through commitment and involvement.

Faculty Achievement Award – Recipient: Julia Martin. Awarded to the senior who has maintained high academic standards through an exceptional combination of achievement, resilience and perseverance.

Faculty Plate – Recipient: Declan Landau. Awarded to the senior who has made the most of his or her St. Margaret’s experience and who clearly manifests the Latin inscription on the award plate, suo Marte or “by one’s own prowess,” in his or her years of endeavor in the St. Margaret’s community.

Principal’s Cup – Recipient: Alex Smith. Awarded to the senior who has grown to exemplify the ideals of Honor, Diligence and Decency. The senior has questioned the application and meaning of these ideals in his or her involvement at St. Margaret’s as a student and as a leader, and has made this school a better place by living life courageously, consistently and compassionately.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California