Academic Award Winners Announced

Students, faculty, and staff gathered in recent Community Meetings to honor more than 50 students for their academic excellence in the 2019-20 school year. With the School’s shift to distance learning last spring, the celebration of these award winners was delayed until students returned to campus.

“The students whom we will recognize today have shown their devotion to the education that is at the heart of our community and our experience here,” Dean of Academic Affairs Nate Ebel said at the first of two meetings to honor the students. “We are celebrating the dedication, creativity, insight, eloquence, and hard work of all our award winners.”

Here is a list of all the award winners. Below are the winners of endowed awards, with accompanying citations by the awarding faculty member.   

Lawton M. Calhoun Jr. Medal
For Excellence in Physics
Dr. Kacey Meaker says: “This student is known for his quiet competence and outstanding problem-solving ability. His mastery of the material is so complete that he frequently tutors his fellow classmates in what we are still learning in class. He is diligent and creative in his experimental work and always willing to try new things.”
The award goes to Leo Kong ’21. 

First Forty-Eight Merit Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to the returning girl who best represents the ideals of spiritual, moral, physical, and intellectual leadership so aptly demonstrated by the first girls admitted to Episcopal High School. It was established in 1994 by the parents, grandparents, and friends of the first 48 girls to attend Episcopal.
Heidi Huntley writes: “In describing the importance of practice, modern dance pioneer Martha Graham once said, ‘It is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit.’ This student has demonstrated the wisdom of Graham’s statement through substantial intellectual leadership in her courses, extraordinary grace in her dance and musical performances, courage in her work with the Black Student Association, and an unmatched ability to genuinely connect with people.”
The award goes to Sofi Igyan ’21.

Ingle Family Theology Awards
For Excellence in Theology 
The Rev. Grace Pratt, former assistant chaplain, writes: “As a teacher, it is wonderful to see a student explore an issue they are passionate about through their writing. This student expressed his commitment to tackling global warming and its connection to theology. Throughout the semester, this student explored our call to the stewardship of creation with his writing, finding many Biblical connections. His depth of insight into the Bible and the world around him is a wonder to behold.”
The award goes to Robert Kats ’22.

Benjamin I. Johns Price
For Excellence In Biology
Dr. Colleen Krivacek writes: “There is an idiom that says, ‘Good things come in small packages.’ This petite scientist has a colossal amount of curiosity. Every moment of the day is a learning opportunity, whether in class, on dorm, or at practice. The student’s questions elevate and drive the course of class discussion. The epitome of a biology student and a dream to teach, this student makes each day in class an adventure.”
The award goes to Debby Lee ’21.

The Thomas E. Kilby III Medal
For Excellence in Chemistry
Evan Hudspeth writes: “The student we honor truly pursues excellence and perfection in all aspects of chemistry. In fact, her quizzes and tests were often referenced as an answer key for grading. In class discussions, on assignments, or in lab, all were immensely impressed with her strong desire to not just earn the best grade but to delve headfirst into the complexities of the material being covered, ensuring that she learned something new and mastered understanding.”
The award goes to Susan Wang ’22.

George William Laird Award 
For Outstanding Photography
David Douglas writes: “Art is not about reproducing what you see, but rather making your audience see what you want them to see. This gifted young artist showed up in the Ainslie Arts Center with a large box full of mismatched camera bodies, lenses, dead batteries, and chargers. We spent hours trying to make a working camera. Three years later, the camera still seems to always be broken, yet she finds a way to produce some of the most powerful, graceful, and sophisticated work I have seen. Always with an eye on making this world a better place, these powerful images manage to show us her world in her way. Through these photographs, perhaps we will begin to see ourselves and our world a little more clearly, and just maybe, make this world a better place.”
The award goes to Skye Jackson ’21.

The John Moncure Daniel Jr. Scholarship and Benjamin M. Baker Medal 

For Excellence in United States History 
Social studies teacher Mike Reynolds writes: “When this student walked into Advanced U.S. History on the first day of class, it was clear that she had a real passion to learn and a deep well of intellectual curiosity. Her hard work, humility, and willingness to roll up her sleeves and ask the hard questions that a real study of the past requires set a tone that inspired her classmates and her teacher. Whether she was reflecting on how the institution of slavery impacted our campus or researching and writing about natural disasters, her deep empathy and sharp analytical mind make reading what she has to say a true pleasure.”
The award goes to Rachel Marsh ’21.

Dash Pierce Award
For Excellence in Chinese 
Chinese teacher Julie Wang writes: “Realizing the important exchange of ideas and culture between the United States and China, this student sees learning the Chinese language as a vital skill. She joined the Middlebury summer program in Beijing, immersing herself in new realms of culture and language. These diverse experiences have become an integral part of her growth. Her work ethic and determination to achieve high proficiency equip her with the knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s increasingly interconnected world.”
The award goes to Wheatley Thayer ’21.

Quentin Roosevelt Prize 
For Character
This award, for outstanding character in a first-year student who was under 15 years old at the beginning of the session, is given in honor of Quentin Roosevelt, the son of President and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt. A student at Episcopal in the session of 1908 to 1909, Quentin was a U.S. Army aviator who was shot down on July 14, 1918, behind German lines. Mrs. Roosevelt asked that the prize be in cash because “Quentin always liked to have a few coins to jingle in his pocket.”
Boota deButts ’76 writes: “This freshman is truly an exceptional student in the freshmen class and exudes character in so many ways. He has completely immersed himself into life at Episcopal and has taken full advantage of everything it has to offer. His curiosity and excitement are contagious. In addition to his academic and musical prowess, he is a friend to all and is viewed by his classmates as someone who doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.” 
The award goes to Bennie Wang ’23.

The School Award

For Excellence in Environmental Studies
Javier Bastos writes: “To have a passion for a subject like environmental science is to have the courage to find hope amidst complication and complexity. Nature is vast, and it is a network of connections of which we humans are a part. This student always leads with hope in her heart and love for challenges of this far-reaching science. To say that she cares for a better future is an understatement; she believes in making it happen and helps others believe it can be so, too.” 
The award goes to Minta Brice ’21.

William Holland Wilmer Medal
For Scholarship
This medal is awarded to the first-year student who was under 15 years old at the beginning of the session and academically led his or her class. 
Jeff Streed writes: “Applauded by his teachers and coaches for his work in the classroom, at the keyboard, in soccer, and on stage, he accomplished wonders as a freshman. He is the preeminent pianist in the School, he earned first place in the state Latin tournament (my personal favorite!), and of course, he has the highest grade-point average in his class. Faculty speak of his enthusiasm for language and ideas, his generous mentoring of his peers, and in general ‘officially operating in the fever range.’ To quote his freshman advisor, his start at EHS can be summarized in a single word: ‘Wow.’”
The award goes to Bennie Wang ’23. 

Edwin Wilson Award 
For Excellence in Theater Arts in Dance
Dance instructor Adrienne Taylor writes of this year’s recipient: “You can always find her moving, looking to practice one more time, open to all possibilities, and willing to try anything new. Her ease and effortless movements defy belief and display pure talent.”
The award goes to Mi Nguyen ’23.