By Caroline Santoro ’19

On Friday, September 22, the community gathered in Hauser Auditorium for the Fall Awards ceremony. This annual event brings the school together and recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of Pingry students.

The ceremony began with recognition for high PSAT scores, awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program honored thirty-eight students, including twenty-two as Commended Scholars and twelve as National Merit Semi-finalists. Four high-scoring students of Hispanic backgrounds received praise from the National Hispanic Recognition Program.

Following the PSAT awards, Headmaster Nat Conard presented two character awards to a member of each grade: the Citizenship Prize and the Faculty Award. This year the citizenship prize was awarded to freshman Ore Shote, sophomore Hannah Dillon, junior Ketaki Tevan, and senior Jacqueline Chang. The Faculty Prize was awarded to freshman Chloe Mason, sophomore Rita Harrobin, junior Rashida Mohammed, and senior Brandon Rosen. The prestige of these faculty-determined awards epitomizes the value Pingry students place on being well-respected, ethical citizens. Mr. Conard also awarded the Scholarship Prize to the valedictorian of each grade: freshmen Rhea Kapur, Julian Lee, and Justin Li, sophomore Brian Li, junior Andrew Beckmen, and senior Alyssa Chen.  

Students who excel in math and science were then presented a variety of awards, including the Bausch & Lomb Science Award, which was presented to Senior Jennifer Fish, and the Rensselaer Mathematics & Science Award, which was presented to Senior Raymond Chen.

Following those honors, Dr. Dinkins presented the college book awards, a tradition that is highly anticipated each year. A college book award is presented to the member of the senior class who embodies the values of the associated college. With the award, the recipient receives a book given to them by the college. This year the colleges represented were Brown (Megan Pan), Columbia (Ethan Chung), Cornell (Clyde Leef), Dartmouth (Jennifer Coyne), Mount Holyoke (Alexis Elliot), Penn (Jared Lefkort), Princeton (Jacqueline Chang), Smith (Madeleine Parrish), Wellesley (Rachel Chen), Williams (Alexandra Pyne), and Yale (Wallace Truesdale).

The Justin Society awarded students for their writing competition honors in the categories of fiction, poetry, memoir, and flash fiction. First place winners of these awards went up on the stage to receive their award from Dr. Cottingham.

The ceremony always concludes with the fall induction of seniors to the Pingry chapter of the Cum Laude Society. President Mrs. Lydia Geacintov explained the difficult requirements for induction eligibility: students must maintain an A- (Honor Roll) average, take a full college preparatory course load, and receive a minimum of half of the votes from the chapter’s electing members. Nine students were presented with this great honor, and they were met with praise from their classmates and teachers. Those students were seniors Naiyah Atulomah, Alyssa Chen, Rachel Chen, Jennifer Coyne, Josie Cummings, Clyde Leef, Megan Pan, Jackson Proudfoot, and Ally Pyne.

The Pingry community congratulations all of this year’s award recipients and looks forward to celebrating the academic successes of a new set of students next year.