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June, 2017 Facebook Twitter Instagram School Seal
Commencement 2017
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O n the morning of Commencement, June 9, 2017, PBDA's 8th and 9th Graders spent their last few minutes together as a group. Some have shared their entire lives with these friends and even those who have joined more recently feel the same bond. They know that even though there will be times when parts of the group may reassemble momentarily, there will probably never be a time when they will all be together again.
The teachers who mingle with the students know the same thing. These teachers have raised these students along with their parents and know them well. Their shared memory of hundreds of moments of growth, frustration, triumph, embarrassment, and success bonds them. They, too, will not see these children together again. But, although feelings of sadness were part of the mood for students and adults, excitement about the future was even stronger. This was the day that everyone had worked toward. Now it had arrived and all of those shared lives - students, teachers, parents, grandparents and friends - assembled in the Smith Family Theater to honor our 8th & 9th Graders and all that their years at PBDA represent.
After the faculty and students had marched into the theater, Head of Upper School, Sarah Kemeness, introduced 9th Grader and Student Leadership Council President, Tommy Burke who lead "The Pledege of Allegiance," before 9th Grader Lev Hallowell took the podium to offer a welcome to parents, friends and faculty.
Head of School, Dr. Edwin Gordon, spoke briefly about the accomplishments of our graduates and about the teachers and parents who made those accomplishments possible.
Presentation of the Cup Awards followed. Palm Beach Day Academy’s Cup Awards are indicators of the personal qualities valued by the school. The Essay Cup was donated to the school by Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Jose in honor of their daughter Polly, a former PBDA student. The Cup is to encourage good writing among the students in the Upper School, and is awarded to the students who have submitted the most outstanding educational autobiography, research paper and character sketch during the year. The Katie Tummon ‘03 Educational Autobiography Award went to Ariana Biondi-Copeland. The award for 9th Grade Character Sketch went to Grayson Costa. The John L. Thompson Research Paper Award was earned by Tommy Burke.
The Upper School 7th - 9th Grade Improvement Prize was established by the school to recognize the student who has shown the most overall growth as a scholar and as a school citizen. Majesty Wiggins received this year’s 7 - 9th Grade Improvement Prize.
The William H. Davis, Jr. Science and Mathematics Award was established in the memory of William Davis. It is considered the school’s highest honor in the complimentary disciplines of mathematics and science. This year’s award was presented to Caroline McCann.
The Amory L. Haskell Cup honors the winning Walter H. Butler Field Day captains. Flamingo Captains, Majesty Wiggins and Jesse Principe, were called to receive the Amory Haskell Cup.
Martina Gil received the Alumni Award. The Alumni Award, established by the alumni committee in 1989, recognizes the graduate who has consistently demonstrated consideration for his or her fellow students, the faculty and the school.
The Robert W. Bayless Scholar/Athlete Award was established by the Bayless family in memory of Robert Bayless, Director of Athletics and Chairman of the English Department from 1958 until his death in 1973. The award recognizes an outstanding student in the Upper School for a combination of Honor Roll academics and athletic endeavor. Isabella Pargiolas and Ricardo Maduro-Vollmer were the recipients of the Scholar/Athlete Award this year.
The Fletcher Hunt Memorial Cup was presented to the school in Fletcher Hunt’s memory by Colonel and Mrs. Robert F. Hunt, Jr. It was the wish of the Colonel and Mrs. Hunt that, for the first year, the cup be awarded to the student in the 6th Grade who attained the highest scholastic average, and that, each subsequent year, it be awarded one grade higher. It would accompany Fletcher’s class through the school, culminating in its presentation to a senior in June, 1967. After that date, it returned to the 6th Grade as a permanent award. Caroline Ghirardini received the Fletcher Hunt Memorial Cup for 2017.
The 1958 Cup was established by the Class of 1958 to be awarded to the Upper School student who has set an outstanding example for his or her classmates. This award embodies such qualities as responsibility and willingness to serve, concern for others, personal integrity, and excellence in citizenship, scholarship and sportsmanship. Caroline McCann was presented with the 1958 Cup.
The Faculty Cup was donated anonymously by a parent who wished to provide a high academic goal for the school’s superior students. It is awarded each year to the Upper School student with the highest academic average for the year, provided the average is 90 or above. Caroline McCann earned the Faculty Cup this year.
The Holder Cup was given to the school by Mrs. Holder to perpetuate the memory of Dan Holder and to serve as a source of inspiration to boys and girls in the Upper School. Dan Holder was a member of the faculty from 1949 until his sudden death in 1952. He stood for all that was fine in education. The Cup is awarded “for the student who, through his integrity, school spirit, scholastic endeavor and good sportsmanship, has contributed most to the life of the school.” The Holder Cup is considered to be Palm Beach Day Academy’s highest award. Isabel Carden is this year’s recipient.
Faculty member and alumna, Carrie Pateman, spoke on behalf of the faculty to offer advice for the future and to express the school’s deep admiration for the graduates they know so well.
Long-time faculty members Anne Methe and Martha Dyal honored our “Lifers” - those students who have been with Palm Beach Day Academy from “diapers to diplomas.”
Eighth Grader, Carson Reid spoke on behalf of his fellow graduates before Gray Foster and Gonzalo Gil presented the 9th Grade Class Gift of benches and a garden for the East Field.
Dr. Gordon honored Erin Mitchell with the 12th annual presentation of the Adele Shook Merck Excellence in Teaching Award. George Yeager had been honored as the Adele Shook Merck Excellence in Teaching Award for the Lower Campus a day earlier at the Bridge Ceremony.
Board of Trustees President, Lourdes Fanjul, and Head of School, Dr. Gordon, presented diplomas to the Eighth Graders - The Class of 2018.
The faculty presented each 9th Grader for graduation individually. Eighth Grader, Sydney Kosoy, offered the closing remarks to thank parents and teachers on behalf of her 8th and 9th Grade classmates.
Faculty, family, alumni and friends joined in saluting the winners of the commencement awards and in saluting our Eighth and Ninth Graders. These fine students are the ones who uphold our school’s traditions of excellence.
Click to see middle school award winners from May 31.
Intended Schools of The Classes of 2017 and 2018

Class of 2017
Max Bal

Oxbridge Academy
Sam Bengisu
Oxbridge Academy
Tommy Burke
Millbrook School
Chloe Colbert
Cardinal Newman High School
Grayson Costa
The Hotchkiss School
Gray Foster
St. George’s School
Gonzalo Gil
Saint Andrew’s School
Lev Hallowell
Oxbridge Academy
Lucas Precoda
LeRosey, Switzerland
Jesse Principe
G-Star School of the Arts
Ethan Qin
North Broward Prep
Majesty Wiggins
Cardinal Newman High School

Class of 2018
Max Bergman
Saint Andrew’s School
Ariana Biondi Copeland
Trinity School
Alexander Bylin
Taft School
Isabel Carden
Phillips Acadmey Exeter
Alejandra Chun Morales
Palm Beach Day Academy
Liz Cloninger
Oxbridge Academy
Harry Cramer
Palm Beach Day Academy
Alex Diament
Palm Beach Day Academy
Molly Eversmann
The Benjamin School
Jacob George
Palm Beach Day Academy
Martina Gil
Phillips Academy Andover
Sophie Gochman
The Spence School
Miranda Green
Oxbridge Academy
Nina Horgan
Oxbridge Academy
Connor Hutto
Oxbridge Academy
Alex Kino
Saint Andrew’s School
Grant Kino
Cardinal Newman High School
Sydney Kosoy
The Hotchkiss School
J.R. Labow
Palm Beach Day Academy
India Lalor
Palm Beach Day Academy
Jesse Litten
Suncoast Community High School
Ricardo Maduro Vollmer
Palm Beach Day Academy
Elias Manchester
Palm Beach Day Academy
Caroline McCann
The Hotchkiss School
Julien Neville
North Broward Prep
Jacob Ochstein
Cardinal Newman High School
Isabella Pargiolas
Palm Beach Day Academy
Nina Passler
Saint Andrew’s School
Maya Patel
Saint Andrew’s School
Carson Reid
Palm Beach Day Academy
Drake Rydberg
Loomis Chaffee School
Harrison Stewart
Oxbridge Academy
Oscar Storkerson
Oxbridge Academy
Lauren Susick
Palm Beach Day Academy
Elisha Thornton
Palm Beach Day Academy
Grace Watts
Saint Andrew’s School
Lilli Wytrzes
Saint George’s School
Will Wytrzes
Woodberry Forest School
Chloe Zenou
Saint Andrew’s School
Faculty Years of Service

30 Years
Martha Dyal
Anne Methe
Cecilia Thoresen
25 Years
Ellie Colpitts
15 Years
Meghan Albanese
Erika Handley
Nicole LaTorra
Lauran Rearic
10 Years
Wendy Bieneman
William Coyle
Courtney Ellender
Karen Lucchesi
Steve Lucchesi
Scott Moore
Elizabeth Sheen
Sara Stapleton
Katy Thompson
Judy Varady