Thayer Academy held its Middle School Recognition Day June 6 to honor 68 graduates, all members of the Class of 2023.
"Each of you has offered something special to Thayer Academy," Middle School Director Carson Smith P '25 told the students on stage with him that day in the CFA's Hale Theater.
Middle School History Department Head Danny Seymour was the day's class-elected speaker. He used words like "social," "polite, "talented," "humorous," "observant," and "drama-free" to describe the class. He urged the students to do four things: enjoy their newly earned freedoms; cherish the upcoming summer; read a book; and, above all, "don't grow up too fast."
When it came to books, Seymour recommended the Harry Potter series but said any book that sparks genuine interest would do, educational or not.
"Discovering the love of reading in childhood will make you a reader forever," Seymour said. "And readers are thinkers. Thinkers are learners. Learners are doers. And the doers rule."
Seymour then serenaded the graduating class with a personalized rendition of the 90s hit "I'll be Missing You."
As top scholar for the class, Judy Wang '23 delivered the Farewell Address. She thanked parents, faculty, and staff for their tremendous support and urged her classmates to find their passion as she did in the arts.
"You, too, have that passion within yourself, waiting to be discovered," she told fellow students. "You are unique because of it."
Head of School Ted Koskores '70, P '10, '13 offered remarks before joining Smith in recognizing three faculty members: Dena Gwin, Middle School Arts Department Head, who retired after 40 years of service; Donna Richardson P '09, '11, Assistant to the Middle School Director and Middle School Registrar, who retired after 10 years of service; and Tara Corcoran '88, P '19, Middle School Drama Teacher, who was honored for the milestone of 25 years of teaching at the Academy.
Student Ambassadors Nicole Joffe '23, Riley Joyce '23, Caroline Driscoll '23, and Conor Mannion '23 offered the Invocation, led the Flag Salute, provided the Welcome Address, and offered the Benediction, respectively. Piano teacher Sara Barkon performed both the Processional and Recessional while the Middle School Chorus, led by Middle School Music Teacher Destiny Cooper, performed Green Day's "Time of Your Life" as well as the Thayer Alma Mater.
In thanking both the graduating class and their parents, Koskores reminded audience members that life is a team sport.
"We are a community," said Koskores. "The victory of one is the victory of all."
The following students received awards:
Top Scholar: Judy Wang
David Crawford Finest Human Traits: Rileigh Murphy-Morris
Bradford Yaggy Jr. Prize: William Coughlin for Grade 5; Alexandra Mignosa for Grade 6; Abigail Greenough and Jane Richard for Grade 7; and Caroline Driscoll for Grade 8.
Hedley-Campedelli Scholarship Awards: Katelyn Sentnor and Seneca Wallace
Math Award for Excellence: Henry Stepanyants
History Prize for Excellence: Conor Mannion
Science Award: Judy Wang
English Award: Alena Mulhern
Richard Myles Fentin Prize: Tess Harper
Michael Patrick Shea III Writing Award: Virginia Thompson
Spanish Prize: Jackson Reardon
Latin Prize: Daniel Cherry
French Prize: Tess Meyers
Mandarin Prize: Ryan Gill and Isabella Richter
Marcia Read Art Prize: Alenka Cetkovic and Judy Wang for Visual Arts; Tatiana Allen for Music; and Virginia Thompson for Drama.
Middle School Outstanding Athletes Awards: Aoibhe Gormley and Michael Stenberg
Thayer Middle School Student Prize: Tatiana Allen
Patrick C. Walsh Memorial Award: Jackson Reardon
The Faculty Prize: Addi St. Jean
Nutter Prize for Excellence: Judy Wang
The Anna Boynton Thompson Prize: Virginia Thompson
Judy Wang '23 delivers the Farewell Address as the top scholar for the Class of 2023.
Among other suggestions, Middle School History Department Head Danny Seymour told graduating eighth graders to cherish their summer. "Don't grow up too fast," he told them.