Steward Honors End-of-Year Achievements

Steward celebrates the accomplishments of all students for the 2016-17 school year, especially fifth-grade, eighth-grade, and senior students.

During the past week, The Steward School has celebrated the accomplishments of all students for the 2016-17 school year, especially the classes of 2024, 2021, and 2017. View the video above to hear reflections from this year's graduating seniors.

Lower School Recognition Assembly

Fifty-four fifth graders were recognized at the Lower School Recognition Assembly on Thursday, June 1. During the ceremony, Kate Cinella, Anna Ernst, Anabelle Krawitz, Stella McDonald, and Princeton Sutton presented the fifth-grade gift—funds to be used to redesign the Lower School entryway—to Head of School Dan Frank.

In addition to musical selections (the Class of 2024 sang “The Journey” by Patrice Villines and Tim Hayden, arranged by Jay Althouse) and a fun slideshow complete with baby photos that celebrated each student, awards were presented for sportsmanship, theatre, Spanish, and more. The Lower School Award—given each year to the member of the Lower School who, in the opinion of the faculty, best exemplifies extraordinary effort, cooperation, and school spirit—was presented to Connor Michael Murray.

“Your identity is how people see you, but it is also how you see yourself,” said Director of Lower School Ingrid Moore to fifth graders. “Who you are is up to you—don’t let anyone else decide who you are.”

Middle School Recognition Assembly

Fifty-seven eighth graders were recognized at the Middle School Recognition Assembly on Friday, June 2. During the ceremony, Luke Jennette presented the eighth-grade gift—a gaming console and age-appropriate video games for the enjoyment of Middle School students (the rest of the funds were donated to the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU)—to Mr. Frank.

In addition to musical selections (the eighth-grade chorus performed “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King, arranged by Mac Huff, and the eighth-grade band performed “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock), awards were presented for Honor Roll and Headmaster’s List and outstanding progress. The Steward Award—given to the student who best exemplifies the characteristics of integrity, commitment to academic achievement, high moral standards, and sensitivity to others—was presented this year to Andrew Thompson.

“My hope for each of you is that you will never shy away from challenges, never stop learning, and never stop believing in yourself,” said Director of Middle School Susan Atkinson to eighth graders.

Baccalaureate and Senior Program

After celebrating their accomplishments for the last few weeks, the 51 members of the senior class have become Steward’s newest alumni. Director of College Counseling Heather Jeter gave the invocation to open the Baccalaureate and Senior Program on Sunday, June 4. Several speakers prepared readings for the event, including class sponsors Division Assistant Lee Healey and science teacher Eric Hopp and senior class representatives Emma Campbell and Alex Lee. Director of Upper School Carol Moore delivered an address to seniors preceding performances by the Spartan Select Ensemble choir and Senior Jazz Ensemble of “We Can Dream” by Pink Zebra and “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione (arranged by John McAlister).

“The Steward School has provided you with the skills you need for success,” Mrs. Moore said to seniors. “While we do not know what problems you will face or the solutions you will propose, I am absolutely confident in you and in your abilities. You are Stewards.”

As part of the Senior Program, Mr. Frank introduced the "Faculty Reflections" video as what he believes to be "the heart and soul of the mission of The Steward School." In the video, a faculty or staff member spoke on behalf of each member of the Class of 2017. "Every year, we are awed by each speaker's ability to capture and articulate each student's unique talents, passion, and personality," Mr. Frank added.


Following the processional of faculty, staff, and seniors, Mr. Hopp opened the graduation ceremony with the invocation on Monday, June 5. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Larry French welcomed the audience, and Senior Class President Ashley Higgs presented the class gift to Mr. Frank—additional electrical outlets for the senior lounge. Senior speakers Mary Ann Neale and Tucker Diveley delivered humorous yet heartfelt remarks about their time at Steward.

Twelve awards were presented to members of the Class of 2017 including The Dixon Award—given annually to the member of the senior class who has made outstanding contributions to all phases of The Steward School—presented to Summer Owens. Other award recipients included:

  • K-12 Awards: Ross Arrington, Tucker Diveley, Ashley Higgs, Chris Koerner, Catie McKinnon, Mary Ann Neale, and Claire Xu
  • The Janet L. Rice Spartan Club Scholarship Awards: Summer Owens and Jack Clifton
  • The SPC James Vawter Buis, USA, Athletic Scholarship: Matea Magnano
  • The Brantley Blair Scott Leadership Scholarship: Glenn Frank and Mary Ann Neale
  • The Carolyn R. Brandt Alumni Award: Ashley Higgs
  • The B. Lee Healey Award: Catie McKinnon
  • The Ian M. Coddington Award: Bryce Brown
  • The Stephen Daniel Pless Award: Emmett Coleman
  • The Academic Awards: Emma Campbell, Ashley Higgs, Mary Ann Neale, Summer Owens, and Morgan Van Davelaar
  • The Faculty Awards: Emma Campbell, Sonia Jennings, Morgan Van Davelaar, and Emma Zehfuss
  • The Mission Awards: Bryce Brown, Emmett Coleman, Ashley Higgs, and Summer Owens

Two musical selections featured senior performers—the Senior Instrumental Ensemble performed “Back to the Basement” by Bret Zvacek (arranged by John McAlister) and the Spartan Select Ensemble choir sang “And Wherever You Go” by Douglas E. Wagner. After the presentation of awards, Mr. Frank delivered the commencement address, complete with musical interludes.

“For most of the year, I’ve been asking what the future will look like,” Mr. Frank said. “But today is a major inflection point, a point toward which we’ve been driving for 13 years, and one through which the seniors are anxious to pass. But it’s important to slow down, just for a few seconds, and reflect … when we’re in the moment, and we’re awake to it, we’re not at the crossroads of past and future; we’re at the crossroads of here and now.”

Before the conferring of graduates, Mr. French presented Upper School visual arts teacher Rugene Paulette, who is retiring this year after more than 30 years at The Steward School, with an honorary diploma in gratitude for her service.

Click here to view and order photos from each of the end-of-year celebrations. Use password "steward end of year" (including spaces) to access the gallery, which will expire on August 31. 


Steward Voices

Steward is an atmosphere that fosters confidence—something we have seen in all three of our kids. Whether it is playing a new sport, running for a seat on the Honor Council, or singing a solo on Talent Night, they have been encouraged to try, to experience, and to grow.
- Dan and Kathi Campbell, Parents of Abbie ’19, Emma ’17, and Ben ’14

Steward Voices

Steward is the right place for Micah and Kiri because they are able to develop strong connections with their teachers, which in turn facilitates confidence and resilience in their learning. Everyone at Steward knows your name and makes you feel so welcome.
- Paul and Janet Yoon, Parents of Kiri ’27 and Micah ’26

Steward Voices

Steward helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed in college and the courage and confidence to set competitive career goals for myself. But, these skills weren’t lessons I learned just in Steward’s classrooms; they came from the athletic fields, in the hallways, and during Honor Council meetings, too.
- Grace Henderson ’10

Steward Voices

Steward provides Andrew with a nurturing environment which fosters his individualism, develops exemplary character traits, and continuously provides him with creative learning experiences. Consequently, Andrew ‘loves’ school and anticipates each day with joy, enthusiasm, and excitement.
- Betsy Jollay, Grandmother of Andrew O’Leary ’25

Steward Voices

I love all that The Steward School has done for Trace. Steward has uncovered Trace’s talents, celebrated his individuality, and strengthened his belief in himself. The faculty and staff offer an amazing balance of challenge and comfort, encouraging the best from all students. I can’t imagine Trace being anywhere else. Thank you, Steward School.
- Ron Coles, Father of Trace Coles ’19 and Grade 5 Teacher

Steward Voices

Being a member of The Steward School international program has been an awesome experience. The community has helped me tremendously along the way.
- Bowen Chen ’15


Copyright 2014 The Steward School

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