Celebrating the Class of 2023 at Senior Night

The Class of 2023 assembled for the penultimate time as seniors the Friday before commencement. Senior Night, held in Brauer Auditorium in the STEM building, is an evening designed to celebrate the class one final time before they become our youngest alumni.

Diane Gioia, Dean of the Class of 2023, welcomed the students and their families before turning the stage over to the Chamber Choir for the first performance of the evening, Good Riddance (Time of your Life) by Green Day. She then welcomed Grayson Marks ’23 for the presentation of his Valedictorian Medal. Marks delivered his thoughts at Commencement on Sunday.

Kyle Sha ’23 received his Salutatorian Medal before addressing his classmates. “I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported me through my last six years at MICDS, and I urge each and every one of you to do the same,” he said. “This may be the last time you’ll see some of these people, so whether it’s a coach who pushed you beyond your limits, a teacher who spent countless hours helping you understand the material, or a friend who comforted you after a bad day, go tell them thank you.”

Josh Smith, Director of Athletics, presented the Senior Athletic Awards, which recognizes participation in athletics throughout the course of Upper School. These awards are sponsored by the MICDS Sports Boosters. Each year, we also recognize two members of the senior class for athletic excellence. This year, the James A. Baur Award was given to Winston Moore ’23 and the Burlingame Award was given to Julia Ray ’23.

Noah Macam ’23 then entertained the audience with a performance of Mama, a Rainbow from Minnie’s Boys.

Director of Upper School Community Service Erin Hamill presented the President’s Volunteer Service Awards, which went to:

  • Happy Phatak ’23 – Gold (418 hours)
  • JC Nguyen ’23 – Gold (285 hours)
  • Kyle Sha ’23 – Gold (235.5 hours)
  • Emma Shao ’23 – Silver (216.5 hours)
  • Curtis Goot ’23 – Bronze (130 hours)
  • Brianna Desai ’23 – Bronze (107.5 hours)
  • Nicole Dai ’23 – Gold outside of MICDS (over 250 hours)
  • Elizabeth Schmidt ’23 – Bronze outside of MICDS (100-174 hours)

Academic Awards came next. Department chairs Dr. Jo Nardolillo (Arts), Patrick Huewe (World Languages), Paul Zahller (Science), Carla Federman (History and Social Sciences), Lynn Mittler (English), and Diane Broberg (Mathematics) presented the awards.

Eagleton English Award: Lauren Bell ’23

Kalish History Award: Emma Cohen ’23

Excellence in the Arts Awards:

  • Ava Janes ’23
  • Alizeh Jawaid ’23
  • Miles Rainwater ’23
  • Wayne Webster ’23

Ryan Guilliams Creative Writing Award: Alice Ma ’23

Mitchell Science Award: Mason Bedell ’23

Nadia Danett Foreign Language Prize: Hannah Morey ’23

Frederick Werremeyer Mathematics Award: Penny Chen ’23

Aurelian Prize: Philip Ralph ’23

Faculty Prize: Eliza Dorf ’23

Morse Family 12th Grade Award: Skye Patton ’23

Wood Humanitarian Award: Raina Compton ’23

Mary Eddy Klein ’38 Spirit of Learning Award: Nikitha Ada ’23

James Andrew Benecke Award: Jane Cohen ’23 and Holt Tipton ’23

Emma Shao ’23 performed Invicta by Soon Hee Newbold.

Peter Grace ’23 took to the podium to deliver remarks as the Class President, after which he thanked several members of the MICDS faculty and staff for their support, on behalf of the Class of 2023. He said, “The Class of 2023 would like to honor the special adults in our school community who have given so much to us over the last four years. We are grateful to Mr. Jay Rainey, Head of School, and Mr. Scott Small, Head of the Upper School. Thank you to our college counselors, Mr. Herrmann-Keeling, Ms. Wildman, Dr. Macam, and Mr. Essman, and to Ms. Menke in the College Counseling office.”

Skye Patton ’23 and Mason Boon ’23 joined Grace on stage and invited advisory representatives to come forward. They said, “The Class of 2023 also offers thanks to our advisors for their incredible support and guidance. These trusted adults have stood by us, offered advice, and been someone for us to turn to these past four years. We thank you for being there for us and for all you do.” They presented gifts to Jason Asher, Lily Childs, Steven Crumb, Aaron Elliott, Alyoska Diaz, Julia Hansen, Brad Heinemann, Celeste Prince, Proctor, Kristin Roberts, Dr. Tanya Roth, Becky Long, Brian Rueckert, Tex Tourais, Kelly Weidenmiller, and Dan Wiederkehr. The students also thanked class parents and parent supporters, and their dean, Ms. Gioia.

Each year, the seniors select a class speaker to give an address. The Class of 2023 chose Happy Phatak ’23 as their Senior Speaker. “Our class is spreading out to all corners of the country and beyond, off to excel in astrophysics, Japanese, biochemistry, neuroscience, theatre, criminology, and so many more fascinating things!” she said. “I guess some of the cliches are true, like the phrase, ‘It’s the journey, not the destination,’ because life is what you make of it, and I am so grateful that the Class of 2023 shared this part of our journeys together.”

Finally, the last student performance featured Ava Janes ’23 on violin and Kyle Sha ’23 on the piano. They performed Vita Monti’s Csárdás.

Head of Upper School Scott Small addressed the seniors for the last time. After the event, he said, “What a wonderful and affirming night of speeches, performances, and recognition to celebrate the Class of 2023. Their leadership this year set a remarkable tone for their younger peers to emulate.”

Dean Gioia dismissed the Class one final time, inviting them back to school on the last day to pick up their yearbooks and participate in a signing party in the breezeway. The audience then enjoyed a slideshow before dispersing to mingle with friends and family, and continue their celebration.