Prize Day Celebrates Students and Faculty

Students and faculty were celebrated for their accomplishments—academic, artistic, athletic, and personal—at this year’s Prize Day, which was held on Friday, June 7. And while the outstanding achievements of the many prizewinners were recognized, Head of School Ned Parsons also noted, in his remarks, that “the creation of the community we seek to be requires the dedication of all of our students, faculty and staff.” He went on to “congratulate everyone on an outstanding year by every measure we can apply.”

Maggie Monaghan was the winner of this year’s Faculty Prize, the school’s highest honor, given to the senior who “best exemplifies the school’s traditions of academic excellence, industry, responsibility, and loyalty.”

Two seniors, Natalie Hall and Michael Manasseh, were awarded the Dudley Willis Trustee Prize, recognizing their “pursuit of excellence, integrity, contributions to the school, and the respect accorded to him or her by the Rivers community.”

The Jeremiah J. Sheehan Prize, given to the senior who demonstrates the “gentility, kindness, and all-around good sportsmanship” of former faculty member Sheehan, went to Henry Muller. And the Hooper Lawrence Prize, one of Rivers’s oldest distinctions, was earned by Stephanie Dailey, for “those qualities that contribute so much to the happiness of other people, a cheerful disposition, an unselfish nature, and a kind heart.”

In the Middle School, Colin Falvey ’23 won the F. Ervin Prince, given to the Middle School student who best embodies the qualities of former teacher Erv Prince: “a gentle, unassuming character, warm sense of humor, honesty, integrity, inherent consideration for others, and, above all, a passion for the pursuit of excellence.”

Faculty and staff, too, were recognized for their good work, dedication, and excellence. The Bergen-Decker Award, given to a staff or faculty member who “has set an example of leadership, compassion, and selfless spirit,” went to Sabrina Particelli, admissions office coordinator. The Mida Van Zuylen Dunn Award for teachers who “through the caring and practice of their craft, instill in students a love for learning” was received by Diane DeVore and Victoria Mizzi. And the William Gallagher Teaching Chair, recognizing “the commitment of Rivers’s most dedicated faculty members,” was awarded to Meghan Regan-Loomis.

Several other students also garnered awards: Jack Morgan ’20, the Harvard Club Prize; Jacquelyn Benjes ’20, the Thomas Olverson Prize; Apsi Balamurugan ’20, the Williams College Book Award; Jonah Berg ’20, the Brown University Alumni Book Award; Maggie Monaghan, ’19, the Columbia Book Award for Community Engagement; Maggie Leeming ’21, the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Faculty Prize; and Sam Lyons and Lily Girard, both ’22, the Kenneth Benjamin Citizenship Award, given in memory of Ken Benjamin ’50.

Other graduating students were awarded prizes for their achievements in specific academic disciplines:

• The Robert W. Rivers Prize for English, Hunter Taylor-Black
• The Mathematics Prize, Brendan Long
• The Science Prize, Colette Meier
• The George Woodbridge ’24 History Prize, Lindy Billhardt
• The Interdisciplinary Studies Prize, Lauren Barich
• The Otto Alcaide Language Prize for Spanish, Bethany Pasko
• The Otto Alcaide Language Prize for French, Nora Brown
• The Austin A. Chute Memorial Prize, Callie Kamanitz
• The Modern Language Prize for Mandarin, Matt Jones
• The Three-Dimensional Arts Prize, Ceramics, Caleb Leeming
• The Three-Dimensional Arts Prize, Sculpture, Michael Webber
• The Two-Dimensional Arts Prize, Hunter Taylor-Black and Abi Warwick
• The Photography Prize, Julia Bauriedel
• The Choral Prize, Natalie Hall and Rebecca Stachel
• The Classical Music Prize, Lindy Billhardt
• The David Killam Instrumental Music Prize, Michael Manasseh
• The Nonesuch Players Prize, Caleb Leeming

Several members of the graduating class were elected to the Cum Laude Society: Nathalie Ahn, Lindy Billhardt, Jay Callahan, Emilia DeJesus, Stephanie Dailey, Anna Donlan, Natalie Hall, Caleb Leeming, Brendan Long, Michael Manasseh, Natasha McMillan, Colette Meier, Maggie Monaghan, and Hunter Taylor-Black.

Athletic achievements by seniors were also recognized. Leslie Schwartz received the Priscilla Wallace Strauss Athletic Prize and Tony Andreozzi won the James A. Navoni ’70 Athletic Prize. Independent School League Awards of Excellence went to Stephanie Dailey and Henry Muller. The Senior Award for Exceptional Dedication to Athletics, given in memory of Matthew Epstein ’89, was earned by Stephanie Dailey, Caroline Grady, Ethan Lemley, Alexa Francesconi, Ashley Shegog, Leslie Schwartz, and Michael Webber.