Prize Day 2023: Cheers, Tears, and Accolades

Gathering under the tent on the Lank Quadrangle outside of The Revers Center, students, faculty, staff, and senior administrators joined Head of School Ned Parsons for Prize Day 2023. The familiar and celebratory ritual unfolded Thursday morning under blue skies and with the usual measure of accolades, cheers, and joyful tears.
Faculty and staff were recognized for completing five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of service at Rivers. Several prizes honoring staff and faculty were announced: The Bergen-Decker Award, presented to a “member of the Rivers staff or faculty who has set an example of leadership, compassion, and selfless spirit, and who through hard work and commitment helps to make the school a better place,” went to Bruce Taylor ’73; BT received a standing ovation as he stepped to the podium to receive the award. The Mida van Zuylen Dunn Award for Teaching was given to Dan Shaud and Jeff “Doc” Meropol, and Katie Henderson received the Excellence with Humanity Award.
Following the awards for faculty and staff, the prizes for students were bestowed. Last in the program, but foremost in prestige, was the Faculty Prize, Rivers’s highest honor, which went to Jacqueline Lee ’23. In citing her win, Head of School Ned Parsons called Lee “a talented, thoughtful, genuine, curious, engaged, humble, magnanimous, and caring individual who we’ve been lucky to count as a member of the Rivers community.”
Other significant prizes for seniors were also announced. The Dudley H. Willis Trustee Prize, awarded to the to the senior or seniors who have distinguished themselves by virtue of their pursuit of excellence, integrity, contributions to the school, and the respect accorded to them by the Rivers community, went to Grace Brosnan ’23, Abigail Matsuyasu ’23, and Jesse Meyerhardt ’23. The Jeremiah J. Sheehan Prize, which recognizes a student who demonstrates “gentility, kindness, and all-around good sportsmanship,” went to Ava Palazzolo ’23. And the Hooper Lawrence Memorial Prize, given to a student with “a cheerful disposition, an unselfish nature, and a kind heart,” was won by Sadie Carroll ’23.
The F. Ervin Prince Award honors Middle School students; this year’s recipients were Ulrika Karlsson ’27 and Jaideep Gardner ’27.  
There were also prizes for athletics. Top honors went to Kalyl Lindsey ’23, who received the James A. Navoni Athletic Prize for Boys, and Skylar Holmes ’23, recipient of the Priscilla Wallace Strauss Athletic Prize for Girls. Matt Abrams ’23 and Ava Palazzolo ’23 won the Independent School League Award of Excellence, and the Senior Award for Exceptional Dedication to Athletics went to Matthew Abrams, Andrew Correia, Mark Herlihy, Gretchen Kerfoot, Samuel Lyons, Abigail Matsuyasu, Cailyn Murphy, Charles Stuart, and Andrew Young.

Several other students also garnered awards: Arianna Martinez Cavero ’24, the Harvard Club Prize; Jack Willard ’24, the Thomas P. Olverson Prize; Phoebe Fogel ’24, the Williams College Book Award; Cristine Gomez ’23 and Aaron Weiner ’23, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement Prize; Cailyn Kim ’25, the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Faculty Prize; and William Lorion ’26 and Katherine Shaw ’26, the Kenneth F. Benjamin ’50 Citizenship Award.
Departmental honors were also awarded to graduating seniors (except where noted):
  • The Robert W. Rivers Prize for English, Jacqueline Lee
  • The Mathematics Prize, Jesse Meyerhardt and Nina Minicozzi
  • The Science Prize, Jacob Sardinha and Katherine Sopko
  • The George Woodbridge History Prize, Cristina Gomez
  • The Otto Alcaide Language Prize for Spanish, Luciano Lewandowski
  • The Otto Alcaide Language Prize for French, John DosSantos and Anna Rosenfeld
  • The Austin A. Chute Memorial Prize, Julia Lanzendorf
  • The Three-Dimensional Arts Prize (Ceramics), Anna Rosenfeld
  • The Three-Dimensional Arts Prize (Sculpture), Luciano Lewandowski
  • The Two-Dimensional Arts Prize, Sarah Stein
  • The Photography Prize, Paige McCarthy
  • The Choral Music Prize, Kamryn Harris ’24
  • The Classical Music Prize, Julia Lanzendorf
  • The David Killam Instrumental Music Prize, Jonathan Snow and Jason Zermani
  • The Nonesuch Players Prize, Crystaliz Frometa and Alexander Massarotti
Several members of the graduating class were elected to the Cum Laude Society: Grace Brosnan, Andrew Correia, John DosSantos, Amanda Freeman, Cristina Gomez, Mark Herlihy, Braden Johnsen, Gretchen Kerfoot, Ian Keusch, Natalie Kloman, Julia Lanzendorf, Jacqueline Lee, Dana Lowitt, Abigail Matsuyasu, Jesse Meyerhardt, Nina Minicozzi, Ava Palazzolo, Jacob Sardinha, Katherine Sopko, and Sarah Stein.
The entire community was delighted to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of faculty and students alike. The day serves as a look back at the year past—and for the Class of 2023, a fitting prelude to the graduation ceremony itself, scheduled for this morning under the same tent.
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