In November of 1962, St. Johns' founding headmaster, Dr. Edwin P. Heinrich, brought the concept of introducing seniors to the community after attending a similar ceremony when his daughter was a senior at Agnes Scott College. The idea was a combination of a Thanksgiving service with recognition of the seniors' coming of age, presenting them to the community as adults in their own right, ready to face the world.
Today, the Class of 2021 enjoyed their own Senior Presentation starting with a beautiful brunch at Club Continental. It was an opportunity for them to spend time together as a class with just a few faculty sponsors and administrators joining them, along with brunch speaker Mr. Rod Fisher. They reminisced about their time together at St. Johns and took a lot of photos, and Mr. Fisher regaled them with stories of some of the School's traditions and history.
Back at St. Johns, the ceremonial portion of the day began at 1:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. After a beautiful prelude by St. Johns' handbell choir, the seniors' processional, and a hymn from the St. Johns Singers Treble Ensemble, Student Council President Maggie Kent '21 delivered the invocation. Senior Class President Ellie Rosenau '21 read Abraham Lincoln's proclamation of Thanksgiving, which was issued on October 3, 1863 and set the precedent for a national day of thanksgiving in America.
A saxophone quartet played Danny Boy, and Head of School Valorie Baker made some brief remarks before introducing Senior Class Vice President Julia Andrawis, who delivered a reading from Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes.
A more recent School tradition, adopted just only the past few years, is that the Senior Presentation keynote speaker is selected by a senior class vote. This year, math teacher Mr. Wes Cox was selected.
Mr. Cox summed up his talk with the acronym, PEP. "Not Personal Eye Protection," said Cox, or pep for those sports teams, but "people, who have been there in hard times, remember excellence, and remember your passion." Peppered with tales of his many world travels and with inspirational quotes from leaders, both famous and less so, Cox's talk encouraged the Class of 2021 to remember the people who are there for you and have been there for you, to strive always for excellence, and to take the time to find your passion, even if it takes you 28 years of education, travels, and different jobs—like it did Mr. Cox—to find yours.
The seniors stood as Head of Upper School Mrs. Mary Virginia Fisher read each of their names and, finally, Mrs. Baker read the words of founding headmaster Dr. Edwin P. Heinrich, presenting the Class of 2020 to assembled family, friends, and classmates:
As a teacher I present you to the academic world that you may enter it and meet its demands honorably and successfully.
As your Headmaster I present you to your schoolmates so that they may accept you and look up to you as their leaders and their shining example.
As your friend I present you to your parents so that they may accept you as adults who have come into their own and who are to be dealt with from henceforth on an equal basis.
As your fellow human being I present to you your calling in life that you may always have the wisdom to recognize it and the strength to live up to the divine calling in your life.
Members of the Class of 2021 include:
|Alexis Agramonte||Abbey Lantinberg|
|Ethan Albright||Natalie Lassiter|
|Paul Allen||John Linge|
|Julia Andrawis||Gabrielle Loustau|
|Yashas Aprameya||Hannah Marshall|
|Avery Baskin||Spencer Martin|
|Gary Bradley III||Walker Mathews|
|Landon Brafford||Madeline Moody|
|Tilson Branch||Connor Moore|
|Kaley Burnside||Julia Nichols|
|Fred Cone IV||John Nowicki|
|Stephanie Constantino||James Oman|
|Chloe Crews||Anthony Porrazzo|
|Paige Crews||Alexa Radford|
|Chloe Davis||Brooke Remolde|
|Mason Davis||Isabella Richardson|
|Alexander Dimmick||Luke Robinson|
|Alexis Drumm||Ellie Rosenau|
|Amelia Dyer||Gavin Russell|
|Brooke Ferris||Mia Sadler|
|Mykel Frazier||Julia Schildberg|
|Emma Harward||Luke Shannahan|
|Natalie Higingbotham||Jay'd St. John|
|Desiree Holmberg||Jason Thomas|
|Bianca Horen||Alexa Verboort|
|Julia Jones||Vincent Williams, Jr.|
|Haley Juskowski||James Wilson|
|Jacob Kailes||Natalie Wilson|
|Jonathan Kats||Anna Wulbern|
|Maggie Kent||Cade Zehner|
Congratulations, Seniors and families of the Class of 2021!