On Thursday, St. Johns Lower School celebrated the rising up of Grade 5 students to Grade 6, “crossing the quad,” so to speak, to Middle School.
In a beautiful ceremony in St. Johns’ Performing Arts Center, faculty, administration, parents, and family members gathered to celebrate students’ success and hear from each of them their favorite parts of their St. Johns Experience to date and any words of wisdom they have for their rising Grade 5 successors.
After short speeches by teachers Mrs. Nicole Thompson and Mrs. Maura Rupert, who told them all that they are “sunshine and magic,” students gave their own reflections. Then Mr. Wirth took the podium to introduce student awards.
“Students,” Wirth said, “your Grade 5 teachers...selected you for specific recognition. The recognitions are about the talents or gifts you possess, and we have found a person who exemplifies those talents or gifts. The recognition is not about you being the actual person, but the person's best traits.” As he read each award and its description, students came forward to receive a personal award statue, designed and 3D-printed by technology teacher Mr. Jarod Brown.
The Ida Metcalf Recognition – given to a person who enjoys math.
Ida Metcalf was born in 1857. In the 1870's she taught in various one-room schools in New Hampshire communities. In 1893 she became the second American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics with a dissertation entitled "Geometric Duality in Spaces". For a time, she was an assistant to Professor George Williams Jones in writing his mathematical textbooks, drill books in algebra and trigonometry, and logarithm and interest tables.
Bestowed upon Kate Pappas
The Albert Einstein Recognition – given to a person who enjoys science.
Developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). He is best known for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"). He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".
Bestowed upon Aiden Moore
The Matthew Alexander Henson Recognition – for a person who enjoys social studies.
The first African-American Arctic explorer, an associate of Robert Peary on seven voyages over a period of nearly 23 years. They made six voyages and spent a total of 18 years in expeditions. Henson served as a navigator and craftsman, traded with Inuit and learned their language, and was known as Peary's "first man" for these arduous travels.
Bestowed upon Collin Ashford
The Richard G. Drew Recognition – for a person who enjoys investigating or inventing things.
An American inventor who worked for Johnson and Johnson, Pharmaceutical Co., and 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he invented masking tape and cellophane tape.
Bestowed upon Aiden Kraemer
Judith Leyster Recognition – for a person who enjoys art.
A Dutch Golden Age painter. Leyster painted genre works, a few portraits, and still lifes. The number of surviving works attributed to her varies between fewer than 20 and about 35.
Bestowed upon Julianna Myers
The John Locke Recognition – for the person who enjoys solving problems.
An English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory.
Bestowed upon Ethan Kent
The Mary Parker Follett Recognition – for a person who is good at conflict management.
An American social worker, management consultant, and pioneer in the fields of organizational theory and organizational behavior. Along with Lillian Gilbreth, Mary Parker Follett was one of two great women management gurus in the early days of classical management theory.
Bestowed upon Brynley Proffitt (right)
The Amy Biehl Recognition – for a person who helps keep the peace.
An American graduate of Stanford University and an Anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa who was murdered by Cape Town residents. In 1994, Biehl's parents, Linda and Peter, founded the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust to develop and empower youth in the townships, in order to discourage further violence.
Bestowed upon Kate Staten
Charles Ives Recognition – for a person who is creative in some unusual way.
An American modernist composer and one of the first American composers of international renown. Ives combined the American popular and church-music traditions of his youth with European art music and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, and quarter tones.
Bestowed upon Max Rivera
The Milton Hershey Recognition – for a person who demonstrates perseverance.
An American confectioner, philanthropist, and founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company and the "company town" of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey was turned down several times in New York before landing in Pennsylvania and becoming a successful businessman.
Bestowed upon Rodsheed Thornton
The Oprah Winfrey Recognition – for the person who always had a book to read at their desk.
An American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Oprah revolutionized the way the world reads when she started her Book Club in 1996.
Bestowed upon Olivia Morris
The Mother Theresa Recognition – for the person who always goes out of their way for another.
A Roman Catholic nun, who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world. She spent many years in Calcutta, India where she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation devoted to helping those in great need. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has become a symbol of charitable selfless work.
Bestowed upon Nikalina Frustaci
The Simon Willard Recognition – for the person who keeps everyone on schedule.
American clockmaker. Willard was the creator of the timepiece that came to be known as the banjo clock, and he was the most celebrated of a family of Massachusetts clockmakers who designed and produced brass-movement clocks between 1765 and 1850.
Bestowed upon Ryan Collier
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Recognition – for the person who always looks for ways to make everything better.
The thirty-second President of the United States. Elected during the height of the Great Depression in 1932, FDR is noted as a person who looked for ways to improve current practices. During his period of presidency, he oversaw an expansion of the Federal Government and helped America lose its isolationist stance as it joined World War Two and helped formulate the United Nations.
Bestowed upon Simeon Melicharek
The Jessica Cox Recognition – for the person who does not see limitations.
Suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone simply using her feet. Ms. Cox, from Tucson, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.
Bestowed upon Elizabeth Espinosa
The Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Recognition – for the person who enjoys entertaining others.
Sir Charles was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years.
Bestowed upon Liam DuBois
The Steve Jobs Recognition – for the person who demonstrates uncanny attention to detail.
Steve Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Steve’s attention to detail was always on display and best described as “uncanny.” One afternoon soon after taking over Apple, he called the former CEO Vic Gundotra, and shared, "I've been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I'm not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn't have the right yellow gradient. It's just wrong and I'm going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?"
Bestowed upon Xavi Lopez Diaz
The Princess Diana Recognition – for the person who is kind-hearted and thinks of others.
Princess Diana was a trailblazer, activist, style icon, and one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Diana didn’t just accept the world around her for the way it was and she used her role in the public eye to help causes that many others overlooked. She also believed in the power of young people to change the world and that young people should be supported to make sure they reach their full potential.
Bestowed upon Aliera Bethea
The Ellen DeGeneres Recognition – for the person who is joyful and makes others happy.
Ellen DeGeneres has won 30 Emmys, 20 People’s Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her success story from being a stand-up comedian to hosting her own TV show is inspirational to many. DeGeneres did all of this by believing in herself and her ability to make people laugh.
Bestowed upon Gianna DeBlasio
The Sandra Day O’Connor Recognition – for the person who is passionate about truth and justice.
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She is known for her being rational and impartial while meticulously researching opinions. In recognition of her lifetime accomplishments, President Barack Obama awarded Justice O’Connor with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on August 12, 2009.
Bestowed upon Claire Galnor (right)
The Elizabeth Bishop Recognition – for the person who enjoys creative writing and visual arts.
Elizabeth Bishop worked as a painter as well as a poet, and her verse, like visual art, is known for its ability to capture significant scenes. The New York Times, has referred to her as “one of the most important American poets” of the 20th century. She was known to be a perfectionist who did not write prolifically, preferring instead to spend long periods of time polishing her work.
Bestowed upon Elizabeth Jackson
The Brenda Chapman Recognition – for the person who enjoys creating original comic strips.
Brenda Chapman is an American writer, storyboard artist, and director. She became the first woman to direct an animated feature film from a major studio, Disney's classic The Lion King. Other accolades include being a lead artist on Beauty and the Beast and developing and directing the animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Bestowed upon Sophia Prettyman
The Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition – for the person who continually reflects to better himself and others.
Martin Luther's King Jr’s commitment to the idea of the “Beloved Community” was the image of a community with cooperation and respect for all. King spent many hours a day reflecting upon his words and actions and asked each person to reflect on how they live out the values that our nation honors today.
Bestowed upon Torin Cooper
The Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton Recognition – for the person who ensures that all children are well taken care of.
Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Alexander Hamilton, an American Founding Father. Eliza was co-founder and deputy director of Graham Windham, the first private orphanage in New York City. The organization she helped to found exists today as Graham Windham, thanks to Eliza and her fellow activists, it is the oldest non-profit and non-sectarian child welfare agency in America.
Bestowed upon Matilda Morris (below)