2022 2023 Fall Awards

2022 Fall Student Awards

Mary Parker Foss New Girl Award: Sam Battle

The Mary Parker Foss New Girl Award is given in memory of an Ancient from the Class of 1913 and Miss Porter’s School housemother, who for 15 years shared the joys and sorrows of each group of New Girls. This award is given to a New Girl for her dedication, dependability, and unfailing spirit of cheerfulness and helpfulness to others outside the immediate community.

This New Girl immediately made an impression on the Porter’s community with her energy, work ethic, and kindness. She always strives to work with others, bringing out the best in everyone she interacts with. This attitude also made an impact on the faculty; in one comment for the Spring 2022 progress report, a teacher wrote of this student “It is impossible to spend time with her and not grow as a teacher.” She also showed sportsmanship and determination on the cross country field and the basketball court, and never let injury get in the way of being there for the team.

The Vassar Book Award: Margo Feely

The Vassar Book Award for ‘Excellence in Theatrical Performance or Technical Theater is presented by the Vassar Club of Hartford. The selection recognizes a rising senior who exhibits an enduring admiration for the art of Theater through her service to the extra-curricular theater program in performance or with technical expertise in the wings. 

Joyful, curious, creative, game. This student embodies these words with boundless enthusiasm, determination, and passion. Through every encounter with this exceptional student, I am reminded of Sir Ken Robinson’s words: “Kids will take a chance and if they don’t know, they’ll have a go. Am I right? They’re not frightened of being wrong.” I have yet to work with a student more willing to embrace this pure approach to creativity, where ‘failure’ is a fun part of the artistic process and an important step towards creating something truly unique and extraordinary. This student not only creates so much that is unique and extraordinary, but inspires with her bravery and her joyful approach to drama, both as an actor and technician.

The Brown University Alumni Award: Zoe Brown

The Brown University Alumni Award is presented to a senior who best combines a high degree of ability in English expression, both written and spoken, and outstanding personal qualities which, in the words of the Brown University Charter of 1764, give promise that she will become one of “the succession of men and women duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation.”  

The recipient of this award is an extremely hard-working, humble, and accomplished student on our campus.  She brings a positive mindset to the classroom and she is engaging, responsible, and focused.  She also cares deeply about the world around her, and she is constantly thinking about ways to improve the experiences of her peers, her community, and her world at large.  In her writing, this student has developed a distinct voice – one that is filled with passion, confidence, clarity, and power.  She is a deep thinker and active, empathetic listener, and she is always willing to grapple with challenging texts and ideas in order to deepen her understanding of the human experience.

The Miss Porter’s School Excellence in Humanities Prize: Gabby Stoumpas

This award is given in recognition of service to our community and significant academic achievement in the humanities and social sciences.

As both teachers and students who have spent time with her in class know, this student embodies service to our community and significant academic achievement. As a learner, she is enthusiastic and eager to participate in any and all class activities. She consistently brings unique perspectives to the discussion table, always grounding her thoughts in the texts under consideration, while also being an active listener ready to consider someone else’s perspective. She has a growth mindset when it comes to her writing process, always asking for and accepting feedback from both her teachers and her peers in an effort to improve. Her curiosity is infectious: one of her final ASLUSH course comments was that “there are still so many things I have questions about!” and we have no doubt that she will continue to pursue answers to those questions throughout the rest of her educational journey.

Harvard/Radcliffe Club Book Award: Lucy Marshall

The Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Northern Connecticut presents a history prize to the student who has exhibited a high level of interest and maintained a record of excellence in the study of history. 

An insightful, big-picture thinker, this scholar also has a deep appreciation for the importance of detail and context. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated learner. She is as bold as she is humble. That is the sign of a true intellectual and a quality she has cultivated with care, kindness, and patience. Her love of learning pushes her onward to ask questions, conduct research, and read broadly.

The Kay Smedley Prize for History: Tabby Elliot

The Kay Smedley Prize for History is named in honor of a woman who taught history at Miss Porter’s School for many years, retiring in 1975. Ms. Smedley had a particular interest in international affairs and instilled in her students a sense of global awareness long before it became an integral part of the curriculum. The prize is awarded to a student starting her senior year who has an interest in international affairs as well as a sense of global awareness, and who has shown a “sense of the relation of historical events to the present.” 

This year’s recipient exceeds the descriptor “good student,” since she is nothing short of a true learner. She relishes in the process of discovery and finds delight in learning. With every conversation, she tries to make connections to what she has learned or experienced previously. She is contemplative and allows herself time to process her thoughts fully before she shares them in class discussion or in written work. Her ability to collaborate and navigate solutions with peers indicate strong diplomacy skills which will serve her well in any profession or career trajectory. No doubt she will be a lifelong learner.

The Professor Alex Cheng Prizes:

Academic Achievement – 马伊莲Maddie Mazlish

As a very strong student, she was placed in Chinese 4 in her freshman year. She is very dedicated to Chinese language and its culture. One time, the class was discussing how to keep connected with the language when school is not in session, especially during the long summer break. Here is what this student shared: She talked to her dog. What a brilliant idea. It might sound funny and probably not the best solution because her dog will not respond in Chinese, but she got to speak the language for sure. In addition to the language, she also learned the perspective, philosophy, and significance to the society as a Chinese descendent.

Character Award – 葛艾碧Abigail Gamache

As a freshman, she was placed in Chinese 3. During the trimesters when she was not in Chinese classes, she would come to Jones 1 to watch films and ask questions. When she was in the class, she was always happy, prepared and ready to learn. For the demonstration of learning last winter, she took the lead to coordinate the group presentation. She always researches in depth to satisfy her curiosity. In the past three years, she went extra miles to learn the language and culture. She takes on responsibility for her own education. 

The Doris M. Prout Latin Achievement Award: Mary Zheng

This award was created through a bequest from Flora H. Lutz, who taught classics at Miss Porter’s School for 29 years, and is presented in memory of Doris M. Prout, a Latin teacher here from 1946 to 1968. It is awarded to the student who has, in her first year of Latin study, in the opinion of her teacher, achieved the highest degree of scholarship. 

This student is motivated to achieve academically in Latin and has an extremely admirable work ethic. She came to Latin 1 passionate about the content and challenges of the subject and her work in the course was consistently excellent. She always wanted to do more to improve, taking on all feedback and advice with enthusiasm. She even signed up for the National Latin Exam on her own accord and scored the highest award possible-Gold Medal Summa Cum Laude. When I think about this student, I think about the Latin quotes “Esse Quam Videri” (To be rather than to seem) and “Acta non verba” (Actions, not words). She always puts her words into actions and follows through on everything she puts her mind to. She shows up authentically as herself and her interactions with her peers and teachers are always positive.

The Rensselaer Award: Su Li

This award is given by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to recognize exceptional achievement in the study of mathematics and science.  

Dynamic, innovative, and flexible are some words used to describe this year’s award winner. One of her teachers says she found her to be “a great combination of creative and artistic, and analytical” saying she brought “beauty” to her class. This student is ready to dive into in-depth problem solving sessions with her classmates, but is also able to take a step back and work independently if that is what is required. Her skills and talent are sharp enough that she is able to see the big picture while simultaneously attending to the finer details of even the most complex concepts.

The Miss Porter’s School Excellence in Mathematics & Science Prize: Emma Trzupek

The award is given to honor excellent achievements in math and science.

This student has dazzled math and science classrooms for three years. Although quiet (at least in the audible sense), her work and contributions in our classes have left a lasting impression on students and teachers alike. One teacher says she, “is an outstanding problem solver who combines excellent mathematical intuition with innate curiosity to dive deep into the mathematics that we studied. She was a leader in the classroom who organized her group’s problem solving efforts, synthesizing the work of her classmates into elegant, concise solutions.” Another says she, “found joy in this class. She was always ready to go and eager to put her work (complete or uncertain) up on the board for feedback. She had a little smile on her face.” This student is able to be thoughtful and considerate of her classmates’ ideas. She would consider them and build on them. She has great skill and talent in problem solving, but beyond that, her creativity allowed her to put old concepts in a new light. 

The Cum Laude Society

The Cum Laude Society was founded in 1906 to encourage and recognize the scholastic achievement of secondary school students for the purpose of promoting excellence, justice, and honor.  Miss Porter’s School became a member of the Cum Laude Society in 1975. Members of the senior class being inducted are Claire Cortland, Madison Donelson, Abigail Gamache, Jimin Kim, Su Li, Jaya Magavi, Emma Truzpek, and Stella Wang.

Bryn Mawr College President’s Book Award: Clair Kaplan

In keeping with Bryn Mawr’s tradition of rigorous academic training, a recipient of this award must be a  senior who exhibits a true love of learning and intellectual curiosity about the world around her. 

Since her 9th grade year, this student’s teachers have described her as an “active mind,” an “avid contributor,” and “addicted to knowledge.” A voracious reader, researcher, and consumer of digital media, she has developed a broad and deep frame of reference that allows her to make insightful connections across her courses and with the world around her – often with her particular brand of deadpan humor. The more intellectually challenging the task, the better, whether for a class or an outside project. She enjoys wrestling with big theoretical questions, digging into advanced topics, and parsing complex texts to provide insightful analysis, and her submitted work consistently reflects a substantial investment of her time and energy. 

The Princeton Book Award: Elizabeth Akomolafe

The Princeton Book Award is presented to a student who completed her junior year with Honor Roll standing, has made an outstanding contribution to an extracurricular activity, and has demonstrated good character and a desire to learn above and beyond the School’s academic requirements.

This student excels in all that she does. “No” is not in this student’s vocabulary, always coming from a place of “yes” in all that she does. She is compassionate, mature, disciplined, and simply said, a joy to be around. She gives her full heart and all her passion to each task that she engages in, whether in the classroom, on the track, or as our Head of School.

The Smith College Book Award: Jane Torrence

The Smith College Book Award is presented by the Smith College Club of Hartford to an outstanding rising senior who exemplifies the qualities of academic achievement, leadership, and concern for others that characterize the thousands of women who have graduated from Smith College. 

Lao Tzu professed that caring brings courage. This very much resonates with the senior who was selected to receive this award. Over the course of her time at Porter’s, the “caring”, as Tzu described, complimented by abundant compassion, has been ever present in this student.  Throughout her junior year, she fully embraced her skills, gifts, and leadership abilities. These have all translated to a courage of conviction, a courage of heart and a courage of action. This senior is a fierce defender of all things that are good, just and right. Her friends and teachers are lucky to count her among those in their lives.

The Trinity College Book Award: Lucy Newmyer

The Trinity College Book Award is presented by the Trinity Club of Hartford on behalf of Trinity alumni who work at Miss Porter’s School. It is presented to a rising senior in high scholastic standing who has rendered service to her school and, most notably, exceptional community service in the Hartford area.

This student is the embodiment of what it means to shape a changing world. Her commitment to education is not marked simply by excellence in all of her courses, but by the actions she takes to make this world a better place for others.  This student’s work has extended far beyond Farmington – during election seasons, she is an advocate for voter registration and spends time working in phone banks for candidates she supports. She volunteers with non-profit organizations dedicated to health-care, such as The Epilepsy Foundation, Girl Up, and Relay for Life. Within our community she is an editor for Salmagundy and one of the Founding Members of Face Up. During her time at Porter’s, this student has been actively involved in athletics, served as a JA and class officer, and is now a member of the Nova Nine. Lest this brief list of her accomplishments be reduced simply to leadership positions, this student is a valued friend whose sense of humor keeps us all smiling. She maintains a high level of intellectual curiosity and is a voracious reader who is always seeking new ideas and different perspectives.  Consequently, her commitment to this school community and the community at large is an extension of her desire to allow all individuals to be seen, known and heard.

The Phyllis Katz Wellesley College Book Award: Sara Azrin

The Phyllis Katz/Wellesley College Book Award is named in honor of a Wellesley alumna and former Miss Porter’s School teacher of English and Classics who, during her 15 years at Miss Porter’s, made many contributions to the school, to her students, and to classical scholarship. Wellesley College has more than a century-old tradition of educating young women, stimulating in them a love of learning and the desire to achieve the highest standard of scholarship. This award is presented to a rising senior who has demonstrated intellectual curiosity and excellence in scholarship, and who exemplifies the Wellesley motto: “Non ministrari, sed ministrare,” not to be served, but to serve. 

The recipient of this award is a senior who exemplifies all facets of the description you just heard. This student brings a genuineness to her inquiry and can patiently evaluate and discuss a concept from a 360 degree perspective. When in the classroom with this student, one cannot help but be catalyzed to learn. Teachers often speak of how their classes’ overall engagement is elevated by the ardent dedication that this student brings to class each day. In this student’s quest to learn, she also brings a vulnerability that allows her to be as compassionate as she is passionate about her studies.

The Williams College Book Award: Alyssa Idusuyi

The Williams College Book Award is awarded to a rising senior in the top of her class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school. 

Kind and generous of her time and energy, this student always brings 100% of herself to her academic and extracurricular commitments; her intellectual curiosity and eagerness to learn while being in community with others allows her to be a consistent leader across all areas of school life. As a JA, she cultivated a sense of belonging in her dorm last year and provided support to the New Girls. In the classroom, she doesn’t shy away from a challenge; this was evident when she accepted to be the only junior in Research Methods with all seniors. This student will jump at any opportunity to share what she has learned with students and adults alike in settings big, small, or virtual. She leads with humility, patience, and community at the center of all she does. It is no wonder that the MPS community selected her to be one of their Co-Heads of New Girls the 22-23 school-year.

The Yale Book Award: Sneha Kadiyala

The Yale Club and Scholarship Foundation of Hartford presents The Yale Book Award to a senior in a rigorous course of study who is among the top students in the class academically and demonstrates effective teamwork and organizational skills. 

This student shows exceptional academic rigor. She strives to not only always put her best foot forward, but better yet, her best “feet” forward. She has been acknowledged in the past for her above and beyond dedication to her academic studies and is an organized and logical thinker. There is no task or challenge that she doesn’t meet with determination and deep consideration for herself and others. Whether she is dedicating her after school hours to TIE studies, demonstrating her articulate Chinese competencies through song and dance with her classmates, or adding yet another AIS level course to her schedule, she approaches all with sincerity, conviction, and great success.

St. Lawrence University Book Award: Zoe Brown

The St. Lawrence University Book Award honors the achievements of a high school senior who has displayed a significant commitment to community service

This student’s name is certainly the first one to come to mind when I think of “community” and “service”. I have had the honor of working with this student since she joined our community her ninth grade year. Throughout her time here, faculty have constantly been amazed by her ability to look at challenging or new situations and determine what voices are unheard or marginalized and do what needs to be done to bring light to those experiences. Whether it is serving as a knowledgeable, sympathetic, and reliable JA, or helping to organize and lead a club for students with curly crowns– this student always finds a way to make our community a little more inclusive and more comfortable for all of us. It is no wonder that her peers have chosen her to lead our efforts in building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. 

The Miss Porter’s School Excellence in Computing & Scholarship Award: Stella Wang

This award honors a student who has distinguished themselves academically, is an active and involved member of their school and community, and demonstrates interest and ability in computing.

Writing code is, believe it or not, a creative endeavor. Within the strictures provided by a programming language lies a design space full of potential for exploration and expression. To be certain, much of it is logical in nature–creating algorithms, recognizing patterns, generalizing procedures–but there is beauty to be found in particularly clever or efficient lines of code. So perhaps it is not a surprise that the recipient of this award is a standout in the mathematics classroom. But there is also an art to writing code: much in the same way that a painting communicates an artist’s idea to an audience, a program delivers a developer’s intended experience to its end users. It takes an artistic eye to faithfully represent one’s vision in a given medium–be it paint or text. And the recipient of this award is truly an artist in both of these senses.

Congratulations to all of this year’s student award recipients!

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