Final Convocation and Awards

Final Convocation and Awards Recipients 2021

Final Convocation and Awards
Final Convocation and Awards


The Haggis Baggis award is presented annually for outstanding contributions to the school’s literary magazine.

Deeply driven and devoted to her responsibilities as one of the co-editors-in-chief of Haggis Baggis, this talented and competent individual has served the publication successfully. Notwithstanding the challenges of this unique year, her dedication to planning, organizing, and publishing a creative writing journal and the arts, along with her co-editor, and the entire team of equally motivated staff writers, is remarkable. The rich body of work by student artists, poets, and writers published under her co-stewardship of this literary magazine, has been prolific and noteworthy, showcasing diverse voices and art. The impressive student voices and creative expressions she consistently strove to showcase, took life in the literature and art work of the journals, creating a community of invaluable shared experience. 

I am honored to present a richly deserved Haggis Baggis award to Alice Fang.

Written by: Sunita Yashavant 

Final Convocation and Awards


This award is presented to a member of the Salmagundy staff for service to the newspaper, use of excellent journalism skills, and demonstration of moral integrity and good ethics through contributions to the paper. 

This year’s Virginia Corrigan Tracy Prize for Journalism goes to a student who has worked hard to support the newspaper and journalism more broadly at Miss Porter’s. Emerging as a leader with her thought-providing opinion pieces and careful guidance to other writers as a section editor, she enthusiastically took on the challenge of leading Salmagundy as a co-editor-in-chief.  Despite the countless challenges brought on by this year, she and her co-editor-in-chief were dedicated to the role of journalism at Porter’s not only in the present year, but in the years to come with their vision and plans for the future for Salmagundy. Future publications and organizations for which she may choose to work will be lucky to have her on their staff. 

I’m proud to present this award to Naima Small. 

Written by: Anna Delwiche


The Lucy Byrd Pegau award is given in recognition of the hard work of the yearbook staff and editors.  

The Lucy Byrd Pegau award is given in recognition of the hard work of the yearbook staff and editors, and also with recognition to Alice Fang who did the cover design and artwork. While each senior and junior editor was integral to the overall process of the yearbooks completion, the recipient of this award is given to MIKI YANG. Even though Miki was half way around the world, she was 100% committed to each task, Zoom meetings and literally hundreds of emails. The yearbook would not have been the quality that you will see, or made it here to Farmington on time without the work of Miki. I am beyond grateful for Miki’s work and dedication to the successful completion of the 2021 yearbook. Congratulations, Miki!   

Written by: Lesley Skenderian

THE JOANNA MITCHELL RADWAY MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR HISTORY OF ART is given to a student with a deep and abiding interest in art history, a subject in which Joanna Radway, Class of 1939, was deeply interested and in which she excelled.             

This student came to my 20th century art history class this past trimester with an open mind and willingness to explore new ways of engaging with art history. I continued to be impressed and inspired by the unique observations and connections with the art she explored during our time together. Engaging with abstract ideas can be difficult, however, this student successfully connected with the material on a meaningful and thoughtful level. It was a true pleasure to have this student in my class. She opened all of our eyes to new ways of seeing and thinking about 20th century art history.  

I am pleased to present this award to D’vine Straughter. 

Written by: Jennifer Terzian


The Sarah B. MacLennan Humanities Award is given in her honor by a former  student.  Miss MacLennan taught history of art at Miss Porter’s School from 1930 to 1969.  For generations, under her tutelage colors exploded, forms emerged, and styles evolved.  Her favorite pupils were not those who rapidly parroted facts, but those with an instinctive reaction to the art. 

This student has proven to be a leader and models exemplary behavior.  Her extra efforts on and off-campus produced results that will continue to benefit Miss Porter’s School and Hill-Stead Museum for future students and visitors.  This student devotes her time to Art History beyond the classroom and is not a passive learner, but active, involved, and supportive of her classmates.  She writes and speaks about art beyond the required recitation of facts—she understands.  I am confident that her drive and enthusiasm for art and history will continue to evolve into a lifetime of appreciation and study.  Without a doubt, this student positively impacts the lives of those around her, as it did in my classroom and at Hill-Stead Museum.  

It is with sincere admiration and gratitude that I present this award to Lydia Woodworth.

Written by: Kate Ebner 


This visual arts prize is given annually by Mr. and Mrs. J. Lawrence Hughes, parents of Alexandra Hughes, Class of 1969. 

This artist was a shining presence in four levels of the Studio Art series including the Post AP Studio Art class in her four years at Porter’s. She was also an ongoing advocate for the Arts via Haggis Baggis and other literary and artistic groups and alliances. In her own work, she made extraordinary images, year after year, and was recognized in winning a Scholastic Art Award and in being elected C0-Head of Main where she reinvigorated the Artist-of-the-Week announcements with her characteristic wit and good humor. Her own art work resonates with authenticity. The drive to find meaning, to dispel troubles, and to discover beauty is accomplished with tremendous grace and skill. She is a beacon of hope in facing and transcending the deepest levels, as she emerges in the light of her work. She will be pursuing the dual degree program at Tufts University and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I am confident that she will draw, color, and shape a changing world. 

 The recipient of this award is: Alice Fang.

Written by: Grier Torrence


In addition to the Hughes Art Award, the J. Lawrence Hughes family also gives an annual prize for excellence in music. This award is given to a student who represents the Porter’s music community, both inside and outside the school, through musical leadership and commitment. 

Excellence, leadership, and commitment. No other music student in my career has demonstrated and balanced these three traits more perfectly than the recipient of this year’s Hughes Music Award.  This student has given her time, talent, and heart generously to the Porter’s music program during her four years.  Soloist and Ensemble Musician. Vocalist and Instrumentalist. Theoretician and Composer. Student and Teacher. This student has quite literally done everything in music and for music at Porter’s. From the Old Girls she impressed as a 9th grader performing a solo concerto in Convocation, to the New Girls she inspired while a member of Concert Choir and Orchestra, to her peers who she leads as music director and co-head of the Perilhettes, Hannah Yeh has done it all, and done so while bringing her whole heart to this Art that we love so deeply. Hannah, I am grateful, and will cherish these past four years making music. 

Written by: Patrick Reardon


This year’s recipient has been a dedicated photographer both at school and on her own. She is an active and prolific artist who never finds herself at a loss for good ideas to explore photographically–not even while quarantining. She lets her great ideas guide her into a process of visual and conceptual investigation, using her camera with supreme inventiveness and creativity. She works hard and follows her artistic curiosity without judgment or fear, exhausting possibilities until she arrives at her powerfully unique images, which tend to stand out and get noticed. Her stunning photographs have been featured in many exhibits, and have received well-deserved awards and praise internationally. With her incredible energy and enthusiasm for the subject, she has truly been an unstoppable force in photography.

 I am honored to present this year’s Miss Porter’s School Photography Award to: Miki Yang

Written by: Josh Bezdek


Jean Grey came to Miss Porter’s School in the late 1930’s and devoted the next 35 years to the personal growth of her drama students through her creativity, her unfailing energy, and her understanding of, and love for, the magic of theater. Since 1973, this award has been given in her memory to girls who, like Miss Grey, have given of their time and energy on and off stage to ensure the continued high quality of the theatre arts at Miss Porter’s School.  

For the avid theatregoer there are the faces everyone recognizes, the performers one enjoys time and again. For the more discerning audience, there is name recognition when reading the program – a name that appears over and over again, making it evident how indispensable a certain member of the company is to the success of the production and to the program. For our Porter’s audience, there is one name that has undoubtedly stood out; first, for this student’s steadfast dedication to growing our sound department, and then to their work to nurture the entire theatre department. If one is very lucky… and we are… a gem of a theatre artist arrives at Porter’s who is game to learn and take on whatever needs done, who is proactive and organized, who has the drive to work the long hours required to achieve visions (both hers and those of her collaborators), who is humble and gracious, and who is kind and compassionate and brings out those qualities in others. This student’s quiet leadership style instantly puts everyone at ease, and she has welcomed, challenged, and supported each new member to our program since her freshman year. This student has been the rock, the conscience, the cheerleader, and the heart of our program, and we are so fortunate that she chose to make drama her home.  We will miss her terribly next year, but her legacy will live on.  It is my honor to present the 2021 Jean D. Grey Theatre Prize to: Julia Tucker

Written by: Sasha London Thompson


This award, named in memory of Florence Palmer Douglas, Class of 1957, is given annually to that senior who best represents her spirited commitment to academics and athletics at Miss Porter’s School. 

This student-athlete represents herself and the school in the highest manner both in and out of the classroom. This recipient makes balancing life as a student-athlete look like it’s an easy accomplishment. Although the Florence Palmer Douglas award signifies a commitment to excelling in athletics and academics, I also want to mention how warm, happy and special this person is and that her presence is celebrated, and her personality is so infectious. This student-athlete is always the first person to congratulate her friends and teammates, in and out of the classroom. Well, now it is her turn. 

It is my pleasure to present the Florence Palmer Douglas award to: Astrid Lipkens

Written by: Avi Dubnov


The Dotty Morrell Coleman Award, Class of 1926, is given in honor of Dotty Morell Coleman who loved all forms of athletics and captained several teams.  It was Dotty who conceived the idea of calling the three Porter’s teams the Minks, Possums, and Squirrels.  Her enthusiasm was contagious and her love for the School was a constant.  The members of the senior class are asked to vote on who they feel most typifies Dotty’s winning spirit.  

This student Athlete has grit, desire, and a winning mentality. Coach Clarke describes her as selfless, dedicated and generous. I see this person as a technician, always wanting to perfect her craft and on top of that is a fierce competitor. This award goes to someone who works tirelessly, is a tremendous leader and empowers others around her. I hope you have all been fortunate enough to have a teammate that works hard in silence so that their success can be heard, because this collegiate- bound athlete is just that.  It is my absolute pleasure to present the Dotty Morrell Coleman award to a  person that radiates warmth and confidence and whose character is as strong as her talent. Congratulations Leslie Li.

Written by: Avi Dubnov


The Polly Laughlin Memorial Trophy award, voted on by the School’s coaches, is given by the Athletic Department for character, leadership, and sportsmanship. When I think about the perfect high school athlete, I think of the winner of this award. This student-athlete has excelled on every team she has been on, she is one of if not the top performer on every varsity team she has been  a part of. This award-winner could succeed at any sport she wanted to, that is  how talented she is. Let me be clear that no one works harder, no one wants to win or is dedicated to being an athlete than this person. In her freshman year, I saw a shy student, someone looking to explore possibilities. Now, as a senior, she is confident, assertive, and relentless in her pursuit of excellence. Whether she is skiing, playing soccer, or on the tennis court she represents her peers with tremendous character, leadership,  and ferocity. It is my absolute pleasure to present the Polly Laughlin Memorial Trophy to someone I will truly miss, the legend, Marjorie Plants.

Written by: Avi Dubnov


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. 

The members of the senior class who achieved this recognition in their junior year are: Anne Violette Astruc, Ella Hough, Yubin Park, Sophie Schaeffer, Shamreethaa Seeniraj, Ruth Torrence,  Amy Wang

Members of this class who are inducted into Cum Laude in their senior year are: Ella Bursky, NaEun ‘Bonnie’ Ko, Astrid Lipkens, Christine Park, Audra Regan, Naima Small, Yunwei ‘Miki’ Yang, Hannah Yeh


The Maria McKinney Prize for English is given in memory of a beloved teacher at this school from 1923 to 1939.  It is awarded annually to the senior who demonstrates competency in writing, intellectual curiosity, and a passion for language and learning. 

This student is greatly admired by her teachers and peers for her empathy, intellect, and generosity of spirit.  She is a highly engaged, thoughtful, and reflective reader whose thorough preparation for class discussions elevates the learning experience of everyone around her.  She is also a careful listener, which has allowed her to ponder, reflect, and grow throughout her time at Porter’s.  She can skillfully synthesize the observations of her peers into her own thinking and can offer meaningful feedback to her peers.  This student is also a mature and insightful writer, capable of nuanced analysis as well as poignant narrative.  Most significantly, this student exhibits a genuine love of learning each day, and there is no doubt that this gracious and contemplative scholar will indeed shape the world around her. It is my pleasure to present this award to Ella Hough.

Written by: Nelle Andrews


The Dora Quintana Plough Writing Prize goes to the senior who exhibits commitment and passion for writing that is serious, profound, and continuing.  Previously known as the English Writing Prize, the prize is named for Dora Quintana Plough who served the school for 32 years as teacher, Chair of the Language Department, Academic Dean, and Ward L. Johnson Teaching Chair recipient.  

An incredibly talented writer and a thoughtful person with keen intellectual insight, this student is a compelling presence in and out of the pages of her writing. Invariably inquisitive and well-informed with an open mind to constructive criticism and myriad perspectives, she eloquently and persuasively expresses her opinion in the written word. Be it in her artistic pursuits or engaged in literary criticism, she enjoys the freedom of creative expression in earnest. She exemplifies a love of learning and reveres the process, which renders her a force to reckon with, inviting her peers to be carried along on a wave of insatiable curiosity and exploration. Her body of work as an artist and a student of English literature, bespeak discernment and strife towards authenticity as a young individual. In English class, her creative and research based writing and presentations impressively championed the cause of social justice that illuminated a palpable awareness of her social responsibility, as an integral part of a collective whole. She is well poised to make a positive difference in the world. As an insightful thinker, informed speaker, and an effective writer, she richly deserves this recognition. I am honored to present THE DORA QUINTANA PLOUGH WRITING PRIZE to Seo Won Yun.

Written by:  Sunita Yashavant 


The Farmington Historical Society sponsors this prize in order to 

encourage the study of American history and to recognize those students who have shown marked enthusiasm for and accomplishment in historical studies.

This student demonstrates a contagious curiosity for the past and enthusiastically looks for active ways to apply it forward. The History Department is pleased to award this year’s prize to: Lauren Uhl

Written by: Lisa-Brit Wahlberg


Shirley Langhauser taught history at Miss Porter’s School from 1965 until her retirement in 1994.  She possessed a wonderful balance of academic rigor and joy in learning and teaching.  Shirley was especially concerned with expanding the international and non-Western focus of the history program at Porter’s and created a number of popular, highly regarded courses that were an integral part of the history department’s curriculum.  The award is given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Shirley’s creative and enthusiastic approach to a breadth of historical interests.

The award is given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Shirley’s creative and enthusiastic approach to a breadth of historical interests. This year, the History Department is  pleased to award this prize to: Alizeh Raza 

Written by: Lisa-Brit Wahlberg 


This award has been endowed in perpetuity by the friends and relatives of Elizabeth Noyes Hempstone, Class of 1910, whose ties to the School have always been strong.  Two of her daughters and a granddaughter attended Miss Porter’s School.  We award the Classical and Modern Language Prize in recognition of a senior’s dedication, perseverance, and achievement in languages, as well as her overall sense of responsibility.

This year’s winner is a frequent visitor to Jones, having studied both French and Spanish during her language career at Miss Porter’s, arriving at and successfully completing the AIS level in both disciplines. In class, this student embodies all that we cherish as language teachers: she commits to immersing herself in the languages she studies; she researches relevant and meaningful issues; and she uplifts the work of her peers. She approaches her language acquisition with curiosity and a genuine desire to increase her cultural competence. She can establish connections with other disciplines, and she applies her critical thinking skills to every topic covered. Well-informed and well-versed in current events, this student puts all of her work into a global context. We know she will continue to use her global connections, well established in Jones, to shape a changing world. We are absolutely thrilled to present the Elizabeth Hempstone Excellence Award in Classical and Modern Languages to: Leela Rosaz-Shariyf

Written by: Lisa Loeb


This award was created through a bequest from Flora H. Lutz, classics teacher at Porter’s for 29 years, in memory of Doris M. Prout, who taught Latin here from 1946 to 1968.  It is presented to the student who, in the opinion of her teachers, has made the greatest improvement in her work in the advanced classes of the Latin language. 

This student has shown remarkable growth as a student and Classicist. Her translations are beautifully precise. They carefully reflect the nuances of the Latin grammar as well as the historical context of each primary source.  This student is also an active contributor to class discussions. She is a truth-seeker, and her teacher and peers always benefit from her passionate perspectives and deep interrogation of the works we study.  We are so proud of her growth over the past four years. She will be greatly missed for her many contributions to the Latin program. 

This year’s recipient of the Latin Improvement Award is:  Allison Wallace 

Written by: Amy Sun


The mathematics department awards a prize annually to an outstanding student from the senior class. 

There are some obvious and conventional ideas of what a “good mathematics student” should look like– someone who is able to quickly and flawlessly solve equations and crunch numbers, or maybe a person who is able to memorize and apply complicated formulas with ease. There are also, however, some less conventional, and often overlooked qualities that are essential to the study of mathematics– creativity, open-mindedness, skepticism, and the ability to reflect and make connections across topics and even disciplines. The winner of this year’s mathematics prize is an individual who embodies all of these qualities. Her drive and ability to question convention and seek connections between seemingly disparate ideas are what distinguish her not only as a phenomenal math student but also as an innovative agent for shaping a changing world. 

It is my pleasure to present the Mathematics Department Prize to: Amy Wang

Written by: Michelle Perry


This award is given in honor of Mary S. McIntosh, a member of the mathematics department and Director of Studies, whose dedication to the students of Miss Porter’s School was central to her mission as a teacher, advisor, and administrator throughout her 25 years of service.  Under her watchful presence, students in her classroom learned that making a commitment to excellence involved diligent preparation, perseverance, acceptance of individual responsibility, and a willingness to take risks.  

Even in the most trying circumstances, this student brought her very best self to class every day.  Precise, thoughtful, and diligent, she exhibited all the traits of a determined math student.  Even more so, however, her abiding positivity and gusto, the sheer exuberance of learning interesting things, shone forth whether in person or in a little Zoom box on screen. 

It’s my pleasure to present the Mary Macintosh Award to : Anne-Violette Astruc

Written by: Michelle Perry


Mount Holyoke College has a long history of educating women scientists.  This award, presented by the Mount Holyoke Club of Hartford, recognizes superior achievement in biology.

Tenacious and curious, this student embodies what it means to be a biologist in this ever changing landscape of biological science and technology. She excelled during her junior year in AP Biology and used her passion for the topics within that class to create an important program for medical patients seeking advice and treatment in her TIE Capstone with two of her peers. She has a deep understanding of the work that is needed to do scientific research and I have no doubt that she’ll make a significant mark within the field of biology. 

The Mt. Holyoke College Book Award goes to Shamreethaa Seeniraj. 

Written by: Mary Jo Moulton


This award is given to a student who has clearly demonstrated knowledge of environmental issues, commitment to stewardship of our fragile environment, and excellence in original environmental research. 

This student has been an exploratory student in the environmental sciences. She has continued to be a voice of change on campus and beyond. She has pushed deeper into science classes taking on independent research projects and advanced electives such as advanced marine biology and deep sea discovery. She is a leader among her peers as one of the heads of Earth club. She continues to challenge herself academically and will be a force of change in the future. 

The Environmental Action Award proudly goes to Sasha Provost. 

Written by: Mary Jo Moulton


This Science Department Prize has been named in honor of Dr. Alice Hamilton, Class of 1889, who was one of America’s foremost chemists, an authority on lead poisoning, and the first woman on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  It is fitting, therefore, to recognize high achievement in science in her name. 

In AP Chemistry class, this student excelled in hands-on laboratory experiments such as titrations, making solutions and buffers, and spectrophotometry. Each day she arrived at class ready to dive into a new topic, and she participated in class discussions and activities eagerly, always willing to share her insights. She fully mastered each learning objective, and her questions and answers revealed that she was piecing together complex concepts and seeing how it all connected, from electrons’ arrangement in an atom to the properties of materials to a functional electrolytic cell. Her teachers look forward to seeing what she accomplishes as she explores her interest in materials science.  

The Alice Hamilton Award for high achievement in science goes to Ruth Torrence.

Written by: Mary Jo Moulton


The Dartmouth Club Book Award recognizes a young woman in the top 10% of the junior class who has demonstrated outstanding academic and leadership qualities and whose high moral character, imagination and concern for others has made a positive impact on your school and community.  The award is intended to recognize consistently superior performance in a number of different areas, be it the arts, academics, athletics or other areas of achievement. 

Natalie Yarnall is a Renaissance woman. She is a scholar of the highest order, her curiosity knows no bounds, and her work ethic is unparalleled. Natalie is intrinsically motivated and eager to be forever expanding her interests and growing her knowledge. Not only does Natalie universally thrive in the classroom, but she excels in everything she tries. She is a skilled, humble, and empathetic leader, whom we are fortunate to have as a JA this year and as Second Head of School next year.

Natalie is never afraid to let her curiosity lead her to new opportunities. For example, Natalie did not let her lack of any real diving experience act as a barrier to joining our diving team; she followed her interest, committed herself to learning basics before the tryouts, made the team, and has never looked back. This is but one example of Natalie’s extraordinary ability to follow her curiosity, strategize a superlative game plan, execute it flawlessly, and rejoice in the experience. Natalie makes the most of life, never wastes the journey, and we are very fortunate to have this remarkable woman in our community.

It is our honor to award the 2021 Dartmouth College Book Award to: Natalie Yarnall

Written by: Sasha London Thompson


This award is made annually to a senior whose generosity of spirit, sense of service, and enthusiastic involvement with the School embody the best qualities of Farmington women.

This year’s recipient is a student whose understanding of community informs all we do here at Miss Porter’s School. She affirms the work we do well and questions the areas where we need to grow. This generous stance is a form of service to the School and demonstrates her commitment to its principles of equity, access, participation, and rights. Her presence and leadership at alliance and affinity meetings-informed by the work she does outside of school both locally and nationally-have been valuable instruments in our growth as a School.

 I am proud to present the Alumnae Association Award to Julia Luppino. 

Written by: Lisa Loeb


The Jane Durston Groat Prize, given by Anne Eyre Trainer, Class of 1995, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Trainer, is given to a spirited and enthusiastic member of the senior class whose growth as a student was enhanced by her attendance at Miss Porter’s School.  

This student has served as an active and enthusiastic member of the Porter’s community. She brings her passion, joy, and energy into all components of campus life by being a member of the Nova Nine. Her commitment to growing and learning has been evident by her attendance to supporting her peers at games, her level of participating in various clubs, and always stepping up and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. I am thrilled to be recognizing an individual who continues to be an energetic leader who guides with patience, support, and acts as a team player. 

I’m honored to present the Jane Durston Groat Prize to Ella Bursky.

Written by: Sarah Tierney 

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This award is made annually in memory of Linda Fulton Burns, Class of 1955.  The award is voted on by members of the senior class and is presented to a fellow senior who exhibits Linda’s characteristics: compassion, generosity, patience and kindness, and a faithful friend to all. 

This award specifies that the recipient is “a faithful friend to all.” Most of us would find earning that description impossible, a very tall order, or aspirational at best. For this year’s recipient, the description is her way of life.

Since this award is voted on by her peers, let’s let their words speak.

“This student is so kind and so motivated.” … “She is so kind and offers her knowledge to everyone.” … “She is so kind and generous. She really and truly inspires me.” … “She is so nice and always so helpful! She is always willing to help however she can and her positivity spreads around her.” … “She is the nicest girl I’ve ever met. She has a heart of gold and does not hesitate to help anyone regardless of the amount of energy it takes her.” … “She is the most considerate person in the world. Her smile is contagious and her energy is positive and full of light.” … “She is the only person I know who is actually as good as she seems.”

It is truly an honor, on behalf of her  “faithful friends,” to present the Linda Fulton Burns Memorial Award to:

Ella Hough

Written by:  Jessica Watkin 

Final Convocation and Awards