Upper School Closing Exercises took place on May 31, at the Eighth Church of Christ Scientist, a location that holds special meaning for the School as it previously served as the site for Closing Exercises a number of years ago.
President of the Board of Trustees Mark Greene welcomed everyone and said, “Great schools like Allen-Stevenson start with great teachers and we have the greatest teachers.”
The featured speaker for the morning was alumnus Brian Halweil ’90
, a sustainable food writer and activist. Mr. Halweil thanked the School for the chance to walk down memory lane. He told some witty stories about moments as a student at Allen-Stevenson and explained how he became interested in food after he heard the ecologist Paul Ehrlich say that farming was the single biggest way that humans affected the planet. He described how, “Since then, my goal has been to use food to inspire people to think about their health, their community, their local economy, their landscape and the world around them…and I have tried to harness over and over all that I learned at Allen-Stevenson, particularly my fortiter et recte.
He closed by explaining to the boys that, “You’ve had amazing teachers and coaches. You are leaving here with full toolboxes, and the skills to gobble up additional skills…NO LESS than half of my classmates from Allen-Stevenson are still in my circle of friends and colleagues. There are resources all around you, as long as you are willing to see them and to ask for them. Harness your fortiter et recte and you will do fine.” Click here to read the full speech
Zale Peart ’18 gave the Class of 2018 Farewell Speech
in which he spoke to the returning ninth graders, saying, “You have a lot to look forward to and remember that you have each other because in the coming months you will develop bonds that make you feel as if you are all brothers.” For all the graduating eighth graders, he said, “As alumni of The Allen-Stevenson School remember that you still represent the Blue and Gold wherever you go.”
Upper School Head Steven Cohen thanked his fellow colleagues, in particular, Assistant Head of the Upper School JP Jacquet and Director of Communications, Casper Caldarola, who is leaving before the start of the 2018-19 school year, for all that they have done to support him. He told the boys, “We work with you and a projection of you. We care as much about the man you will be as the man you are.”
Headmaster David Trower announced the recipients for the Riklis Grants and this year’s Kellner Great Teacher Awardee Upper School History Teacher Kim Sklow. For the Blessing, he quoted a Quaker friend of his, Douglas Steere, who stressed the importance of “Being fully present where you are.” Mr. Trower closed by reading a poem by William Stafford, “You Reading This, Be Ready.
The music featured throughout the ceremony was truly impressive. The chorus sang some of their favorite songs from the year. Instrumental soloists included Alex Wilf ’19, who played “Yesterday,” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, on the French horn, James Wlodarczak ’19, who played “Sonata from Trio, OP. 38, No. 1,” by Bernhard Romberg, on the cello, and Zale Peart who performed “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t got that Swing),” by Duke Ellington, on the French Horn and with singing, which brought the house down!
Awards were presented to the following boys during the Closing Exercises:
Desmond Cole Fortiter et Recte Award – Holden Lipton ‘19
Charles E. Horman Award – Zale Peart ‘18
Athletic Award – William Schlesinger ‘18
The Robby Zuckert Honor – Luke Jovanovic ‘19
Alumni Medal – Zachary Rahaman ‘18
Certificates were given to all of the boys who were graduating. Congratulations!