Do What You Love

Do What You Love

Senior Awards Night honors the love of learning.

In his open remarks at the Senior Awards Dinner held on the eve of Commencement, Head of School Tim Richards encouraged the Class of 2023 to do what they love. “You have learned at Pomfret that you are at your best — and your happiest — when you are doing something you’re passionate about.” He reminded them that the world needs them to be themselves and to do something that they truly love doing. “If your path leads you to those things that interest you deeply, that stoke your curiosity, and that brings you deep joy, the end destination for you all will be lives of purpose, meaning, and happiness. And that, in the end, is what I believe this life is all about,” Richards concluded.

Seniors who excelled in the classroom and experienced a love of learning on the Hilltop were honored that evening — more than thirty students in total were recognized. In addition to the subject-specific awards, twelve students were inducted into the Cum Laude Society. The Society recognizes students who have demonstrated superior scholastic achievement and good character, honor, and integrity in all aspects of school life. They joined six of their classmates who were inducted in the fall.

New this year was the Community Service Award, which honored two students for their passion and dedication to the community. Mimi Nelson was recognized for running Pomfret’s Thrift Store and raising significant donations in support of CT Alive, a local organization committed to supporting women who are victims of abuse. Miriam Ivanenko was honored for her organization of campus blood drives and other service projects.

Maya Gerum receives a Faculty Award of Distinction from Head of School Tim Richards.

The final student award of the evening was the Faculty Award of Distinction. In the opinion of the faculty, Seth Anderson, Simon Chen, Maya Gerum, Justin Medeiros, Alex Vincent, and Cici Zeng deserved special recognition for their lasting contributions to the Pomfret Community. “By sharing your leadership and drive, scholarship, integrity, creativity, and courage, you have made Pomfret a better place and strengthened our community in noteworthy ways,” said Richards. 

Tuck Shop Manager Mathew Rodman (second from left) received The Senior Cup from School President Ben Bundy and School Vice President Mary-Aliya Turay.

In addition to the student awards, five faculty and staff members were also honored. Director of Music Dr. Ryan Burns received The David A. Brush Award, Associate Director of College Counseling Sarah Gawronski accepted the Sooho Cho ’74 Award, Science Teacher Brian Geyer was honored with The Prize for Teaching Excellence, and Library Director Beth Jacquet was the recipient of the William “Terry” Murbach Award. School President Ben Bundy and School Vice President Mary-Aliya Turay presented Tuck Shop Manager Mathew Rodman with The Senior Cup, an honor given by the senior class to that faculty or staff member who has given the most to the Class. Mary-Aliya described Rodman as one of the kindest people you will ever meet and as having a smile that lights up the whole Pomfret community. “He joyfully fed us meals and dispensed wisdom. Whether with a muffin, french fries, iced coffee, or advice, you knew you could rely on him to brighten your day, take an interest, and make a personal connection. We are thankful for everything he did on the Hilltop to make Pomfret feel like home,” she said.

All of the faculty members received a special thank you during Richards’ closing remarks. “They have shared their many talents, their passions, and their nurturing care for this class in more ways than I could ever say. The Class of 2023 — as talented as they are — would not have made it to this weekend without the incredible dedication and support from this amazing group of people.” They are certainly a great example for the Class, and living the words that Richards shared in his opening remarks — do what you love. 

See more pictures from Senior Awards.

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