It was a beautiful morning on IDS’ sprawling campus on June 11, as the Class of 2021 gathered with family, teachers, and administrators to celebrate their graduation from the Independent Day School.
The program began with comments from Head of School, Dr. Marijke Kehrhan, saying “To the Class of 2021 - the adventure continues! Your IDS journey has come to an end and you are about to take a giant step forward - into a world of new challenges, new friends, new opportunities. It has been my pleasure to watch you learn and grow from fourth-graders (her first year as Head of School) to young people who are ready to take the next step. When it comes to choosing your next steps - choose wisely, choose fearlessly, choose freely, choose with your head and choose with your heart.”
Students were also chosen to speak and address the crowd. Ava Jacobson reflected on her long journey at IDS, starting when she was a Beginner (three years old). She shared stories of unforgettable memories and emphasized how she was able to try and be involved in so many different clubs and activities while here. She was followed by Akum Grover, who admitted that while he was nervous to start school at IDS, he soon felt extremely welcomed by this amazing community, and was grateful for all of the great memories he made while at IDS.
Each student was then called up to receive their diploma and, as is tradition, a faculty member gave a speech about each member of the graduating class. The words shared by the teachers truly highlighted the deep connection and impact each student had not only on their grade but on the entire school community as well.
After each student was called upon, the graduates gathered together to sing the IDS School Song, A Special Place, one last time, before departing as the school’s newest alumnae.
The Class of 2021 will always be remembered for setting an exceptional example to the rest of the student body in overcoming the challenges which came with this past school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These students were flexible, resilient, grateful, strong-willed, and appreciative of the opportunity of being able to learn in person the entire school year. We were incredibly fortunate to have them as leaders this past year, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors!
The Class of 2021
Cristina Antonopoulos (Durham), Silas Barrett (Durham), Kellen Booth (Wallingford), R. Bennett Chiappetta (Cromwell), Owen Courcey (Wallingford), Leah Covey (Cheshire), Yina Ge (Durham), K’niyah Glover (New Haven), Akum Grover (Meriden), Charlotte Iannucci (East Haven), Ava Jacobson (Killingworth), Joseph Kalinowski (Middlefield), Henry Kennedy (Middletown), Timothy Mitchell (Cheshire), Shrikar Mutalik (Middletown), Derek Nosal (Cheshire), Henry Pfeil (Wallingford), Sarah Platt (Portland), Benjamin Resor (Haddam), Elijah Robinson (Middletown), Hannah Staron (Madison), Sophie Zimmerman (Durham).
Middle School Graduation Awards
Head of School Award: Ava Jacobson
For exemplifying effort, loyalty, and service to the school, and recognizing a student whose contributions make IDS a better place.
Scholar-Athlete Award: Cristina Antonopoulos
For excellence and motivation in academics and athletics.
Granger Poetry Prize: Sarah Platt
Honoring the family of Frank Granger, past parent, and former Trustee, for excellence in writing poetry.
Johnson Drama Award: Sophie Zimmerman
For the student whose work in theatre arts class as well as in the Middle School performance demonstrates dedication, enthusiasm, and creativity.
Sylvina Chapman Norton Award in English: Owen Courcey
For recognition of excellence in English.
History Award: Henry Kennedy
For consistent academic effort and genuine love of history.
Design Thinking/Maker Lab Award: K’niyah Glover
For excellence in all aspects of creative design including brainstorming, prototyping, building, and teamwork.
Instrumental Music Award: Akum Grover
For a love of music, expertise on a musical instrument, and leadership in an ensemble.
Spanish Award: Kellen Booth
For special effort in and enthusiasm for Spanish
Digital Arts & Science Award: Ben Resor
For excellence in creativity, innovation, and design technology.
Vocal Music Award: Sophie Zimmerman
For a love of music, expertise in signing, and leadership in an ensemble.
Math Award: Henry Kennedy
For outstanding effort, growth, and enthusiasm for making mathematical connections.
Art Award: Timmy Mitchell
For continuing interest and skillful and imaginative work in Art.
Science Award: Henry Pfeil
For outstanding effort and achievement in science.