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Another Year to Remember

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Another Year to Remember
Rudy Brandl

Although it’s a new year and I’m all about looking ahead to 2022, I often spend a good deal of Winter Break and early January reminiscing about the previous year. Even during these past two years that have been dominated by the pandemic, I enjoy reflecting on the highlights of the past 12 months. Working at a place like The Wardlaw+Hartridge School makes it easy to find memorable events to celebrate every year. 

For the past several years, some of my colleagues and I have collaborated on a Top 10 list of W+H stories within the calendar year. This is always an interesting venture because it combines parts of two school years and there are often debates about which stories and events are most noteworthy. We always come up with a quality mix of academic, athletic, arts and service related content and the Top 10 are counted down from No. 10 to No. 1 on social media during the school’s Winter Break.

If you are not following W+H on our social media platforms, please be sure to do so. For those who missed the 2021 Top 10, below is the countdown:

No. 10 – Lower School Students Nurture Caterpillars, Free Monarchs – students and teachers continued to marvel at the amazing natural transformation during a month-long maturation process that culminated with a celebratory release of the butterflies in the garden.

No. 9 – Coins for India Fundraiser Helps COVID Victims – The Lower School led this important initiative – read more at https://www.whschool.org/about-wh/school-news/news-posts/~board/news/post/coins-for-india-drive-supports-covid-victims

No. 8 – Upper School Thespians Perform Stellar Fall Play – The show enjoyed an impressive two-day run with in-person performances on Nov. 12-13 in the Berry Performing Arts Center. The play is based on the true story of four women who worked for the Radium Dial Company, a watch factory based in Ottawa, Illinois. It dramatizes the danger women faced in this workplace and highlights the wider lack of concern companies had for protecting the health of their employees. The four women were remarkably portrayed by Rose Kassam ‘22 as Catherine Donohue, Naischa Puri ‘23 as Charlotte Purcell, Krishna Patel ’22 as Frances O’Connell and Giselle Lee ’23 as Pearl Payne. The other cast members were Jack Silver ’23, Charlie Silver ’24, David Flatau-Jones ’23, Carter Huang ’22, Timothy Oligino ’24, Sasha Chernyak ’23, Aarya Patel ’25 and Kamila Franco ’25.

No. 7 – Winter Concerts Return to PAC Stage In Person – Four wonderful December concerts showcased the amazing talents of our students and teachers! Various ensembles performed beautiful vocal and instrumental pieces from around the world under the expert guidance of Sharon Byrne (Performing Arts Department Chair), Rick Fontaine (Band Director) and Shannon Sari (Lower School Music). The audience absolutely loved watching live performances in the Berry Performing Arts Center for the first time in two years.

No. 6 – Angelina Vargas ’23 Scores in International Debut – The W+H standout scored a goal on her first touch as a member of the Dominican Republic women’s national soccer team! Read more at https://www.whschool.org/about-wh/school-news/news-posts/~board/news/post/angelina-vargas-23-scores-in-dr-national-debut

No. 5 – W+H Athletes Sign Division 1 National Letters of Intent – Congratulations to Emily Brogan ’22 (Bryant University – track and field) and Grace Lu ’22 (The College of William & Mary – golf) for making their academic and athletic commitments to Division 1 schools.

Read more about Emily
Read more about Grace

No. 4 – W+H Ranked No. 1 in Middlesex County Again – The Wardlaw+Hartridge School earned the No. 1 rating among all Middlesex County private schools in the 2022 Best Schools in America rankings released by Niche. This marks the third consecutive year in which Wardlaw+Hartridge has earned this distinction. In addition, W+H was ranked sixth in New Jersey among PreK-12 private schools. Wardlaw+Hartridge also received No. 1 county rankings for Best Private K-12 School, Best College Prep Private High School and Most Diverse Private High School. Wardlaw+Hartridge earned A+ grades for Academics, College Prep and Diversity and an overall grade of A+.

No. 3 – Eighth Grade Summit Addresses Race and Climate Justice – Read more at https://www.whschool.org/about-wh/school-news/news-posts/~board/news/post/eighth-grade-summit-educates-students

No. 2 – Girls Complete Perfect Golf Season with State Title – The W+H girls’ golf team capped its perfect season and repeated as State Prep champs with an exciting victory at the NJISAA Prep Championships at Peddie Golf Club in Hightstown. The Rams emerged victorious by five strokes over the host school in their most competitive tournament or match of the season. Four Rams placed in the top seven on the par-36 layout. Claire Lu ’24 shot 39 to finish third, Grace Lu ’22 shot 40 to place fourth, Sarah Shao ‘24 carded 41 to finish fifth and Jenelle Valera ’22 tied for seventh with a round of 42. Annie Gu ’23 also competed for the Rams. “I am so proud of my teammates for taking the state championship home,” Jenelle said. “Everyone on the team has been working hard by playing in junior tournaments, practicing and taking lessons, and that work has paid off. I'm so proud of how my teammates performed and I'm already looking forward to next season!”

No. 1 - our top story of the year – Students Explore Race and Identity Issues at Symposium – Read more about this impactful and educational event at https://www.whschool.org/about-wh/school-news/news-posts/~board/news/post/symposium-enlightens-inspires-students

Here’s to a safe, healthy and happy 2022, a year during which W+H is sure to make more headlines worthy of consideration for anyone’s Top 10!