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Eighth Graders Graduate at Stepping Up Ceremony

Rudy Brandl

The Eighth Grade Class of 2021 at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School completed its Middle School journey during the Stepping Up Ceremony on Wednesday, June 16 under the tent adjacent to the Booster Club Athletic Fields.

It was a memorable evening that began with a processional to Rondeau and continued with the Pledge of Allegiance and everyone singing America the Beautiful. Dr. Corinna Crafton, Middle School Head, welcomed the students, parents, friends and other members of the W+H community.

Andrew Webster, Head of School, began the announcement of award winners by presenting merit scholarship awards to Vinay Karthik ’25, Amelie Leu ’25 and Arjun Vora ’25 and an achievement scholarship award to Julia Machado ’25. Mr. Webster also recognized the lifers among this year's eighth grade graduates.

Shourya Chhabra ‘25 presented the Streib Cup to Sophia Fontaine ’26. This award is given for the highest achievement in public speaking among sixth and seventh graders. Shourya, who won the eighth grade public speaking contest and the privilege to be the speaker at the Middle School Stepping Up Ceremony, delivered a wonderful speech about his middle school memories and expressed gratitude to classmates, teachers and parents.

Vinay Karthik ’25 won the prestigious Kilpatrick Award, which is presented to the best all-around eighth grade student. Criteria for this award include academics, athletics, citizenship and leadership. Vinay also won the Chandler Award for the eighth grade student with the highest overall average for the academic year. Adam Eisdorfer ’25 received the Elwell Award as the outstanding male athlete and Phoebe Kaplan ’25 won the Lum Award as the outstanding female athlete.

Kayla Le ’25 won the Althea Marder Pond Award for outstanding work in the fine arts, while Julia Machado ’25 and Vinay Karthik ’25 won the Althea Marder Pond Award for excellence in the performing arts. Sammy Faust ’25, Abigail Ibironke ’25, 

Vinay Karthik ’25, Caleb Rothrock-Steinfeld ’25 and Emma Rothrick-Steinfeld ’25 received Community Service Awards. Kirstin Rogers recognized eighth grade student council members Arya Chhabra ’25, Phoebe Kaplan ’25, Ancel DeJesus ’25 and Abigail Ibironke ’25 with special pins.

Dr. Crafton made remarks and provided some words of wisdom before joining Mr. Webster and advisors Noreen Jafri, Andrea Barnett and Tamica Van Dunk in the presentation of certificates.

Congratulations to the Eighth Grade Class of 2021!