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The Wardlaw+Hartridge School held its 137th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, July 17 on the large field at the front of campus to allow for proper social distancing. The graduates were previously honored virtually in June with a Senior Ovation ceremony. Wearing face coverings, the seniors followed the W+H faculty, administration and trustees in a single file procession to begin the ceremony, which marked the first time the school community joined together since March 12.
The Eighth Grade Class of 2020 completed its Middle School journey during a Virtual Stepping Up Ceremony on Wednesday, June 10. The event began with a slideshow of images featuring baby pictures and Middle School memories of the Class of 2024. Dr. Corinna Crafton, Middle School Head, welcomed the students, parents, friends and other members of the W+H community in virtual attendance. Sarah Alves '24 and Julia Machado '25 followed with a wonderful recorded rendition of "America the Beautiful." Andrew Webster, Head of School, began his remarks with the announcement of Scholar awards to Joanne Ding '24 and Luke Tan '24 and Achievement awards to Isabella Rovito '24 and Hannah Yin '24. Mr. Webster also recognized the 13 lifers among this year's eighth grade graduates.
The fifth graders moved up to Middle School during the Fifth Grade Virtual Moving Up Ceremony on Tuesday, June 9. The program began with a "Now and Then" slideshow of images, followed by photos of the 26 graduates with their congratulatory yard signs and a wonderful rendition of "America the Beautiful" sung by Sarah Alves '24 and Julia Machado '25. Andrew Webster, Head of School, saluted the 16 lifers in the class during his welcome remarks. Silvia Davis, Lower School Head, followed with her message, which concluded with a quote from Dr. Seuss reflecting the Lower School graduates are "off to great places."
The Kindergarten Class shared poems, songs and personal reflections during a heart-warming virtual graduation ceremony on June 8. A class of 25 kindergarteners graduated and confidently announced their readiness for first grade. The program began with students spelling out Kindergarten with each letter signifying a different important word. The students then shared "My Favorite Part of Kindergarten" with a series of homemade video clips. They followed by reciting the poem "First Grade Here I Come."
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in art classes taught by Miss Tanda Tucker created a whopping 744 pieces of art for an amazing Middle School Virtual Art Show. Works included Art Prescription, Digital Art, Illuminate Letters, Below the Elbows or Knees Paintings, If I Could Be Anywhere Illustrations, Quote Portraits, Cubist Self-Portraits, Sonia Delaunay Prism Watercolors, Chagall Dreams, Alma Woodsey Thomas Abstract Expressionism, Op Art Illusions, Georgia O'Keeffe Drawings, Ribbon Drawings, Color Theory Messages, Steampunk Self-Portraits, Macro Eyes and Sketchbook Drawings.
W+H inducted 12 new members into the Cum Laude Society in a virtual ceremony held Monday, June 8. Andy Webster, Head of School, Dr. Bob Bowman, Upper School Head, Dr. Corinna Crafton, Middle School Head, and Gale Goldman, Upper School art teacher led the presentation as faculty and staff who are Cum Laude members. Congratulations to the new W+H inductees: Wilson Huang '20, Sarah Ivanov '20, Yuhan Kong '20, April Li '20, Steven Li '20, Sahil Mulji '20, Kenneth Shen '20, Noah Apter '21, Ariana Di Landro '21, Anna Razvi '21, Rihan Sajid '21 and Neil Shah '21.
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School received a timely jump-start to an important topic – "Inclusive Communities: Race and Identity" – with a special webinar on June 10. This topic will be addressed and explored in great detail at next year's Upper School Symposium. Alvin Glimore, Jr., a longtime friend and former colleague of Mrs. Nicole Nolan, Director of Global Scholars and Community Outreach, was the featured speaker on the webinar. Mr. Gilmore has over 30 years of experience in education working as a counselor, coach, classroom teacher, and an administrator in private and public school settings.
This year's Faculty and Staff Appreciation Dinner, hosted by the Board of Trustees, was a virtual event held via Zoom on May 28. W+H teachers, staff members and administrators watched from their homes as employees were honored with service awards and retiring trustees were thanks for their tenure on the Board. Rob Rizzo '89, President of the Board of Trustees, welcomed everyone and thanked the faculty and staff members for their hard work and dedication to the students. Andrew Webster, Head of School, presented 10-year service recognition to John Firetto (Maintenance Department), Michael Howell (Physical Education teacher), Lee Nicholls (Physical Education Department Chair), Linda Schneider (Learning Specialist) and Julie Vargas (Pre-K teacher) and a W+H pin for 25 years of service to Katherine Heiss (Third Grade teacher, pictured).
The Wardlaw+Hartridge Parents' Association held a Virtual Appreciation Celebration on June 1. Jen Schildge, Past President, ran the Zoom session with parents, faculty, staff and administration in attendance. On behalf of the WHPA, Mrs. Schildge presented a check with a $18,500 donation to the school, allocated in the following breakdown: $9,500 toward Faculty Professional Development; $6,000 toward the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund; and $3,000 toward the W+H Annual Fund.
Upper School students showcased their amazing talents in the 11th annual Cookin' Cabaret, which was held virtually this year. The 45-minute show featured 10 entertaining performances and received more than 500 comments on Facebook Live and 1,000 views across multiple platforms. Two band ensemble pieces were among the many highlights. The Jazz Combo included Shiv Tickoo '22, trumpet; Nicolas Hernández-Webster '21, tenor saxophone; Gabriel Dizon '20, guitar; Neil Shah '21, electric bass guitar; and Jason Kisare '21, drums.