The Westminster community gathered in Werner Centennial Center Nov. 30 to celebrate the achievements of the fall 2023 term.
The awards ceremony has become a tradition at Westminster, one in which the whole community comes together to celebrate the academic, artistic, athletic and community successes of students at the end of each term.
“This particular version of the tradition has been in practice for at least the past four heads of school,” said Head of School Elaine White in her opening remarks.
“It is good for you to know the history of our traditions and to imagine how they came to be,” she told students. “Most of you are here for three or four years and it is easy to focus on just what happens during your time at Westminster, but we want you to know that you are part of a greater experience — that of Westminster as a school,” she said.
She also shared a moment when she felt students behaved in a way that defined them as true Martlets. She described how students came out to support the girls’ varsity soccer team in the quarter-final game against Loomis Nov. 15.
“As the last few minutes ticked away on the clock, it was clear that Westminster would be the victors,” she said. The Westminster crowd began shouting the taunt, ‘Nah, nah, nah, nah, goodbye,’” as the weary Loomis team left the field.
“At that moment, Ben Norten ’25, Flock co-president, megaphone in hand, face paint smudged and smeared, turned quickly to the crowd, to stop the cheer’s momentum. He redirected them to cheer — ‘Let’s go Westy! Way to go, Westy!’ To be honest, I don’t even remember what you were cheering for. I just knew it was appropriate,” said White.
“I was so proud at that moment — of Ben, the Flock, all of our students — you made the right choice. You showed the type of character and ethos that is central to being a Martlet,” she said.
“I challenge us to continue to show it in the way we treat one another this winter term, in how we take the time to help others, in how we continue to cheer at winter games — in all that we do and say as we continue to build the foundation of our community here on Williams Hill.”
Academic Dean Betsy Heckman announced students who earned the honor of Summus for the fall term.
Third Form Summus:
Jaelyn Kang, Izzie Leone, Bella Lilien, Teagan Lynch, Giana Monaco, Khang Ngo, Kitty Olson, Mya Polastry, Rohan Satpathy
Fourth Form Summus:
Lily Abdel-Meguid, Caroline Breslav, Clover Cooper, Clara Covill, John Dwyer,, Hayley Fineberg, Pippa Jiranek, Nick Lopriore, Caroline Pokorny, Henry Warren, Steven Xie, Luna Yang
Fifth Form Summus:
Anthony DiBartolomeo, Cindion Huang, Trent Jones, Grace Kim, Emme Pacheco-Hager, Meiyin Ren, Finn Seeley, Sophie Grace Stevenson, Viktoriia Voitiuk, Lucy Wainwright, Jennifer Yang
Sixth Form Summus:
Michael Bianco, Carolyn Cheng, Wills Erda, Jillian Gregorski, Johnathan Li, Tarapi Pyo, Ally Reich, Michael Song, Alice Tao, Kimi Weng, Jacqueline Wu
Director of Athletics Timothy Joncas presented the following athletic awards.
Named in honor of Richard P. “Scott” Berry, loyal faculty member, coach and friend from 1971-2017, recognizes the player from each lower team who gave the best effort and demonstrated the best attitude throughout the season.
JV Field Hockey: Paige Herlihy
Third Field Hockey: Gabby de la Fe
JV Boys’ Soccer: Kimi Weng
Third Boys’ Soccer: Jake Pleau
Fourth Boys’ Soccer: Auggie Jiranek
JV Girls’ Soccer: Westie Strawbridge
Third Girls’ Soccer: Lily Shuster
Most Improved Player (MIP) and Most Valuable Player (MVP)
MIP: Talia Ondy
Pitcairn MVP: Olivia Gordon
Boys’ Water Polo
MIP: Will Whiting
MVP: Wills Erda
Boys’ Cross Country
MIP: Nicolas Ramsumair
Jones Bowl, MVR: James O’Connell
Girls’ Cross Country
MIP: Anna Klapman
Wilbur Bowl, MVR: Sophia Lazor
MIP: Helen Marshall
MVP: Haley Cramer
Wilbraham MIP: Connor Gray
1956 MVP: Abraham Monsee
The Stephen Harris Squibb Bowl awards, which honor the athlete from each Varsity team who demonstrated the greatest sportsmanship, consistent effort, and inspired performance throughout the season were given to:
Field Hockey: Sophia Peterson ’24
Girls Soccer: Mia Davis ’24
Boys Soccer: Jackson Raymond
Boys Cross Country: Sam Hyde
Girls Cross Country: Madison Khuu
Water Polo: Andrew Pang
The All Founders League Award is given to two members of each varsity team who best exemplify the League ideals of sportsmanship, hard work and character in the spirit of competition and fair play at the varsity level.
Varsity Boys’ Soccer: Henry Warner, Luka Misko
Varsity Girls’ Soccer: Sarah Lenox, Emme Pacheco-Hager
Varsity Boys’ Cross Country: Matthew O’Connell, Rhys Marschke
Varsity Girls’ Cross Country: Sophie Grace Stevenson, Madison Khuu
Varsity Field Hockey: Olivia Emerson, Sophia Peterson
Varsity Water Polo: Trent Jones, Owen Huang
The Hopley-Jackson Award, named in honor of Richard Hopley and Michael Jackson, lower team coaches for many years at Westminster, is given seasonally to the Westminster lower team with the best season.
Fourth Boys’ Soccer Coaches: Mike Lawler, Bryan Tawney
The Houghton Award, named in honor of Frederick Houghton, Class of 32, trustee, friend, and fan, is given seasonally to the Westminster team with the best season. This year’s award is given to New England Class A Champions, Varsity Girls’ Soccer.
Varsity Girls’ Soccer Coaches: Kelly Wosleger, Kelly Lucas
Captains: Jillian Gregorski, Hayley Cramer
Frances Laurel Hopkins Award, which recognizes a student who has made outstanding contributions to the Westminster Dramat Association, was given to Taylor Schuster.
Hannah Maltby was named a member of Dramat. New members are admitted into the Westminster Dramat Association after accumulating 100 hours working on productions.
Head of School Pin Awards
The last celebration of the morning highlighted special community members. Graham Cole, head of school from 1993-2010, started the tradition of awarding a headmaster’s pin each season to recognize extraordinary community commitment.
Faculty members make nominations for each term. Each nomination is accompanied by a description that serves as testament to the love, effort and care that happen under the radar, behind closed doors and away from the fanfare.
This year, pins were given to:
Brian Elliott, head athletic trainer, for prioritizing the care of athletes and for working well beyond his contractual hours to make sure athletes are cared for and our coaches are aware of the issues with their athletes.
Nick Byrne, the resident HVAC expert, who approaches his work — even when called in at all hours of the night and weekend — with a friendly and KIND approach to the latest plumbing crisis.
Two pins went to two different faculty members for organizing holiday food drives. Colleen Joncas — who annually has raised thousands of dollars to buy supermarket gift cards for local families in need. These cards are distributed through a Westminster alumna, Erin Nespa ’93, who works at Tariffville School. Secondly, Jennifer Augsberger connected with the Bloomfield food pantry and organized our advisory groups to build food boxes to ensure holiday meals for families who struggle with food insecurity.
Lastly, two students, Margee Mahoney and Avauni Anderson, were awarded pins for understanding what it means to be a part of a community. Avauni Anderson showed the meaning of engagement as a co-leader for SAC Team 1 and her willingness to offer ideas, feedback and assistance. Margee Mahoney was recognized for her positive spirit and humility and willingness to help, her enthusiasm to write for the school newspaper and as an incredible defender for the girls field hockey squad.See more photos here. See a video of the awards ceremony here.