One hundred and nine seniors walked off with diplomas during graduation ceremonies for St. Stephen's and St. Agnes on Saturday, June 8. Ceremonies were held at Aspinwall Grove at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.
Caroline Campbell Edsall of Alexandria, was class Valedictorian. She is a 13-year veteran of St. Stephen's and St. Agnes, starting at the school in kindergarten. She was a distinguished scholar who demonstrated her talents as a National Merit Scholarship finalist, a Normandy Scholar, a member of the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, a Governor's School attendee, a member of the Cum Laude Society, a member of the school's Honor Council and a member of the Student Development Committee. In the last three years, she has consistently placed in the top six regionally in the National French exam, as well as Summa Cum Laude on the National
Edsall also distinguishes herself on the playing field as a varsity field hockey, basketball and lacrosse player, and plays both the flute and the piano.
At the school's Prize Day, she won the Leslie Jones Latin Prize, the Michalot Cup (for French), the Marjorie M. Norris Award (highest average in four year in the Ages of Humanity Program), the Helen Haskin Krause Award (scholar athlete), and the Macondray Trophy (elected by all students 9-12 as Best All Around Student).
She will be attending Yale University in the Fall.
IN HER COMMENCEMENT address, she encouraged her fellow classmates to "embrace the future that now knocks at your door; seek to identify your passion and pursue it . Don't watch the clock all day long, waiting for your misery to end, and don't accept a life devoid of meaning or personal fulfillment."
She went on to say, "Whether you find that you enjoy helping the sick, defending criminals, acting, taking pictures or living with wild monkeys, find out and don't settle for anything less that that dream. Never force yourself into a mold, or you will forfeit some of the happiness that the world holds for you."
Dr. David H. Charlton, a graduate of the St. Stephen's, Class of 1969, was the commencement speaker. Dr. Charlton holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education, and a Doctor of Education from the College of William and Mary. He has served as the Assistant Vice President of the College of William and Mary, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for the Virginia Theological Seminary, Head Master of Christchurch School, and currently he is the President of Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia.
In his address he gave graduates three bits of advice — "Don't try to figure everything out in advance, make your own decisions and think about the journeys, not just the arrivals."
ADDRESSING THE PARENTS in the audience, he reminded them of a quote by former St. Stephen's chaplain Gibson Churchill who said,
"It is sad to see them go, but it would be tragic if they didn't."
Saturday's commencement was preceded with the traditional Prize Day on Friday at the Upper School campus on St. Stephen's Road. Below is a list of the top Prize Day awards and their recipients:
* The Faculty Excellence Award for outstanding contributions by a member of the K - 12 faculty to the life of the school community, Ms. Rebecca Smith, Middle School Science teacher.
* The Saint Agnes Cup to a senior girl who has demonstrated a profound commitment to the spirit and ideals of St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School and whose exceptional contributions to the life of the school have helped make St. Stephen's and St. Agnes a vital and caring community: Mary Elizabeth Baylor, Springfield, Va.
*The Emmett H. Hoy, Jr, Citizenship Award to the Senior boy who exemplifies the highest ideals of citizenship and service, and who is characterized by sincerity and a supportive spirit both within the school and in the community: Faisal Al-Juburi, Annandale, Va.
* St. Stephen's and St. Agnes Medals to seniors who have given extraordinary service to the school or who have achieved notable distinction in the larger community:
Sarah Elizabeth Dymowski, Alexandria, Va.,
Steven Gerald Pruitt, Alexandria, Va.,
Nike Michelle Blanche Lawrence, Alexandria, Va.,
Emily Hayes Nuckolls, Arlington, Va.,
Jonathan Marcus Gibbs, Springfield, Va.,
Taylor Thomas Lankford, Alexandria, Va.,
Ty Anne Brickhouse, Alexandria, Va., and
Kalman Marshall Pupos, Clifton, Va.
The Outstanding Athlete Awards are given to the best overall athletes in the senior class: Julie Catherine Hauser, Ashley Hunter Ogilvy Holden and Andrew Martin Wells, all of Alexandria, Va.