The 75th graduating class of the Bullis School in Potomac was honored at commencement exercises on June 11. J.W. Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott International Inc., was the graduation speaker for the ceremonies which were held in the Blair Family Center for the Arts on the Bullis campus. With 100 seniors, this year’s graduating class is the largest in the school’s history.
In his remarks, Marriott observed that people who achieve greatness in government, business, the professions and education “…are those who have the enduring determination and self-reliance to overcome the trials and problems which affect them.” He told the story of Shelly Mann, who overcame polio to win a gold medal in swimming at the Melbourne Olympics in 1960, and then quoted from Winston Churchill’s 1941 speech at Harrow: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty…”
SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT Kevin Tighe delivered a welcome to guests, and the outstanding scholar, Charles Lee, emphasized the importance of embracing new and daunting challenges in his valedictory. Head of School Tom Farquhar recalled a phrase from the school’s alma mater, “We at Bullis, ever striving…,” and commented that a belief in the virtue of striving remains a cornerstone of the Bullis character.
Four faculty received prizes for excellence in teaching. Middle school science teacher Matthew Paushter received the David S. Stone Foundation Award. Three teachers received the Dr. Richard K. Jung Putting Faculty First Prize: Jennifer Houston, fifth grade; Debbie O’Neill, lower school music; and Kate Smith upper school English.
STUDENT AWARDS were given out the night before at an Awards Night also held in the Blair Center for the Arts. They are: Tony Perry, the Founders Award; Charles Lee, the Outstanding Scholar Award; Kiley Gilbert, the William H. Price Citizenship Award; Ezra Raskas, the Manuel Jose Baca, Jr. Joy of Living Award; Alina Naujokaitis, the Douglas London Award for Excellence in English; Victoria Clifford, The Barbara Marks Award for Excellence in Foreign Language.
Helene Jones, the John H. Dillon Memorial Award for Excellence in Science; Alex Diehl, the John W. Spencer Award for Excellence in Mathematics; Jennifer Vince, the Irene Ford Smith Memorial Award for Excellence in Social Studies; Kurtis Varga, the Award for Excellence in Technology; Chloe Tarpley and Christopher Hautman, The Award for Excellence in Music; Natasha Thorne, the Award for Excellence in Theater; Bernadette Tyra, the Award for Excellence in Dance.
Maire O’Neill, the Award for Excellence in Art; Kentrel Richardson, the Michael Ivey Parents Association Award; Jordan Burke and Kiley Gilbert, the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Athletics, and Nicholas Donoghue, the David T. Hellekjaer Award.