Upper School Awards Honor Student Excellence 

The following was contributed by Christian Rhodes, Acting Head of the Upper School and Stephanie Balazsi, Assistant to the Upper School

The Upper School Awards is a ceremony held at the end of each academic year to celebrate achievements and distinctions our students have earned in multiple areas of Upper School life. While much of the ceremony will focus on individual attainments, we are also here to pay tribute to the values that define us as a school community – intellectual curiosity, creativity, integrity, and resilience – all of which are reflected in the achievements of those whom we have honored. 

Traditionally, the ceremony begins by paying tribute to a very special group – our graduating seniors -- whose collective accomplishments have inspired and delighted the entire PDS community over the past four years. After a heartfelt congratulations to the senior class, the ceremony began with faculty members and department chairs in the Upper School awarding students with tokens of appreciation and certificates. As each student accepted their award, the pride felt in the room by students and faculty members alike was palpable. 

Alumni Service Awards

Each year, the Alumni Association bestows an award on a senior who exemplifies the spirit and values of Princeton Day School through service to others. Amy Gallo, class of 2003 and Director of Alumni Engagement, presented this year’s award.

This year’s Alumni Service Award winner performed almost 750 hours of service during the summer of 2021. During that time, she volunteered as a junior counselor at a summer camp in the Poconos. She worked with campers between the ages of 12 and 15, living with and guiding them throughout the summer. She organized and ran activities such as field games, arts and crafts, zip lining and lake activities. She did such an amazing job that she was promoted to counselor before the summer ended. She enjoyed working with the campers. She believed that while she was helping them have fun, she was also helping them to develop independence and confidence in themselves.

This year’s Alumni Service Award goes to Yael Tuckman.

John Douglas Sacks-Wilner ’80 Award

John Douglas Sacks-Wilner, Class of 1980, was a young man of great strength, character and grace of spirit. He had high standards for academic achievement; explored the intellectual world with enthusiasm; and welcomed the challenge of demanding courses.

This memorial award commemorates John’s special kind of determination and dedication, and it goes to a member of the graduating class who has overcome adversity and shown courage, resoluteness, and resilience in surmounting obstacles to achieve his or her goals. 

This year, the John Douglas Sacks-Wilner Award goes to a student who is one of the most amazing young women you will ever encounter. Transitioning to PDS as a new freshman is no easy feat, but she is someone who has never been afraid to take on new challenges. She has taken advantage of every opportunity in and out of school to grow as a student and a person. Whether she is in the classroom, in the ceramics studio, or in the library with friends, she carries herself with her head held high. Her experiences have made her an empathetic friend, a caring daughter and a strong older sister.

For all she has overcome and all she will continue to do, the 2022 John Douglas Sacks-Wilner Award goes to Genesis Rivera.

Frederick D. Woodbridge ’78 Memorial Award 

Fred Woodbridge, class of 1978, demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a senior class president and showed impressive qualities of citizenship throughout his career at PDS. His concern for the good of the community was always sincere and steadfast. This memorial award goes to a graduating senior who has exhibited outstanding leadership qualities in developing class unity and spirit.

This year’s Woodbridge recipient models qualities of leadership that are rare and necessary. Committed to creating open dialogue and comfortable spaces, they care deeply about the experiences of others. They have a special way of making others feel heard and valued. Over the past three years, this student has organized countless panel discussions and assemblies to recognize Day of Silence and National Coming Out Day.They were instrumental in putting together the School’s first Visibility Wall and in establishing a partnership with the School’s chapter of NOW. They facilitated discussions with visiting speakers, organized games and contests to highlight events in the LGBTQ+ community, and set a new standard for what student activism looks like. It is impossible to measure how positively, how deeply, and how enduringly they have impacted our school. Whether working with classmates to include Lunar New Year and Eid as school holidays, or hosting an Upper School Gathering in the McAneny Theater, this student leads initiatives and looks for opportunities to create positive change.

The graduating senior who demonstrates the extraordinary leadership embodied in the Frederick D. Woodbridge ‘78 Memorial Award is Neha Kalra.

Mark L. Zaininger ‘81 Memorial Award

Established in 2010 through the generosity of the Zaininger family and friends, the Mark L. Zaininger ’81 Memorial Award honors an alumnus whose professional and personal life was dramatically influenced during the summer of his junior year through his participation in a creative, challenging, and rigorous summer program. The award is given annually to a member of the junior class whose proposed summer experience in pursuit of an interest or passion has the greatest likelihood of inspiring and revealing new horizons and directions for his or her life path. Past recipients of this award have spent the summer involved in creative artistic pursuits, cultural excursions to China, and intensive creative writing programs. 

This year’s recipient for the Zaininger Award recently discovered his love of photography. As a junior, he registered for Introduction to Photography and immediately fell in love with the medium. Inspired by this class, he sought additional avenues to see and record the world. Whether taking pictures of PDS athletes to share on social media, or simply slowing down to notice the world around him, this student appreciates the ability of photographs to reveal relationships and inspire reflection.

In line with the purpose of the award, this year’s recipient will attend a summer art institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he will deepen his appreciation for the art of photography. Congratulations to this year’s Zaininger Award winner, Julian Liao.

The Anne Shepherd Humanities Award

The Anne Shepherd Humanities Prize goes to a member of the junior class who has done distinctive work in one or more of the following disciplines: English, history, music, art, or drama. Anne Shepherd taught English for 44 years at Miss Fine’s School and then at Princeton Day School — retiring in 1995. Shepherd Commons is named in her honor. Rather than being given to a graduating senior, the Shepherd Prize goes to a junior whose outstanding work and enlivening presence will continue to inspire all of us and to reflect the passion for learning that Anne Shepherd inspired in generations of PDS students.

In her own quiet and precise way, this student approaches every piece of writing with confidence and intelligence. She effortlessly channels the voice of a character into a thoughtful monologue in one instant, and in another, cogently and efficiently dissects the motif of “cold” in a Pulitzer Prize winning play. One English teacher confessed that her “stories make my heart ache with jealousy and pride.” This student is also curious about how the machinery of language fits together. She finds joy in trying out new vocabulary and grammar and she dives head-first into exploring the varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. In the history classroom, this student is fully engaged, distinguishing herself with clear and sophisticated writing and thorough and insightful analysis. Her open-mindedness and willingness to reflect on others’ perspectives provides a model for discourse and intellectual engagement. And as an artist, she is inspiring. As Mr. Rempe puts it, “When students ask about the quality of work that they need for a critique, I often talk about how the intricacy of one small cup could be even better than a three foot tall vase or a complete dinnerware set. You have created the perfect example of my answer.… Many of my students over the years have tried the same technique, but none of them achieved what you have.”

This year’s Shepherd Prize is awarded to Helen Amon.

The English Award

The English Award goes to a student who is distinguished as an avid reader, an imaginative and perceptive interpreter of texts, a strong writer in a variety of genres, a responsive and caring peer editor, and a good listener and contributor in classroom discussion. 

This year’s recipient is a student who brings passion and joy to the classroom each and every day. She has no ego when it comes to learning, entering each class with an open mind, ready to listen deeply, respond thoughtfully, and share generously. Her positive energy and her interaction with texts are exemplary. Wise beyond her years, she can speak on topics that span decades, even centuries, and that run the gamut from high to popular culture. This student is deeply reflective, using her writing as a way to process her thinking. Draft after draft she produces beautiful and intellectually sophisticated writing in a wide variety of genres–research papers, creative fiction, and critical essays. Her unending intellectual curiosity, ability to think and feel writing, and her upbeat approach make her a gift for any teacher—and for those students lucky enough to share her classroom.

This year’s English Award goes to Emma Ozdogan.

The Writing Award

The Writing Prize goes to a student who shows a mature and abiding commitment to the craft of good writing, in the classroom and beyond, both in his or her own writing and in serving as a trusted reader for other writers.

This student’s writing sings like scripture; she engages with each assignment with the end goal of moving and inspiring just as her performances do. Her writing has transported us to 16th Century Venice, the Long Island Sound, the beaches of Dunkirk, and the lively vibe of the Harlem Renaissance’s club scene through the musicality and spirit of her language and intentionality of her thought. She has distinguished herself as a versatile learner who delves into a myriad of subjects from the arc of Madonna and Child paintings to the nuances of Afrofuturism. No matter the subject, this student’s genuine love of learning transforms her into an explorer, a researcher who thrives on “get[ting] to know the human species a little better.” Her curiosity and thirst for knowledge allows her gift of “arrang[ing] words,” (as with her music) to serve as a tool that inspires, moves, and even heals all those granted the opportunity to experience her work.

This year’s Writing Award goes to Veronica Li.

History Award

The History Prize is based upon a student’s excellence, passion, and commitment to the discipline, which ranges across art history, economics, geography, government, history, philosophy and religion. While we teach over one hundred seniors, the Department grants only one award.

This year’s winner thinks deeply about the way things are, and more importantly, the way things should be. Thoughtful, empathetic, and analytical, this student is quite a unique and compelling package as a history student. She is a meticulous worker and willing participant who leads by example. This scholar can always be relied upon to look at political and economic situations in unique ways and then articulate her ideas beautifully — whether orally or in prose. We expect to see her become a public policy leader in the decades to come. 

This year’s History Prize winner is Sanjana Paramesh.

Math Award

Each year, the Math Award is given to a student who demonstrates excellence, passion, and curiosity in all areas of mathematics. The award this year goes to a student who has consistently demonstrated an unwavering passion for math. This student consistently approaches each class with an open mind and quickly finds beauty and depth in the concepts. This student has consistently produced exceptional work in all mathematical classes throughout PDS: She investigated the complexities of representing three dimensions in two dimensions through the “waffle project” in Honors Studio Geometry. She mastered BC Calculus applications, and explored Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems. She dove into independent work on Graph Theory in Advanced Topics. In addition, this student invites others to share in her excitement of learning, happily conversing about challenging problems with others and working out elegant solutions collaboratively. Her joy is evident and infectious! 

Congratulations to Bolin Shen, this year’s math award recipient!

Jim Walker Memorial Math Award

The Jim Walker Memorial Math Award is given each year to a student who embodies the love of math and passion for learning that long-serving math teacher, Jim Walker, exemplified. From Honors Studio Geometry to Calculus, this student has always approached her math studies with a positive attitude and an open mind. She shows true engagement in every class and generously shares her perceptive insights with peers during class discussions and group work. When she makes mistakes or encounters a situation beyond her control that threatens to disrupt her learning, she maintains her sunny disposition and shows true resilience. She is not intimidated by the hard work necessary to optimize her learning. We know that her optimistic attitude and strong work ethic will lead her to success in any endeavor she chooses to pursue in the future. 

It is our pleasure to announce the winner of the 2022 Jim Walker Memorial Award, Genesis Rivera.

Computer Science Award

The Computer Science Award is given to a student who has distinguished themselves through their exceptional commitment and enthusiasm in this field. Our recipient has repeatedly impressed his classmates and teachers with his innovative solutions, critical thinking, and keen interest in anything related to coding and Computer Science. His study through creative graphics, computer games, engaging programs, and data analysis models have empowered and challenged his peers. His work has elevated our collective awareness of the rich opportunities presented by Computer Science. Recently, he worked with the Advanced Computing class on a Contact Tracing App meant to help the PDS Health Office monitor the spread of the Covid-19 virus in our community and notify close contacts. Currently, he is devoting his senior project to developing a website that can store, search, and filter information about all senior projects completed by PDS students. As a member of the Computer Science Club, he was instrumental in helping organize the first two editions of “PantherHack,” PDS’ very own Hackathon. He is an authentic example of what it means to be a creative, outside-the-box thinker. 

We are thrilled to present the Computer Science Award to Grant Wells.

Biology Award

This year the Biology award is proudly given to a student who has repeatedly demonstrated a profound aptitude and appreciation for biological sciences. Always carrying a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species, complete with notes in the margin of the pages, this student’s eagerness to discuss evolution, or, indeed, ANY life-sciences topic, has been a pervading theme throughout his PDS science studies. Often unprompted, he poses deep, thoughtful questions to his teacher and to his peers in AP Biology class, clearly displaying an extensive understanding of a learned concept. His work in our student-driven, inquiry-based laboratory exercises, shows that he can think outside the box and is not deterred when the experiment yields surprising results. His dedication to in-depth analyses on topics within the life sciences field is a hallmark of his fascination with science.  

This year, the Biology Award is presented to Jackson Cook.

Hubert N. Alyea Chemistry Award

The Hubert N. Alyea Chemistry Award is given by the Princeton Section of the American Chemical Society and is named for the renowned Princeton Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. This year’s award winner is an accomplished science olympiad competitor and co-head. She has achieved accolades and recognition in the field of science, both inside and outside the classroom. She has always approached chemistry with a can-do attitude. She tackles the most challenging topics with the same vim and vigor as the less rigorous ones and rallies her peers to collaborate — always contributing to a supportive learning environment. We wish this budding scientist an amazing journey into medicine, as she matriculates into the prestigious 8-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) at Brown University. 

This year’s recipient of the Hubert N. Alyea Chemistry Award is Elizabeth Lee.

Physics Award

The Physics Award is given annually to a student who has developed a strong conceptual understanding of physics, fluency with advanced mathematical principles, and the ability to apply ideas creatively to analyze and solve complex scientific problems. In the classroom this individual is contemplative and adds depth to the conversation with their insight and questions. This student has also shown an ability to communicate their thoughts coherently and with a significant level of detail and depth. 

For excellence in the study of Physics, we are delighted to present this Award to Christian Mayer.

The Award For Overall Science Excellence

The “Overall Science Excellence” Award goes to a student who has developed a strong holistic understanding of the three main branches of science and shows a genuine interest in making the appropriate connections among them. They have a good understanding of how systems change and interact and the properties of matter, life, and energy. This student has conducted bioinformatics research with the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University. Furthermore over the past four years, this individual has contributed meaningfully to the life of the school by displaying leadership in science extracurricular activities and performing well in science competitions. 

This year's Overall Excellence in Science Award goes to Jenny Fan.

The Elizabeth Fine Latin Award

The winner of this year’s Miss Fine’s Latin Prize has immersed herself in classical learning at PDS. In addition to her four years of outstanding results in Latin courses and two years of Ancient Greek, she excelled in an English elective on the Odyssey last year as well as in Dr. Monroe’s Art History AP course. The sum total of her Humanities work has added up to a deep understanding of two ancient languages, the art and culture of the Romans and Greeks, and the foundational mythology and literature of geniuses of World Literature. A charming, unpretentious, student with a silly sense of humor and a deep appreciation for learning and school, this year’s winner reminds us of the paradox that there is a usefulness for useless knowledge. 

This year’s prize goes to Elizabeth Lee.

French Award

The recipient of this year’s French Award is a student who, in addition to a remarkable mastery of the language, has developed a real love for French culture and French literature. Her passion for unusual and sophisticated vocabulary and her insatiable curiosity for challenging literary texts has helped her develop her remarkable oral and written proficiency. She is a perceptive reader of French literature, frequently leading her classmates in deep discussions about the many layers of meaning in literary masterpieces. 

For her contribution to all the language classes she enriched by her presence, this year’s French award goes to Linda Qu.

Chinese Award

The Chinese educator and philosopher Confucius believed that “Those who know the knowledge are not as good as those who can use it appropriately, and those who can use it appropriately are not as good as those who can enjoy it.”

Throughout her time at PDS, this year’s recipient has shown her passion for learning Chinese language and culture. Through trials and errors, her language skills have blossomed each day. She embraces the challenges with a huge smile and great enthusiasm. She is always the one who cannot wait to share what she has learned and discovered through her own research. Her short stories and presentations are a joy to read and to hear. 

For her love and commitment to the Chinese language and culture, this year’s award goes to Robyn Karchere-Sun.

Spanish Award

This year’s Spanish award goes to a student who has distinguished himself through his intellectual curiosity, his drive for academic excellence, and his dedication to the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. With a demonstrated track record in advanced classes such as AP Spanish Language and Spanish Peninsular Literature of near-native conversational fluency, college-level analytical writing, and a nuanced understanding of cultural idiosyncrasies, this student has been a leader in the classroom and has always searched for opportunities to further develop his language skills outside of it. Just as engaged when discussing access to healthcare in remote areas of Latin America as he is unpackaging a 17th century sonnet, he has always approached his study of Spanish with a wonderful mix of passion and empathy. 

For these commendable classroom achievements, as well as generous contributions to his teachers and language classmates, the Classical and Modern Language Department confers this year’s Spanish award to Milan Shah.

Dual Language Award

The recipient of this year’s Dual Language award is a remarkable linguist, fluent in three modern languages, and brilliantly progressing through her mastery of Latin. She incorporates her knowledge of modern languages into her study of classical language, utilizing her grasp of French to better understand Latin’s vocabulary and grammar. In Latin class, she provides insightful, and often humorous, observations regarding the ancient world, drawing intriguing comparisons between it and modern society. In her English and French classes, she distinguishes herself by her deep understanding of literature, as well as by her very elegant writing style — harkening back to an earlier era. Her success in writing stems from her realization that style matters as much as content; how something is said affects what is said. 

For her remarkable itinerary through the language program at PDS, this year’s Dual Language award goes to Bolin Shen.

Architecture Award

The Lake District in Northern England is where these three seniors proved themselves in an experience that went above and beyond the expected. They found the best in themselves and in each other, embedding themselves in a landscape, focused and clearly engaged with the spirit of their final studio. Their constructive criticism and informative dialogue, along with continually evolving ideas, was a source of inspiration and the foundation for recommendations to the Deans of the country’s leading Architecture departments. These three seniors have tested themselves at PDS and have the skills to confidently enter the architecture studios at Washington University in St Louis and Princeton University next fall. 

The 2022 Architecture Award is shared by Frances Bobbitt, Anshika Virani and Sophie Zhang.

Ceramics Award

The Ceramics Award is given to a senior that goes above and beyond the requirements set forth throughout the year. This student has spent several years developing their skills in ceramics and has consistently made work that commands the respect of their classmates. The artistic challenge is to find ways to bring your own interests and skills to the work that you make. This student has a very scientific mind and she used that approach in the ceramics studio. She completed an incredible amount of testing each time they embarked on a new project and kept detailed notes with all of the data from the testing. This allowed the student to consistently produce the best surfaces and glazes that were appropriate for their projects. This student’s excitement, positivity, work ethic, and creativity were a model for all students. 

Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Ceramics Award, Emma Ozdogan.

Multimedia Award

The Multimedia Award is given to a student who has made a commitment to using multiple materials and working in an interdisciplinary manner. Contemporary practice demands flexibility to bring together the right materials and methodologies towards solving a given problem. This approach requires independent research and a significant time commitment to build new skill sets. This year’s recipient has moved between a visual arts practice, print-making, fashion, film-making, zine publication, installation, performance-oriented work, writing, and even acrylic nail art. 

Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Multi-Media Award, Jinx Higgins.

Painting And Drawing Award

The Painting and Drawing Award goes to two students this year: Both have not only shown a commitment to deep focus in the studio, but have also managed to find a way to ask complex questions about the world around them. They have the ability to face the unknown and embrace unfamiliar processes while using techniques and tools that define their personal characteristics. Bringing together strong sets of technical skills with a deep conceptual framework, they have both produced work that has inspired and moved all of the members in their classes. 

With congratulations, this year’s award goes to both Eleanor Ding and Sophia Maggio.

Gary Lott Art Purchase Award

The PDS archive of student art work is as vast as it is beautiful. Much of the most coveted work has been acquired through the Gary Lott purchase award. 

This year’s recipient has earned the Purchase Award through hard work and an earnest commitment to her craft and curious engagement. Her drawings, prints, and artist books are true to her unique vision. She combines many passions and interests into her work with humor and sensitivity. Her presence in the studio is joyful, humble, and of the highest quality. Her work reflects the same through exploration of many materials and methods. 

The winner of the Gary Lott Art Purchase Award is Lizzie Thomas. 

The Mark Winstanley ‘90 Art Purchase Award

This year’s recipient of the Winstanley Purchase Award goes to a student who has been a marvelous fixture in the photo studio during all four years in the Upper School. 

Throughout her time at PDS, her portfolios have always demonstrated a conceptual cohesion and an aesthetic maturity that is well beyond what many students can accomplish in college. 

Her success comes from natural talent as well as spending significant amounts of time in the studio outside of class. On Friday afternoons, when most students are scrambling to leave for the weekend, she would settle into the digital lab as a therapeutic end to her week! 

Beyond her achievements in Photography class, this recipient has also excelled in the performing arts - particularly in Dance.

The winner of the Winstanley Purchase Award to Allison Liang. 

Photography Award

This year’s recipient of the Excellence in Photography Award has pursued photography in all four of her years in the Upper School. She has approached her work with unparalleled enthusiasm and curiosity in every aspect of the medium. Whether in bookmaking, digital or analog printmaking, studio lighting or long term conceptual projects, she has demonstrated an artistic and intellectual commitment to photography.

Beyond her vast academic achievements, she has a bright personality that lights up every room she enters. She has proven that great artistry can coexist very comfortably with good citizenship. In short, she is a treasured gift to the photography studio. 

Congratulations to Linda Qu. 

Andy Franz Woodworking Award

This Award is named in honor of former PDS teacher, Andy Franz. This year’s recipient has spent the last five years developing his craft in the design studio. A keen interest in traditional Japanese joinery motivated this student to hone his skills. Trial and error are an essential part of developing one’s craft, and his methodical approach to developing his skills allowed him to gain mastery in numerous techniques. Design and craftsmanship strike a balance and take form in his numerous masterfully crafted works. This year’s recipient of the Andy Franz award is Andrew Marshall.

Frank Jacobson Music Scholar

The Frank Jacobson Music Scholar program is named in honor of Frank Jacobson, who taught music at PDS from 1967-2000. He created this program to provide a course of study and a showcase for students who are serious about music performance and composition, and who intend to major or minor in music in college.

Please join me in congratulating the following Jacobson Scholars: seniors Emily Zhu, Veronica Li and Joseph Lippman and juniors Zoe Latanision and Ben Maschler.

Choral Music Award

This year’s Choral Music Award goes to a student who has excelled as a singer, musician, and leader. This student has proven his dedication and passion by having a near perfect attendance record between Chorus, Madrigals, and Y-Chromotones over the past four years. In addition to these ensembles, he has taken AP theory, performed in all of our school musicals, and performed a beautiful Jacobson senior recital on May 26th. 

This year’s Choral Award goes to Joe Lippman. 

Instrumental Music Award

This year's Instrumental Music Award goes to two students. The first, from her early years, set her mind to this art form. Even as a Lower School student, she made it clear where her interest and passion truly lived: She has been a member and leader of every PDS musical ensemble at PDS, including band, orchestra, chamber music, and the Tri-M Honors Music Society. Her contributions to music at PDS are countless. She has set a very high standard for her peers. 

The second Instrumental Music Award goes to an individual who has been a devoted member and leader of the band program for her entire PDS career. She is a model musician and always brings a positive attitude to every rehearsal. Year after year, she has earned her spot in the Central Jersey honor band as well as the New Jersey All State Band. She is humble, kind, and in many ways the backbone of the instrumental program here at PDS.

It is my honor to present this award to Veronica Li and Jenny Fan. 

Theater Award For Performance

This student has been a core member of the program since his freshman year, earning lead roles in every production and lending his talents to award-winning shows in a variety of roles and genres. He has been nominated twice as Outstanding Actor in NJ —for both his work onstage and in the virtual realm. And, in 2021,, he was named New Jersey’s Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his work in The Old Man and the Old Moon. In one of the most talented classes to have graced the McAneny stage in many years, this student emerged as a true game-changer. This award goes to a truly creative soul for outstanding achievement and contribution to the Theater Program at PDS.

The Theater Award for Performance goes to Andre Williams. 

Theater Award For Technical Achievement

The recipient for this year’s Theater Award for Technical Achievement has been indispensable on many productions during her time in the Upper School. She has shown a real passion for helping theatrical productions come to life. A natural leader and stage manager, she is always excited about the next production. She is willing to go above and beyond to bring a show to life. 

This year's Theater Award for Technical Achievement goes to Sanjana Paramesh.

Dance Award

There are so many talented dancers and choreographers in the class of ‘22. The Dance Award goes to someone who has consistently given her talents in broadening the dance program at PDS. She has performed at dance concerts, Lunar New Year celebrations for lower school students, and at the outdoor harvest festival. She has organized Kpop dance events and offered free dance classes to students during the pandemic. This student is also a star of classical Chinese dance. 

This year’s dance award goes to Allison Liang. 

Princeton Day School Scholar Athlete Award

Princeton Day School’s Scholar Athlete Award is given yearly to a boy and a girl in the senior class whose well rounded approach to academic and athletic excellence has resulted in remarkable achievements. Recognized at the school level, Princeton Day’s scholar athletes also compete on the statewide level for recognition by the New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Girl’s Scholar-Athlete Award

This award recognizes a student who has balanced a rigorous course load by maintaining a high standard of academic excellence, while fully committing to their athletic endeavors.

This year’s award recipient is a three-sport athlete and a leader on and off the field. She is the consummate teammate and a smart player on both ends of the court and fields. Her work ethic is an all the time gift that is evident in her relentless style of play. Her spirit is as important as her athletic ability. Her genuine love of the game is palpable. She enjoys being at every practice and competition, and her friendly, upbeat energy is contagious.

The Girl’s Princeton Day School Scholar-Athlete Award is presented with pleasure to Maggie Zarish-Yasunas.

Boy’s Scholar-Athlete Award

This student-athlete was born to be a racquet sports player. He is a two-sport varsity athlete who makes the games look easy with his natural skills and quickness on his feet. He always asks questions regarding the finest details to help him improve his fundamentals. His team-first philosophy is infectious. Whether he is on the court or in the classroom, his pursuit of perfection is always visible. 

The Boy's Princeton Day School Scholar-Athlete Award is presented with pleasure to Albert Ming.

Girls Gold “P” Award

The Gold P award is presented to a senior student-athlete who has contributed to the overall success of Princeton Day School’s interscholastic athletic program. The award celebrates athletic excellence, sportsmanship, leadership, and participation on varsity teams.

This year’s Girls Gold P Award winner is a three-sport athlete who has made an impact on the soccer and lacrosse fields, and on the basketball court since her freshman year. She serves as captain for both soccer and lacrosse and has received various All-Area accolades for her athletic excellence, including being named the Trentonian’s Girls Lacrosse Midfielder of the Year as a junior. Her coaches describe her as “the glue that holds a team together,” “a fierce competitor,” and “a Panther through and through.” We look forward to watching her take her lacrosse game to the next level as a Division I collegiate athlete next year.

The 2022 Girls Gold P award is presented with pleasure to Ali Surace.

Boys Gold “P” Award

The Gold P award is presented to a senior student-athlete who has contributed to the overall success of Princeton Day School’s interscholastic athletic program. The award celebrates athletic excellence, sportsmanship, leadership, and participation on varsity teams.

This year’s recipient of the Boys Gold P Award is a three-sport athlete who has been a consistent leader on the soccer, basketball and baseball teams. He returned to the soccer program this season and led a defense that took the team to the state finals. In the winter season, he again led his hoops team to a Prep B Final with his canty skill set and desire to win. In the spring, here isn’t a fly ball he can’t catch on the baseball field. His coaches describe him as “an unselfish athlete with a tremendous work ethic,” and “an outstanding competitor who is also a class act.” His leadership will be missed in the athletic program next year.

The 2022 Boys Gold P award is presented with pleasure to Connor Topping.

Frankie K. ‘76 Sportsmanship Award

This award is named for Frank Kontstantynowicz, Class of 1976, a revered Princeton Day School student-athlete. Frank also attended Harvard University, where he was a member of the varsity basketball team. This memorial award is given in honor of his natural athletic ability, genuine friendliness, sense of fairness, and his natural, unassuming leadership.

Girl’s Frankie K. ’76 Sportsmanship Award

The recipient of this year’s Girl’s Frankie K. ’76 Sportsmanship Award embodies all of the same qualities seen in Frank K. 45 years ago. Her passion and work ethic set a standard of excellence for her teammates to follow. She is a quiet, determined athlete who works hard in every practice and game. Though perhaps the way she is most like Frankie K. is in her friendliness and welcoming nature. Her coaches describe her as a “positive force who always has a smile on her face.” Her absence will be felt on the field hockey and ice hockey teams next year. We are greatly appreciative of the time, commitment, and hard work she has given the PDS Athletic Program over the last four years.

The Girl’s Frankie K. ’76 Sportsmanship Award is presented with pleasure to Franny Gallagher.

Boy’s Frankie K. ’76 Sportsmanship Award 

This athlete is the type of player who everyone wants to be around. He makes the people around him better and always lights up a room. A two-sport athlete, he always came to practice committed to improving himself and others around him. His coaches praise his coachability and work ethic. Whether he was in the game or on the bench, he always found a way to lead, support, and motivate his teammates. He is the consummate team player—selfless, positive, and always willing to do what is best for the team. A true leader, his presence will be missed across the board next year. 

The Boy’s Frankie K. ’76 Sportsmanship Award is presented with pleasure to Zach Law.

The Cum Laude Society

Each year, the PDS Chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducts a number of students whose academic performance and citizenship fulfill this National Honor Society’s guiding principles of excellence, justice, and honor. These are students who, each in his or her own way, enrich the life of the school with their creativity, boldness of thought, and generosity toward others. And —in addition to academic achievement —exemplify sound character, honor and integrity. In honoring them, we honor the best in each member of the class of 2022 and in all of us. 

Cum Laude Society Faculty Advisors, Lisa Webber and Steve Gadd, awarded the following Cum Laude inductees:

Mehak Dhaliwal
Jenny Fan
Timothy Fong
Neha Kalra
Arnav Kokkirala
Elizabeth Lee
Veronica Li
Alison Liang
Jason Ma
Christian Mayer
Albert Ming
Emma Ozdogan
Linda Qu
Milan Shah
Bolin Shen
Anny Shi
Eli Soffer
William Sun
Alison Surace
Samuel Tang
Yvonne Wang
Grant Wells

Congratulations to all of the award winners and all of our Upper School students!

Enjoy this Flickr Album from the ceremony!

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