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41 Eighth-Graders Graduate from Peck School

TAPinto.net Staff

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • 2:31pm

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Peck School graduated 41 eighth-grade students on June 6 amid much cheering, camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment. Family and friends of the Class of 2014 gathered in Peck’s Athletic Center to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.

Special guests John J. Kowalik, 10th Headmaster of The Peck School (2003-2013), and Andrew C. Delinsky, recently appointed 11th Head of School at The Peck School, were also in attendance.

The Class of 2014 welcomed back to campus Keeneh (Kiwi) Comizio of Basking Ridge (Peck ’10, Oak Knoll School ’14) as their Alumni Commencement Speaker. Miss Comizio earned a number of recognitions for her contributions to Oak Knoll; notably, for her roles as captain of the field hockey and lacrosse teams: Second Team All-State, Prep A Player of the Year, Best Offensive Player, First Team Regional All-American, and Third Team National All-American.  She also received Oak Knoll’s Scholar Athlete Award. Comizio will attend Yale in September.

J. Nicholas Hahn of New Vernon spoke on behalf of the Class of 2014, reading an essay he wrote according to the international “This I Believe” project, which engages people worldwide to describe the values that guide their daily lives.  He encouraged his classmates to dream big. “The question of whether or not you can change the world is already answered.  I know that each and every student from this diverse class of 2014 can. … Dream the biggest dreams, even if others disagree with you and your ideas.” Hahn will attend Delbarton School in the fall.

Student Council President Josephine Cummings of New Vernon presented the Class Gift to the School—new furniture to be installed in the eighth grade lounge area.  “We hope that this renovated area will continue to serve as a meeting place for Peck students to connect as friends,” she said. Cummings will attend Pingry School in the fall.

 

Several students were recognized for academic honors and special awards:

High Scholarship for the Year: Chet Comizio of Basking Ridge, Jennifer Coyne of Morristown, Josephine Cummings of New Vernon, Mariel Czerniecki of Bernardsville, Charlotte Hagerty of New Vernon, J. Nicholas Hahn of New Vernon, Frances Hough of Summit, Wesley Jakimowicz of Mendham, Andrew Nestle of Summit, Elizabeth Owen of Denville, Nicholas Ramsey of Summit, Erikka Schlott of Mendham, Alison Verdesca of Mendham, and L. Lindsey Yu of Mountain Lakes

For Special Service to the Kindergarten, in acting as mentors and “buddies” for Peck’s youngest students:  Quentin Abramo of Chatham, Jennifer Coyne of Morristown, Josephine Cummings of New Vernon, Mariel Czerniecki of Bernardsville, Madison Gibbons of Bernardsville, Gregory Gilbert of Chatham, Charlotte Hagerty of New Vernon, Oliver Hollo of Bernardsville, Wesley Jakimowicz of Mendham, Samuel Kirby of Morristown, Thomas MacCowatt Jr. of New Vernon, Jordan McGinley of Morristown, Elizabeth Owen of Denville, Arianna Russo of Morristown, and L. Lindsey Yu of Mountain Lakes.

Humza Bari of Towaco was awarded the Rudolph H. Deetjen Jr. Award.  This award is in honor of Peck’s beloved former Headmaster “Rudy” Deetjen who, during his 17-year tenure, highlighted the School’s commitment to character education and consideration of others.  The award is presented to a graduating student who, as selected by his or her peers, best demonstrates consideration of others and Peck’s Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Loyalty, Perseverance, and Empathy. Bari will attend Morristown-Beard School in the fall.

Matthew Campbell of Madison received the Norman R. Lemcke Jr. Memorial Drama Award for his creativity, talent, and commitment to the dramatic arts. Campbell will attend Delbarton School in the fall.

Chet Comizio of Basking Ridge was awarded the F. C. Reynolds Sportsmanship Award in recognition of his outstanding sense of leadership, fair play, and good sportsmanship. Comizio will attend Delbarton School in the fall.

Jennifer Coyne of Morristown was awarded the Malcolm E. McAlpin Science Award for her high curiosity, scientific reasoning, and commitment to excellence in science.  She received the Foreign Language Prize in French for her high achievements, interest, and enthusiasm for the study of French. In addition, Miss Coyne was awarded the Harriet Stratemeyer Adams Award for Highest Scholarship, an acknowledgement of that student who retains the highest scholarship average for the year including final exams.  She completed her eighth grade year carrying an outstanding 96.9 GPA. Coyne will attend Pingry School in the fall.

Josephine Cummings of New Vernon was awarded the school’s most valued and distinguished award, the Peck Loyalty Prize.  The award is given by the Trustees in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Lorraine T. Peck—leaders of the School for 27 years.  It is given to the student(s) who, in the estimation of the faculty, best exemplify consideration of others and consistently demonstrate the qualities of leadership, loyalty to the School, and all other attributes that make for successful academic, athletic, and personal relationships.  Additionally, she received the History Prize for her scholarly achievements in history and genuine enthusiasm for the study of the past. She also won the Foreign Language Prize in French for her high achievements, interest, and enthusiasm for the study of French. Cummings will attend Pingry School in the fall.

Calvary Dominique of West Orange was awarded the Rudolph H. Deetjen Jr. Award.  This award is in honor of Peck’s beloved former Headmaster “Rudy” Deetjen who, during his 17-year tenure, highlighted the School’s commitment to character education and consideration of others.  The award is presented to a graduating student who, as selected by his or her peers, best demonstrates consideration of others and Peck’s Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Loyalty, Perseverance, and Empathy. Dominique will attend Pingry School in the fall.

Charlotte Hagerty of New Vernon received the Foreign Language Prize in Latin for her high achievements, interest, and enthusiasm for the study of Latin. Hagerty will attend Kent Place School in the fall.

Alison McCarthy of Madison was awarded the F. C. Reynolds Sportsmanship Award in recognition of her outstanding sense of leadership, fair play, and good sportsmanship. McCarthy will attend Oak Knoll School in the fall.

Jordan McGinley of Morristown received the Foreign Language Prize in Spanish for her high achievements, interest, and enthusiasm for the study of Spanish. McGinley will attend Pingry School in the fall.

Elizabeth Owen of Denville received the Caspersen Family Mathematics Award in recognition of her effort, intuition, and creative talents in exploring mathematical concepts and understanding analytical procedures.  She also received the Eighth-Grade Art Prize for her outstanding artistic talent and genuine love of art. Owen will attend Kent Place School in the fall.

Benjamin Ramos of Summit received The Peck School Technology Award for his talent, innovation, and creativity with technology and his efforts to promote the respectful use of technology by all. Ramos will attend Pingry School in the fall.

Alison Verdesca of Mendham received the Alys H. Olney Music Award for her sincere interest in music and love of performance. Verdesca will attend Pingry School in the fall.

L. Lindsey Yu of Mountain Lakes was awarded the The John L. Hopkins Memorial Award for outstanding performance in English composition. She also received The Peck School Technology Award for her talent, innovation, and creativity with technology and her efforts to promote the respectful use of technology by all. Yu will attend Pingry School in the fall.

 

 

Following the student awards and recognitions, the inaugural Walker D. Kirby Faculty Award was presented.

 

The award is named for Mrs. Walker D. Kirby, who for nearly sixty years, as a Peck parent, grandparent, Parents’ Association Class Parent and Board of Trustee member, has given generously of her boundless energy and deep devotion to The Peck School.   As selected by the graduating class, this award annually honors a member of the faculty whose dedication to the School, its students, and its mission is an exemplary inspiration to the graduates and to the entire Peck community.

 

The recipient of the Walker D. Kirby Faculty Award was Mrs. Daisy Douglas Savage, Director of Secondary School Counseling.  In her address to the Class of 2014, Mrs. Savage who is known to her students for using a catchy phrase in her classroom to make a point, hoped that the graduates would remember attitude, gratitude, and dreams as they journeyed beyond Peck.  She emphasized that these three simple words were not “simple nouns but CALLS to ACTION.  And it is extremely hard to have one without the other.”

 

Diplomas were then conferred by Interim Head of School Elizabeth P. Riegelman, special guest John J. Kowalik (former Headmaster of The Peck School), and Board of Trustees President Henry Klehm. 

 

The ceremony ended with a benediction from Upper School Head Matt Sigrist. The Peck School congratulates the Class of 2014.

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