Head of School Alixe Callen conferred diplomas to 87 members of the Class of 2019 on the 121st Prize Day of St. George’s School.
Peyton Mulhern received the St. George’s Medal, the school’s highest award, given by vote of the faculty “to a member of the Sixth Form who through effort, character, athletics and scholarship, has best caught and expressed the ideal and spirit of St. George’s School.”
With 15 of her classmates, Mulhern is also a new inductee to The Cum Laude Society, an international honors society dating back to 1906, for “superior scholastic achievement and character at the secondary school level.”
Also honored with the Louise Elliot Cup, “for excellence in athletics and for promoting the spirit of hard, clean play,” Mulhern is a tri-varsity athlete who has earned multiple honors from the Independent School League (ISL) and the New England Prep School Council (NEPSAC).
At St. George’s, Mulhern was MVP on the girls varsity soccer team two years running, and this winter won the Coaches’ Cup in varsity ice hockey. Athletic Director Rachel Horn described Peyton as “the captain of all team captains, the Dragon of all Dragons.” Horn added, “Every day for twelve seasons, she has practiced hard, and she has played hard. Peyton leads by example. Peyton’s goal is to win, but she fully embraces and appreciates that she cannot reach that goal alone and must bring her teammates with her. Peyton provides words of encouragement when needed while also quietly exhibiting grit and determination through tough competitive matches. She has inspired teammates and coaches alike during her time here and will be missed greatly.”
Mulhern will attend Bowdoin College next year.
Spencer Dellenbaugh, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, won the Jefferys Prize, given “in memory of Cham Jefferys to the Sixth Former who, in the opinion of the faculty, has done the most to enhance the moral and intellectual climate of the school.”
A celebrated contender in world robotics competitions, Dellenbaugh also earned the Binney Prize, for highest scholarship in the Sixth Form, and was honored by ABC Television affiliate WLNE as one of the “Best of the Class” valedictorians in Rhode Island.
Dean of Students Derry Mason commented, “Spencer has been an integral member of the Honor Board this year. Working incredibly well with his peers and faculty, Spencer brought to the table a thoughtfulness, care and consideration of every student and of the school, qualities that stand out as examples for the whole community. His intellect, insight and humor have been much appreciated, not only by the Honor Board, but by the entire community.”
Math teacher Sarah Young, Spencer’s advisor for four years, said, “Spencer earned himself a great deal of respect during his four years on the Hilltop. He did this through so much more than his academic achievements and his student leader positions. As he said in his Chapel talk, it takes extra effort to engage fully in this community as a day student, and Spencer truly did bring his whole self to school. During his years at SG, Spencer truly demonstrated what an SG student can add to this community and leaves behind a great example for the students who follow him.”
Spencer will matriculate at Brown University in the fall.
The faculty selected Tony Wang as the recipient of the Phelps Montgomery Frissell Prize, for the senior “who, in the opinion of the faculty, has made the best use of her or his talents.”
A four-year senior from Beijing, Tony distinguished himself early as a talented film creator and the de facto school videographer. Tony created a film to honor the careers of Eric and Krista Peterson in the spring of 2017, as they departed after thirteen years of school leadership; Tony himself earned accolades for that film, including an Arété for his creative work in videography that year. Most recently, Tony was the creator and director of the Virtual Tour of St. George’s campus, commissioned by the Admission Office.
“Tony’s talent is two-fold: impressive audio-visual work and a propensity to be well-liked by the entire student body. Tony’s verve is embodied in the building crescendo and cheer at each Assembly in which he makes an announcement, and is on ever-present display each time he laughs. He has created a niche for himself here, and we will have shoes to fill in his wake,” said one faculty member of several who anonymously nominated Tony for the Frissell Prize.
Rachel Lu was honored with the Pullins Family Cup, “awarded to a girl of the Sixth Form whose steady devotion to the high ideals of good sportsmanship has been an inspiration to her fellow students.” Lu is a four-year senior from Shanghai and a tri-varsity athlete in cross-country, swimming and track.
Jackson Rockett won the corresponding sportsmanship award for Sixth Form boys, the Thayer Cup. Also a four-year varsity swimmer, from Marblehead, Massachusetts, Rockett carried MVP awards from NEPSAC in both 2018 and 2019. Rockett also received, with senior Charlotte Maerov, the Centennial Prize, given “to Sixth Form students who have made extraordinary and inspirational contributions to the school.”
Seniors A.J. Chicharro and Michael Gutierrez shared the George D. Donnelly Athletic Award, given to “a girl and boy who, in the opinion of the Head of School and the Athletic Director, possess a passion for athletics and demonstrate the dedication and sportsmanship to succeed in a variety of athletic endeavors.”
Chicharro has pushed St. George’s into the top tier of golfing competition since her freshman year, is a four-year varsity swimmer, and a two-year varsity soccer player. Varsity swimming coach Keri Cunningham called the 2019 season Chicharro’s “best yet” despite injuries. She added, “[AJ was] an example to others on how to train and compete like a champion.”
Gutierrez, a four-year senior from Valley Stream, New York, has been an impact athlete on both the varsity football team and on varsity track throughout his SG career. Head football coach John Mackay commented, “Guti is the coaches’ Special Teams Player of the Year. The 72 yards rushing and TD, the 126 yards in receptions (on 11 catches), the 20 tackles and five pass breakups on defense, and the nearly 100 yards on kickoff returns, capped another great season, and he never missed a game.”
Chyra Williams ’20 took the Conrad Young Award, given “to a member of the Fifth Form who has contributed significantly to the school’s efforts to become a more diverse, respectful community through scholarship, leadership and character.”
A varsity swimmer and runner, Chyra also earns high marks in a particularly challenging array of courses. Chyra is a three-year junior from Paterson, New Jersey, whom faculty and students elected this spring to serve as a Senior Prefect in 2019-20. Advisor Dwayne Pina spoke to Williams’ strength in the classroom, but focused on her extracurricular impact on the community: “Outside of the classroom [Chyra’s] dynamic personality, leadership skills, charisma, and respect from her peers have placed her in her current role as dorm prefect and one of five School Prefects next year. Overall, I think Chyra truly exemplifies what the SG student embodies. I’m proud of all of her accomplishments.”
The faculty and Head of School chose Zoe Petrovas ’20 as the winner of the Harvard-Radcliffe Book Award Prize.
A day student from Newport, Petrovas has become notable for her running and fundraising prowess, in addition to her scholarly accomplishments. She was named “Hometown Hero” by WPRI-TV for having raised $26,000 to support the Newport Women’s Resource Center last fall in a half-marathon in Narragansett . Zoe’s American Studies history teacher, Caitie Cotton, commented, “Zoe is constantly engaged, goes above and beyond in her work, and is a thoughtful contributor in all facets of the class. Furthermore, she really learns to learn. While some students of her caliber could be content just to get As, she has shown me throughout the year that she really puts her learning first. She is an absolute pleasure to teach, and my other students are better because of her.”
Other Fifth-Form students honored this week include Nora Collins ’20 of Essex, Massachusetts, and Naji Karam ’20 of Fall River, Massachusetts. Celebrated in a ceremony at the Providence State House, Collins and Karam each received a 2019 Rhode Island Civic Leadership Award from Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, “for outstanding contributions to their schools and communities over the past year.”
Mimi Jessop won the Allen Prize, awarded by the faculty “to a member of the Fourth Form who during the year, in the opinion of the faculty, has maintained a high standard in all departments of the life of the school.” A tri-varsity athlete from Rye, New York, continues to impress her teachers with what Chemistry teacher Scott Stachelhaus called her “peerless … effort, achievement and insight,” and “deep level of inquisitiveness.”
*This article was first published in the Prize Day Edition of The Red & White school newspaper on May 27, 2019.