2021-2022 Awards Celebration

Monday, June 7, 2022—With Upper School students, faculty, and staff in person under the tent, the Winsor community came together for the 2021-2022 Awards Celebration. The annual event honors the athletic, artistic, and academic accomplishments of Winsor students and their contributions to the community. 

In her welcome to students, Head of Upper School Kimberly Ramos shared, “These awards are important not only for the winners, but also for all of us at Winsor. They represent something for students to aspire to, and also something for us to be proud of, collectively. While many of today’s awards recognize individual achievement, perhaps one of the best parts of a Winsor education is the way in which we work together as a community to encourage, challenge, and inspire one another.”

Before the awarding of prizes, Ms. Ramos acknowledged one additional celebration saying, you may “have all noticed this gorgeous table of beautifully wrapped prizes, and I’d like to take a moment to thank Ms. Marshall. I know we are all so grateful to be greeted by her each morning, and it was she who wrapped all of the awards, and added a little extra love to each one.”

Head of School Sarah Pelmas stepped up to the podium to speak a little bit about this “extraordinary [year] for Winsor teams,” which included winning four Eastern Independent League (EIL) championships and two New England championships, breaking four school records and two league records, plus four EIL Coach of the Year awards and and five EIL Players of the Year awards. She added, “None of that happens without every single member of the team, and every fan, and every coach throughout the program…I am so proud of all that you and your coaches accomplished.” Associate Head of School Kate Caspar and Athletic Director Sherren Granese joined Ms. Pelmas in conferring the athletic awards. 

Afterward, the Winsor Dance Team took over the aisles of the tent to perform “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Winsor Dance Team members include Aleena Bacorro ’25, Amanie Yusuf ’25, Amira Barnett ’26, Kendal Pauyo ’26, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick ’25, Melissa Gutierrez ’23, Saratu Waya ’26, Susan Zuo ’26, and Youjin Choi ’26. Under the direction of Performing Arts Faculty Carey McKinley, they had the entire tent clapping and cheering. 

The celebration continued with farewells and thank yous to faculty and staff who are leaving or retiring. Ms. Pelmas wished World Languages Faculty Veronica Plata and English Faculty Ned Henningsen well on their year away—they’ll both be back for the 2023-2024 school year. Ms. Pelmas also extended her gratitude to Emilio Saavedra for stepping in to teach French while Dana Martin took sabbatical, as well as Eileen Fox for stepping in while College Counseling Assistant Helen Vest was on maternity leave. Collect executives Kayla Springer ’22, Franchesca Vilmenay ’22, and Evelyn Wells ’22, came to the stage to offer goodbyes to departing faculty and staff. Their speeches, complete with student quotes and reflections, offered an opportunity for the gathered group to acknowledge each person’s contributions to the school with applause, and even some standing ovations. 

Departing and retiring faculty and staff include:

  • Teaching and Learning Specialist Kara Catino
  • Science Faculty Nicole Uhre-Balk
  • School Counselor Madeline Warlan
  • Assistant Director of the Virginia Wing Library Amanda Blicharz
  • History Department Head Brian Didier
  • History Faculty Kate Grant
  • Director of the Virginia Wing Library Alice Stern
  • Director of Alumnae Engagement Elisabeth Peterson '80, P'11

Ms. Pelmas invited Ms. Caspar and Ms. Ramos to join her in conferring the academic, community, and leadership awards. SASS—Students Advocating School Spirit—won the Class of 2002 Award, which recognizes a student club or committee that has enhanced the environment of Winsor through its commitment to community, teamwork, and innovation. It is given to a student organization that has had a positive impact on the school in the spirit of the collaboration and unity valued by the Class of 2002. SASS seized the opportunity to announce the winner of the house cup, which was awarded to the Panthers! 

Alums may recall “Reds and Whites” or “Fifes and Drums.” Wondering what house you fall into now? Announced at 2022 Alumnae Weekend, Fifes are Panthers, and Drums are Jaguars. A reimagined house competition, SASS worked with Ms. Pelmas and others to come up with a new concept, which became “Panthers and Jaguars,” inspired by the fact that we are all Wildcats. 

Following the awards, Kelly Yin ’26, Susan Zuo ’26, and Head of Performing Arts Felicia Brady-Lopez performed the first movement of Moritz Moszkowski’s Suite for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 71 before Miracle Hodge ’22 introduced the senior-elected faculty speaker: long-time beloved Director of the Virginia Wing Library Alice Stern. Ms. Stern explained, “As of tomorrow, I will have seen 22 classes graduate from Winsor, but you will always hold a special place in my heart because I am ‘graduating’ with you.” Offering a series of reflections, Ms. Stern offered memories of her own life growing up and shared, “nobody understands you like people who knew you when you were a teenager.”

Head of Lower School Sharon Jones Phinney offered closing remarks. “You are all going home with a unique prize, another year at Winsor. And as we celebrate the winners of these awards, make sure to celebrate yourselves as well. Great job to all of you for a year well done and to the award winners for their personal accomplishments.” The Awards Celebration ended with cheers and excitement ahead of the 128th Commencement tomorrow.

View the photo gallery.