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Class of 2020 Earns Accolades

The Senior Awards were presented at the 2020 Commencement, held on Saturday, July 25. Students were recognized for a wide variety of achievements, from academics to spiritual to athletic. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School congratulates these students for their excellence. 

The Faculty Award is presented to a senior who demonstrates scholarship, leadership and moral character. Nick Reddy is the 2020 recipient. “He is the most well-rounded kid who excels in everything. He connects with all types of kids and personalities and is the natural born leader that others follow,” Jason Rutledge, assistant principal for academics, said. 

 

The Atlanta Journal Cup is awarded to a senior who demonstrates excellence in academics, leadership and school community activities. As co-editor of the C&GJaylee Davis is a natural fit for the award due to her writing ability as her many contributions to HIES. Faculty describe her as “someone highly regarded by her peers and as well as all of the teachers who have taught her. Jaylee's thirst for learning is insatiable and extends beyond wanting to get a good grade. She is a knowledge seeker, a lifelong learner and has proven herself to be a leader amongst her peers.”

The Citizenship Award is presented to a senior who best exemplifies outstanding conduct toward other students, faculty, school and community. The 2020 recipient Lucy Brumbaugh is described as “the living essence of the Holy Innocents’ ideal of a caring community.”

 

 

The Madison Wilbanks Award for Excellence in Fine & Performing Arts goes to a senior whose excellence in the arts has brought inspiration to fellow students and faculty. Upper School teachers Alice Thompson and Patrick Pilkey said of the 2020 Recipient Tara Varzi: “Tara’s evolution of her own unique style exhibits a maturity of someone well beyond her years. Tara’s experiences have made her a champion for diversity, while expanding her leadership roles. Tara selflessly uses her gifts to bring joy and exposure to others and has earned numerous awards and recognitions.”

The James R. Best Award for Excellence in Math & Computer Science goes to a senior whose excellence in math or computer science has brought inspiration to fellow students and faculty. The 2020 Recipient is Maddy Hannan. A leader in Mu Alpha Theta math honors society, Maddy completed AP Calculus BC this year and scored a five on the AP math exam. “Maddy has a very strong mathematical mind, always had a positive attitude and was always willing to help a classmate in need,” John Taylor, Upper School mathematics & physics teacher, said.

S.T.A.R. Student and Faculty Awards: The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program honors Georgia’s highest achieving high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. To obtain the STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on any single test date of the SAT taken through the November test date of their senior year and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average. The 2020 Student Recipient is Matthew Keagle and the Faculty Recipient is Mrs. Melody Cannon. 

The Scholar Athlete Awards are presented to a senior male and female student-athlete with an exemplary GPA who best represents Holy Innocents’ in their sport and model our core values. Each recipient continues to have a positive attitude, give maximum effort, compete with integrity and is a great teammate. The 2020 Recipients are Abby Pilkenton and Sam Aiken. 

“Abby is a brilliant, fantastic person, swimmer and teammate. While she has won so many awards from All-American to Academic All-American to All-State to Swimmer of the Year, she is very humble and kind. She truly embodies the spirit of the HIES Golden Bears,” Kristina Nesbitt, varsity swim and dive coach, said. 

“Sam Aiken embodies the term student-athlete,” Todd Winter, head football coach, said. “In the classroom and on the field, he was committed to learning and improving each day to be the best. Lastly, he was an outstanding servant leader.”

The Principal’s Award is presented to a member of the senior class who has demonstrated academic achievement, commitment, responsibility and dedication to Holy Innocents’. “Setareh Khani has all of those qualities,” Adrienne Rowe, 12th grade dean, said. “As the president of National Honor Society, she took her role very seriously and fulfilled all the pillars of the organization. She took the time to communicate with her peers and provide opportunities for them to engage in the larger community.” Setareh also served as the HIES chapter president of Girl Talk and received an award this year. She was a RoundSquare representative, hosted international students on their visits and worked closely with Covenant House to participate in a SleepOut to draw awareness and support for youth homelessness. She was a varsity soccer captain, vice president of Rho Kappa, a Golden Bear Guide and a peer mentor. 

The Chaplain’s Award is given to that member of the graduating class who, through either accomplishment or personal example, has given witness and expression to the school’s mission and ministry as an Episcopal School. The 2020 Recipient is Asia Harris. “Asia is one of the most astute and consistent young people I have ever met,” the Rev. Ricardo Bailey, head chaplain, said. “She is a person who has an assignment and sees it through. She is someone I can really depend on and who also kept me on my toes.” 

The Rector’s Award is given to that member of the graduating class who, through perseverance, devotion, dedication and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence, has achieved a commendable measure of success. The 2020 Recipient is Patton Mooney. As an acolyte and a chapel leader, Patton regularly helped classmates to participate in chapel, according to Fr. Bailey. “She has an unbelievably positive spirit,” he said. “Her skills of genuine Christian diplomacy will serve her well.” 

The Bishop’s Award is presented to that member of the graduating class who has demonstrated, through devoted service to the school community and to the community at large, God’s call to “strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.” The 2020 Recipient is Kate Moore. “Kate’s devotion to service was amazing. She served on the Student Council for two consecutive years as the Community Service Chair,” Carmen Weissman, director of student activities & community service, said. “She helped to create the Make Tracks service initiative for the student body, fostered our relationship with Riverwood High School for Backpacks for Love and led the charge with various other service and fundraising efforts. She was a fantastic leader.”

The Headmaster’s Award is presented to that member of the graduating class who, with broad interests and with participation in a wide range of activities and pursuits, has made an outstanding contribution to the life and work of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. As Senior Class President, MaryCamille Quigley worked tirelessly over the course of the school year to lead her class and re-imagine many of the planned events in the spring semester. “She is a really dynamic person who embodies Golden Bear spirit with her leadership, service, the way she cares for her classmates and the way she represents the school,” Paul Barton, head of school, said. “She’s got an energy about her and people are drawn to her—she’s optimistic, positive and has a great sense of humor. She can inspire and mobilize people really well.” 

The Excellence in Moral Courage Award goes to a senior who demonstrates moral strength, integrity and courage. This award was presented to the entire Class of 2020 for their conduct over the past several months. They persevered in the face of the pandemic and coped with isolation during a time when they normally would gather even closer as a class. “This class has demonstrated persistence, kindness, generosity and honesty in the past few months,” said Ms. Rowe. 

— Christina Mimms