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Honors Presented to Senior Class of 2021

As part of the Class of 2021 Commencement held on Saturday, May 16, awards were presented to seniors. 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 Atlanta Journal Cup is awarded to a senior who demonstrates excellence in academics, leadership and school community activities. The 2021 recipient is Madeline Poch. She has been a captain of the cross-country team and is an active member of a myriad of clubs, including Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society. She served as co-editor-in-chief of the C&G and has been actively involved in Swim Across America, helping to raise money for cancer research. She was the Class of 2021 Valedictorian. She will attend Georgia Tech. 

The Citizenship Award is presented to a senior who best exemplifies outstanding conduct toward other students, faculty, school and community. The recipient is Kate Reddy, who is described as one who “extends herself to her peers and leaves a lasting impact on anyone who has interactions with her. She greets everyone she meets with a huge smile and friendly words.” She is a member of National Honor Society, and she serves the wider community through her work with Horizons. She will attend Duke University. 

The Madie 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. This year’s recipient, Nathan Weaver, served as the Student Technical Director for 15 full scale productions across three divisions and has been the first student in the history of the school to be entrusted with the role of Sound Designer. His maturity, work ethic, positive attitude, and passion for all things theatre has made him a mentor to younger students and a colleague to those on faculty. He will attend Centre College. 

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 2021 recipient is Robert McDonald. He is described as “an exceptional computer science student with very strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. He has completed computer science courses, AP CS and Data Structures, and Honors Precalculus, AP Statistics, BC calculus with excellent scores in all. He was an enthusiastic participant in the Georgia Math League contests, notching the highest score for our school team on several contests, and served as President of the Coding Club. He will attend Georgia Tech. 

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 2021 Student Recipient is Lane Estes and the Faculty Recipient is Mr. John Taylor. Lane will attend University of Georgia.

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 2021 Recipients are Rachel Suttle and Landon Kardian. 

Rachel has excelled basketball and soccer during her tenure at Holy Innocents’. She will play soccer at the University of Georgia. Head Basketball Coach, Nichole Dixon said, “She leaves a legacy of hard work, kindness, and a mama bear mentality. She bleeds crimson and gold and will leave HIES better than she found it.”

Landon has excelled in four sports during his high school career. In his senior year, he earned All-Region honors in football and basketball, and he participated in soccer and track and field in the spring. Head Football Coach Todd Winter says, “He is one of the most versatile players I have had the opportunity to coach. His work ethic is second to no one. He excelled in the classroom and on the field, and he embodies our servant leadership principles.” He will attend Kennesaw State University in the fall where he will play football.  

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’. The 2021 recipient is Arin Francis. She has performed in numerous HIES theater productions, is a member of the Program for Global Citizenship and is a leader in community service. “Everything she does is with a dedication and an enthusiasm that is unequaled. Her energy and commitment are infectious, as are her high standards and work ethic,” Manning Weir, upper school principal, said. She will attend University of Michigan. 

The Faculty Award is presented to a senior who demonstrates scholarship, leadership and moral character. The 2021 recipient is James Watson, whom teachers called “Mr. HI and a leader, leading through an example of hard work and service to others.” He will attend University of Georgia. 

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. Rebekah Glover is the 2021 recipient. The Rev. Ricardo Bailey, head chaplain, said that she “was formed and taught right: do everything for the greater glory of God. She is unfailingly polite, kind to every adult and student on campus, lives our philosophy of respecting the dignity and worth of every individual consistently shows kindness toward others.” She will attend Spelman College. 

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 2021 recipient is Clark McArthur. The Rev. Bill Murray, rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church said, “He’s curious about all kinds of things and has lots of interests, from music history to cooking to religion. He has an active mind – you recognize quickly when speaking with him just how insightful and observant he is.” Clark served on the HIES delegation at the Round Square International Conference in India, was a member of the soccer and cross country teams and is an Eagle Scout. He will attend University of South Carolina. 

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 2021 recipient is Maggie Belenky. She has performed in HIES theater productions since the sixth grade, served as president of Girl Up and co-editor-in-chief of the C&Gand has worked with Horizons. “She cares deeply about the world around her and is always looking for ways that she can advocate for others who need it most,” said Fr. Murray. She will attend Furman University. 

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. The 2021 recipient is Logan Jackson, whom Paul Barton described as “a true servant-leader. She leads by example, with infectious enthusiasm, and with impeccable integrity.” In addition to completing the Program for Global Citizenship, she has completed seven AP courses. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and the English, Science, and Social Studies honor societies. Logan will attend the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Foundation Scholar. 

The Excellence in Moral Courage Award goes to a senior who demonstrates moral strength, integrity and courage. In 2021 there are two recipients: Eric Francis and Spencer Pearson

One of Eric’s teachers said of him: “It is no secret that he manages difficulties that our other students do not. He has done so with a smile, sense of humor, and confidence that I admire.” Eric will attend University of Alabama. 

Spencer is described as “a student who has always demonstrated a tremendous amount of care for those around him, even he was in need of care himself.” He will attend University of Miami.