New Canaan Country School held its Closing Exercises on Thursday, June 15. Head of School Dr. Robert P. Macrae encouraged the 45 ninth grade graduates of the Class of 2017 to develop an attitude of gratitude and practice positive habits of body and mind.
“It’s important to treasure the real, day-to-day moments that make up a life,” said Dr. Macrae. “Whether it’s the adrenaline that comes when winning a hard-fought game, nailing your ‘This I Believe’ speech or acing an English test, developing the habit of appreciating the smaller moments can be more rewarding and deeply stirring than some of life’s grander events.”
“In your classes, you have learned strong habits of the mind, but your brain training shouldn’t be limited solely to academic areas. It’s equally important to accept responsibility for your reflective thinking and your emotions. Through the ‘Mission Skills’, you have learned how important resilience, ethics and teamwork are and how much more successful you will be if you maintain a growth mindset.”
Ninth Grader Bo Zeigler of Rowayton delivered the Class Salutation in which he acknowledged the legacy of a classmate whose passion for public service will live on in the hearts of the graduates, members of the school and all who knew him. Kyle Markes passed away following a 13-month battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 11.
Catherine Ziac of Cos Cob presented the Class Reflection. In recounting her 12 years as a student at the school, she recalled lyrics of a song, originally written and composed by her grandmother, a former music teacher at the Pre-K (“Beginners”) through Grade 9 School: “Country School is a circle connecting all our lives, a place of peace and hope and love, a place of family ties. Our circle starts at Beginners and rolls on through ninth grade, Lower School, Middle and Upper School, ’til graduation day. Scrolling into the future, ‘Inch by Inch’ we’ll grow, our Country School will be with us wherever we may go.”
Zeigler and fellow Class of 2017 graduate, Katie Stevens of Darien, were the co-recipients of the Johansen Award, which is presented to those members of the graduating class who most exemplify the qualities of care and concern for others, compassion and a sense of community.
Class of 2017 graduate Haley Strom of New Canaan received the Gamble Award, which is presented to the student who exemplifies, to the highest measure, the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The Class of 2017 will attend the following secondary schools: Academy of Information Technology & Engineering – Stamford, Berkshire School, Blair Academy, Brien McMahon High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Darien High School, Deerfield Academy, Greens Farms Academy, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich High School, Kent School, King School, Marblehead (Mass.) High School, Millbrook School, New Canaan High School, Salisbury School, St. Luke’s School, The Ethel Walker School, The Hotchkiss School, The Lawrenceville School, The Taft School, Westminster School and Williston Northampton School.
The Class of 2017 include: Henry Alpaugh, Austin Andersen, Shane Baldwin, Kevin Barnard, Finley Bean, Marc Belak, Ellie Boeschenstein, Merrill Bright, Molly Connors, Hayden Critchell, Maeve DeGulis, Ian Delehaunty, Griffin Dewey, Carter George, Julia Graham, Sophie Gribin, James Hudson, Emma Hunter, Dylan Koo, Sloane Latimer, Cameron Lawrence, Eloise Leclerc, Brynn McClymont, Megan Meyerson, Taylor Mitchell, Eloise Morgan, Sydney Mouzon, Mimi Ndokwu, Sofie Pasztor, Desmond Pratt, Emily Riccardi, Carolina Salvatore, Teddy Schoenholtz, Sophia Smith, Nicholas Sosnow, Celia Sotirhos, Katie Stevens, Nate Stevens, Haley Strom, Charlie Tait, Kara Ventura, Chuck Warren, Bo Zeigler, Catherine Ziac and Teddy Zinn.
New Canaan Country School is a co-ed, independent day school for students in Pre-K (ages 3 & 4) through Grade 9. Located on a 75-acre campus at 635 Frogtown Rd in New Canaan, the school provides transportation to families living in Westchester and Fairfield counties.