Sturgis Awards 2014

Awards Night East 021Photographs of Awards Night are presented in a slideshow at the end of this article. In addition to the academic awards presented during Awards Night, there are several Sturgis awards that merit special recognition. At Sturgis West, three awards are presented each year to graduating seniors: the William Sturgis Award, Sturgis Spirit Award and William Burke Scholarship.  At Sturgis East, four awards are presented each year to graduating seniors: the William Sturgis Award, Sturgis Spirit Award, Gretchen Buntschuh Literary Scholarship Award and Ryan King Award. A description of the 2014 awards and recipients follows.

Sturgis West

William Sturgis Award

Presented by Eric Hieser, Executive Director

The William Sturgis Award is given to one boy and one girl who, in the opinion of classmates and faculty, embody the positive attitude and exemplary conduct represented by the Sturgis Code of Conduct and Rules to Live By.  Each of the William Sturgis Award winners will receive a $500 college scholarship sponsored by the Sturgis Parents Association. The 2014 William Sturgis Award winners are  Michael Marsh and Gabrielle Healy.

Michael Marsh, Class of 2014

Sturgis BoyThe male award winner this year is, according to his teachers, the epitome of esprit de corps—he embodies what Sturgis is all about.  His heart is so big and his mind is in the right place.  He has shown a tremendous transformation over the past two years, and he is always the one in advisory from whom younger students seek his words of wisdom.  His caring for others is constantly demonstrated by his willingness to work with whoever is faced with a challenge.  Not only does he wear a smile but he brings out smiles in others.  Whether it is in basketball, Habitat for Humanity, or his academic endeavors, he truly gives from the heart and has become so successful.  He is a true, humble, and inspiring leader.  Of course, the William Sturgis Award goes to—-Mike Marsh!

Gabrielle Healy, Class of 2014

Sturgis GirlThe female award winner this year is described by her teachers as the epitome of the intellectually curious student.  Her contributions to classes are truly insightful and meaningful, and she is a model for being passionate about learning.  She inspires teachers because she demands the highest quality educational experience and will settle for nothing less.  She has a genuine thirst for knowledge and personal growth, yet she advocates for those in need.  Her commitment to create awareness about environmental and social responsibility spurs her to leadership in clubs and activities.  There is no question that she will be at the forefront in changing the world to become a better place for all.  Who else could the William Sturgis Award go to but—-Gabi Healy!



Sturgis  Spirit Award

Presented by  Peter Steedman, Principal

The School Spirit Award is given to one boy and one girl who, in the opinion of classmates and faculty, contribute to fostering school spirit through their enthusiasm, positive attitude and concern for others both within and beyond the classroom. Each of the Sturgis Spirit Award winners will receive a $500 college scholarship sponsored by the Sturgis Parents Association. The 2014 School Spirit Award winners are  Jacob Chagnon and Kelly Stuck.

Jacob Chagnon, Class of 2014

SteedmanHis leadership has impact. From start to finish – he is thorough advertising, getting the talent -look at the results of the last Talent Show! Large group of talent, parent food donation, student set up, and hefty profits for their work! He is a Trail Blazer.  He launched the first Junior Class field Trip to six flags organizing transportation, permission slips and parental communication. Led response to when a parent in the community thought some of our students were speaking poorly about a student with special needs who attends Riverview.  Although this young man was not present when the supposed incident happened, he gave the parent and the Riverview student the benefit of the doubt.

Even though he and the other members of student government believed that the incident had been misperceived, he wanted the parent to know that we at West took full responsibility for any slight that may have occurred. He has gone far beyond coordinating dances and spirit week activities….he is Currently spearheading the creation of a new school constitution. His effective listening skills makes him a leader on the lacrosse field, in the classroom and even the world beyond as he will attend the IB World Conference in Montreal this spring. Wants to be in politics not for own personal recognition, but he wants to represent the entire community.

I’m impressed with his focus and seriousness but also his inclusiveness and engagement with students and teachers.  Laurie Carah, Librarian

He is working to take over the world, in the best possible way. He has pinpointed how to succeed at life at this age, and every project he undertakes or person he works with is immediately bettered by his worldview, practical optimism, and sharp mind. He is a brilliant and natural leader among his peers, rallying them in the classroom, on the sports field, and in the hallways. He is the kind of student everyone wants to be more like, and we as teachers are glad for that, because he is a superlative young man in every sense. We could all do well to be more like this student.      Geneva Robinson, Latin

Kelly Stuck, Class of 2014

Spirit KellyShe is who pulls everyone together with her enthusiasm and positive attitude.  I’ve never heard her voice displeasure about a result (be it academic or athletic)….only upbeat about the effort put in and the fun that was had along the way. During Spirit Week, she was one of a small handful of seniors who rallied her class to show their school spirit.  She was the mastermind behind the senior hallway decorations and stayed late to be sure it was done well. I know she was one of the seniors who made the “banner of college pennants” having in the atrium.       Al Pagenkopf, Mathematics

 I remember her coming out for the lacrosse team her 11th grade and volunteering to try out the goalie position.  I have never seen anyone so unafraid to have others shoot at her with a hard white ball.  Not only is she willing to sacrifice her body for the team, she is also one of the first to give words of encouragement to her teammates when things are not necessarily going their way.  If you want something done for the school, you call on this girl.      Tonja Weimer, Biology 

When I think of this person the first word that comes to my mind is ALACRITY – her cheerful willingness and “can do” approach to life is inspirational and contagious!      Pete Richenburg, Art

Her smile and positive disposition in my class -and outside of it- were always refreshing for me and your peers.         Ilan Vaisman, Spanish

She has contributed so much to our Positive Culture at Sturgis, from her gentle smile, beguiling laughter, and commitment to all her activities.      Laurie Carah, Librarian

It is hard to put into words what she did for prom.  She was responsible for every party favor and she wrote out by hand EVERY SINGLE PROM INVITATION.             Elise Edmonson, History

William H. Burke Scholarship

Presented by Pamela Burke, Guidance

Pam Burke and Chelsea CrowleyThe William H. Burke scholarship is given in honor of my father-in-law.  He passed away 2 years ago of ALS.  Bill was a veteran of the United States Army, graduated from Notre Dame University, and went on to join and grow his family’s business.  He was known for his generosity and philanthropic endeavors that touched the lives of many.

This scholarship will be given to one Sturgis West graduating senior who exhibits an entrepreneurial spirit, contributes positively to the community, is concerned with the wellbeing of others, and whose determination and tenacity helped them overcome obstacles.

Although there are many deserving individuals, the scholarship committee had to pick one who best embodies the spirit of this award.

This student has contributed to the school community through her involvement in the STAGE productions.  She has been the stage manager for all of the productions at Sturgis West in addition to providing photography for these events.  She is an equestrian and dedicated rider.  Having an entrepreneurial spirit, this student created her own business and takes photographs at equestrian shows.

Ms. Botsford shared with me that she has watched this individual “very willingly help other students struggling with a homework assignment, lab or a set of performance lines.  Even when she, herself, is trying to keep up with schoolwork, she wants to help others.  She has a genuine and kind nature and approaches life with a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and a commitment to do her personal best.  When faced with challenging or stressful situations, she will persevere and push herself to keep moving forward.

It is with great pleasure to present the William H. Burke Scholarship to Chelsea Crowley.

Sturgis East

William Sturgis Award

Presented by Eric Hieser, Executive Director

The William Sturgis Award is given to one boy and one girl who, in the opinion of classmates and faculty, embody the positive attitude and exemplary conduct represented by the Sturgis Code of Conduct and Rules to Live By.  Each of the William Sturgis Award winners will receive a $500 college scholarship sponsored by the Sturgis Parents Association.  The 2014 William Sturgis Award winners are John Bondarek and Hannah Taylor.

John Bondarek, Class of 2014

John BondarekThe male award winner this year is a friend to everyone, in fact, he constantly reaches out to be of service to whomever is in need.  An active leader in the Business Club, Student Council, and his church, his leadership qualities were on display when he organized the student club sidewalk fair and many other events.  He has a great work ethic and exhibits the maturity of someone twice his age.  He is the embodiment of many of the traits in the IB Learner Profile, and his teachers describe him as a pleasure to have in class.  He plans to continue his studies at Cape Cod Community College and then transfer to Emerson College in Boston.  I can think of no one more deserving of the William Sturgis Award.  This year the award goes to John Bondarek.

Hannah Taylor , Class of 2014

Awards Night East 227The female award winner this year is a young woman whom teachers feel fortunate to have in class as she enhances the teaching experience.  She asks probing and clarifying questions which benefit her own understanding and that of others.   Her work is described as impeccably done, yet she is open to constructive criticism and has a constant focus on personal growth.  Displaying a humble maturity, she is always willing to work with others who find the work a real challenge.  Having gained acceptance to one of the most highly selective U.S. university programs where only 1.5% of the applicants are admitted, next year she will attend New York University—Abu Dhabi  on a full, all expenses paid scholarship.  This year the William Sturgis Award goes to none other than Hannah Taylor.



Sturgis Spirit Award

Presented by Paul Marble,  Principal

The Sturgis Spirit Award is given to one boy and one girl who, in the opinion of classmates and faculty, contribute to fostering school spirit through their enthusiasm, positive attitude and concern for others both within and beyond the classroom. Each of the Sturgis Spirit Award winners will receive a $500 college scholarship sponsored by the Sturgis Parents Association. The 2014 Sturgis Spirit Award winners are Catherine Etienne and Adam Bennani.

CatherineCatherine Etienne, Class of 2014

Whether she is in the hallways, the classroom, the athletic fields, student council, or volunteering beyond the school walls, Catherine Etienne brings with her a deeply welled positivity and kindness.  Her enthusiasm, zest for life, and care for others has earned her the admiration and respect of her peers and teachers, and is at the heart of why she is the Sturgis Spirit Award winner.

Awards Night East 220Adam Bennani , Class of 2014

A very thoughtful, generous, and compassionate person,  Adam Bennani has contributed greatly to the class of 2014 and to the ethos of Sturgis East.  Adam listens, cares and acts with sincerity, and has demonstrated his genuine leadership on the field, in the classroom, and amongst his peers and teachers.  He is an excellent embodiment of Sturgis values, and is the Sturgis Spirit Award winner.



Ryan King Award

Presented at Graduation by Robert Albis, Lead Latin TeacherRyan King Award

Ryan King is an alumna of Sturgis who surmounted serious physical injuries during her time here and graduated in 2002; she is now a teacher in Massachusetts. The Ryan King award therefore honors those traits she embodies and is given to the graduating senior who most exhibits perseverance, determination, resolve and a positive attitude in his or her academic pursuits. The Ryan King Award winner receives a college scholarship given by the Sturgis Parents Association.

This year’s winner made a very quiet entrance into Sturgis. In fact, right before the first Latin class I was to have with him, his guidance counselor told me that he probably would not speak a word.  This turned out not to be an exaggeration.  I could tell he was following the proceedings of the class with keen interest, but his shyness prevented him from taking much part in them.  It was not until I started collecting written work that I realized that this reticent young man had an extraordinary gift for language. Many of his other teachers have commented on this: perhaps his history teacher, James Fetzer, sums up best the exalted level of this student’s written work; he says he, “doesn’t write essays, he writes literature.”  I know that I and all his other teachers during his first years at Sturgis wanted to see him become more confident about sharing his gift of language not only with his pen, but also with his voice.

Today, in the student’s own words, he has grown from a “soft-spoken boy . . . into a hard-working young man, who has a real voice.”  He gives much credit to Sturgis for this transformation. It is certainly true that he benefitted from the encouragement given by his teachers, including the time he spent with Mark Blake simply practicing to project his voice, and especially from the kindness of the other students.  But it was mainly due to his own perseverance, the way he took on challenges that he knew would be difficult for him, but would make him more confident – most notably, his brave decision to participate in the World Challenge trip to Ecuador.  It is because of his own resolve and willingness to take risks that today, this young man has a real voice, and the world is richer for hearing it. It is the voice of Joseph Falcey.

Gretchen Buntschuh Literary Scholarship Award

Presented at Graduation by Eric Hieser

Ben BrownGretchen Buntschuh was a colleague of ours who taught English at Sturgis and influenced students and colleagues with her grace, insight and command of language.  Sadly, Gretchen died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

The Gretchen Buntschuh Literary Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior who has demonstrated a genuine interest in literature and love of language. Following thoughtful deliberation, the scholarship committee and English Department faculty feel the senior who best embodies the spirit of Ms. Buntschuh’s gift and passion for language is … Benjamin Brown.

Sturgis faculty provided the following description of Ben’s abilities:

Marca Daley, ToK:  “Ben is a discerning critical thinker and never settles for vague generalities or unsupported assertions.   In his writing this year, whether reflective journals or formal essays, he demonstrated his thoughtfulness in comprehensive yet concise prose.    Ben consistently explored different perspectives, evaluating their reasoning and various justifications, and at the same time acknowledges his own assumptions, as he works to assess the validity of his conclusions and considers their implications in a wider context.”

Robert Albis, Latin: “Ben’s command of Latin is such that he can read difficult Latin texts not only with understanding but also with a sensitivity to nuance. Along with his ability to be precise in his attention to individual words, Ben has a fine familiarity with the social context that produced these texts. Few students possess such a comprehensive competence to interpret Latin literature. What makes Ben even more remarkable is the humility and sense of humor with which he comports himself. Ben is quite simply one of the best students I have ever taught, and one of the finest young men I have ever known.”

Brown bookIn addition to this $500 scholarship, Talin Bookbindery in Yarmouthport has donated a beautifully hand-bound collection of Ben’s essays written during his four years at Sturgis.  Talin hopes to inspire fine young writers to continue writing and to develop an appreciation for the ancient craft of bookbinding.   Congratulations!

Each year since the Buntschuh scholarship began in 2010, Jim Talin and Pamela Talin-Bryant of Talin Bookbindery have generously donated a hand-bound book of selected writings to the winner. For more information about Talin Bookbindery, see:  Nicole Muller’s article – “Old-time Art Practiced at Yarmouth Port Bindery:”

To see how Talin Bookbindery makes marbled paper, check out their fascinating video, Turkish Marbling at Talin Bookbindery


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

%d bloggers like this: