Awards Night 2017

Photographs 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 two Sturgis awards presented to four graduating seniors that merit special recognition: the William Sturgis Award and Sturgis Spirit Award. Full text of the William Sturgis and Sturgis Spirit Award presentations follow.

Welcome to Awards Night 2017

Paul Marble

Comments by Paul Marble, Executive Director

Good evening, and welcome – students, parents, faculty, family and friends – to Sturgis Annual Awards Ceremony. My name is Paul Marble; I am the Executive Director, and it is my honor and pleasure to say a few brief words to you at the beginning of tonight’s program.

This is one of my favorite events of the year because it is a celebration of our values – specifically the power of learning, growth, relationships and community. We hear faculty speak from the heart about their awareness and appreciation for our students, and we learn more about our students’ remarkable qualities of character.

Speaking of qualities, the IB Organization has ten IB Learner Profile Traits that represent 10 attributes valued by all IB World Schools. The IB believes these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities. Please join me in keeping some of these traits in mind: knowledgeable, inquirer, reflective, caring, balanced, risk-taking, communicator, thinker, principled and open-minded. I predict you will notice these traits in both the text and subtext of our faculty addresses.

Tonight is about celebrating learning, growth, relationships and community, not about status and numbers. At Sturgis, we are quite intentional with our practices. We do not have honor roll; weighted Grade Point Averages; class rank; national honor society; valedictorians; salutatorians; nor many other traditional markers of success because we strongly believe that these types of markers inhibit – rather than promote – learning, growth, relationships and community. As you listen to the faculty’s addresses tonight for our class awards, college book awards and school-wide awards, please listen keenly for evidence and examples of what we do value.

Captain William Sturgis

William Sturgis Award

The William Sturgis Award is given to one boy and one girl on each campus 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.

Sturgis Code of Conduct and Rules to Live By

Be a person of integrity. Act honorably.
Be kind, polite, and caring at all times. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Strive for excellence without arrogance. Do your best.
Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your parents to know about.

The Crowd Celebrates

Respect the positions and ideas of those around you, even if you don’t like them. Keep an open mind.
Allow for imperfections in others; you’re not perfect yourself.
Tolerate honest mistakes from people that are doing their best.
Lead by example.
Speak well of others; gossip undermines human dignity.
Seek the truth in all matters.
Celebrate life with humor.
Live and learn, but teach others as well.

West Campus

Presented by Jenn Kirk, Sturgis West Principal

Sarah Buchanan

William Sturgis Winners – West Campus  
Chad MacMillan and Sarah Buchanan


This student has been described as amazingly intelligent and very level headed. No matter how much work she had she never complained – Without fanfare and always with great humility, she just got the work done!

She is exceedingly optimistic, humble,and kind,with an amazing “can do” attitude.

Whether in the classroom, in school clubs, on the playing field or at her part-time job, she is prepared and ready to accomplish the task at hand with her calm and reassuring presence.  She is a natural and humble leader with instincts and quick-mindedness that allow her to accomplish truly remarkable things in her life.   A loyal friend and great team captain, this student has been a true force at Sturgis!

What an honor it is to present the William Sturgis Award to Sarah Buchanan.

Chad MacMillan

This student is known to be enthusiastic about everything. He always has a smile on his face and has something positive to say to everyone.

He is intellectually curious and deeply interested in engaging with ideas.  He does not shy away from sharing his own carefully crafted opinions, but always respectfully considers the positions held by others.  He is a genuine person who cares deeply for others and is inclusive and welcoming in all he does.

As Ms. Most shared, You could put a plate with one pea on it and he would be thankful and tell you it was the nicest meal he ever had.

Profe Bonilla has calls him an ambassador for the world!  When she traveled with him to the IB student world conference in Denver co, everyone knew who he was before the end of the conference.

He does not let public opinion sway him.  He creates his own path and brings everyone else along with him.

I am honored to present the William Sturgis award to Chad MacMillan.

East Campus
Presented by Patrick O’Kane, Sturgis East Principal

Mark Agostinelli

William Sturgis Award Winners – East Campus 
 Caroline Sullivan  and Mark Agostinelli



Teachers describe this year’s male recipient as friendly, outgoing, and easily approachable.  His academic record is stellar.  Additionally, he is involved in many extra-curricular programs including varsity soccer, varsity baseball, volunteering with developmentally challenged students, and, perhaps most notably, the Sturgis Invent team.  Staff commented that “everybody knows him. Everyone knows he bleeds blue every day.”  Well, now we know that this year’s recipient of the William Sturgis Award is Mark Agostinelli.

Caroline Sullivan

This year’s female recipient of the William Sturgis Award has a ‘contagious sparkle in her eyes’ that encourages all around her.  Teachers comment that she brings out the best in her peers.  She is a self starter who loves a challenge.  She thrives academically.  Outside of class, she is heavily involved in Student Council, Model United Nations, and three varsity sports, defining what is meant by leadership by example.  Please join me in congratulating this year’s William Sturgis Award winner Caroline Sullivan.

Sturgis Spirit Award

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.

Sturgis Spirit Award Winners – West Campus
 JD Snowman and Ella Strano


West Campus

Presented by Jenn Kirk, Sturgis West Principal

Ella Strano

This student has been described as the consummate Sturgis student:  engaged both in and outside the classroom, she is intellectually curious, a risk-taker, and positive role model for her peers.

Mr. Pagenkopf shared that this student always appears calm and graceful like a swan on a lake.  Everyone sees the calm and grace but few see the tremendous effort she puts in behind the scenes just as few see the swan paddling furiously beneath the surface.

Since the beginning of her freshman year she has looked for ways to bring the community together and encourage her peers.  She hung a poster in the hallway to share important news for freshmen and always posted a motivational quote to inspire them.   After the Sturgis Flood she arrived to school with a tshirt she had designed with the a logo and the quote “Smooth Seas Don’t Make a Skilled Sailor.” This students finds the positive in every situation.   She makes any room brighter with her presence.

Congratulations! The Spirit Award goes to Ella Strano.

JD Snowman

This student brings maturity and grounding to all circles in which he is involved.  He strives and perseveres in  everything he does without complaint even when things are tough.

Madame Anthony has called him the Winter’s Night Parking Lot Angel. She shared this story: When the ski club arrived back to the Sturgis West parking lot very late one Sunday evening after a weekend trip, she and another exhausted chaperon found their cars buried under 3 feet of heavy snow.  After all the students had been picked up, they were alone and without a shovel. They began to trudge towards the mounds of snow unsure how they would dig out their cars.  And then in that cold and dark moment – this student magically appeared!  He insisted on staying and dug out their cars.

This is just one example of how this student thinks nothing of lending a helping hand without being asked and sees what needs to be done and does it not for an recognition, but because it is the good and right thing to do. He has the kindest spirit – he puts everyone ahead of himself.

Congratulations! The Spirit Award goes to JD Snowman.

East Campus

Sturgis Spirit Award Winners – East Campus  
Molly Nemes and Sawyer Gibbons

Presented by Patrick O’Kane, Sturgis East Principal

Molly Nemes

Sturgis staff describe our female recipient as outgoing, friendly and always willing to help.  She is an active member of Student Council, Model United Nations as well as several varsity sports programs.  In fact, she was one of the driving forces behind the creation of our track and field program.  She is always smiling and always encouraging others to be their best. This year’s Sturgis Spirit award goes to Molly Nemes.

Sawyer Gibbons

The male recipient of the Sturgis Spirit Award is a graduating senior who is enthusiastic, participates well in class discussions and is noted for his positive attitude at all times.  He goes out of his way to help others, takes pride in Sturgis, and is polite to all.  He is a three sport varsity athlete, serving as captain of the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams.  When not participating on his teams, he does his best to attend other team’s contests as a supporter of The Sturgis East Storm. Please join me in congratulating this year’s Sturgis Spirit Award winner Sawyer Gibbons.


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