Oak Knoll 2024 Upper School Awards Ceremony Celebrates Achievement, Leadership, and Service

After a busy week celebrating various graduations and moving-up milestones at all grade levels, students in grades 7-12 assembled with family members, guests, staff, faculty, and administration in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts to recognize the academic achievements of students in all Upper School grades and to highlight the leadership of the Class of 2024. The assembly marked the official close of the 2023-24 academic year and Oak Knoll’s 96th Annual Commencement for the Class of 2024 celebrated on Sunday, June 9, 2024, capped off a joyful year thematically labeled “loud and proud” by students at the onset of the academic year.

Upper School Division Head Kathryn McGroarty opened the ceremony by complimenting students on their ever-increasing strength and wisdom. She alluded to the school year’s “loud and proud” theme and said, “I invite you to reflect on the moments this year when you have helped others thrive and when others have helped you thrive. There are many people in our lives and in our community that support us every day. We thank them for their guidance and support this year.”    

Recipients of Oak Knoll’s All-School Awards include:

Class of 2024 Valedictorian
Rory Weldon  ’24

Dr. Shirley A. Jackson Award
Adeola Adebiyi ’24

Connelly Scholar Award
Nina Hinic ’28
Winnie Ohene-Ologo ’28
Clare Pace ’28

Katie MacMaster Award
Orla Marchesi ’28

Brigid Gibbons Award
Cora Laborde ’25

Holy Child Spirit Award
Carson Didden ’24

Michele Proia Award for French
Stephanie Aguinaldo ’24

Rita Kentz Award
Abigail Flood ’24

Sr. Elizabeth Barber Award
Eve Carbeau ’24

Dr. Yvonne Imbleau Award
Abigail Flood ’24

For a complete description of each award, click here.

Also, during the ceremony, Head of School Jennifer G. Landis joined McGroarty in presenting individual members of the senior class with their Holy Child Medals on behalf of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus as a sign and reminder of the legacy and the heritage of their Holy Child education. The medals were blessed before Commencement during Oak Knoll’s Baccalaureate Mass. 

Abigail Flood ’24, Salutatorian for the class, was invited forward to offer her reflection to the Upper School community. 

Flood commented on her first days joining Oak Knoll’s grade nine during the COVID pandemic and the particular challenges her grade level faced bonding as a class. With ultraviolet light disinfectors, plastic desk separators, masks, and other safety measures, her class had difficulty getting to know each other during the first two years. However, they persevered, made extra efforts to engage, and with the help of others in the Oak Knoll community they ultimately came together for the better.

“As the class of 2024, we received so much support from teachers, administrators, and parents,” she stated. “They listened to our concerns and helped us forge the connections now that we missed out on four years ago. I’m so proud to be a part of a community that emboldens us to be leaders and change-makers in the face of any obstacle. I hope our journey as a class serves as a reminder of everything we’re capable of when we come together and work towards a collective goal. ”

Senior members of the Oak Knoll Cum Laude Society were also acknowledged. A complete list of junior and senior inductees can be found here

Recipients of the major Senior Athletic Awards were recognized, including Women in Sports Award Winner Abby Flood ’24, Kelly E. Durkin Award Winner Maxi Aranowitz ’24, Scholar Athlete Award Winner Carson Didden ’24, and Athlete of the Year Award Winner Sophia Loschert ’24.

For a complete description of each award, click here.

Students in grades 7-12 were celebrated for outstanding achievement across all departments, including academics, the performing and creative arts, world language, athletics, computer science, music, English, history, mathematics, physical education, science, and theology.

Artists previously recognized during the annual Arts Celebration were also honored during the awards celebration. 

Students who were inducted into the World Language Honor Society this spring were honored as well.

Sara Kaplan ’26 also earned the Hope Memorial Library Annual Book Lover’s Award, bestowed to Oak Knoll’s most enthusiastic reader of the 2023-24 school year. 

Three senior “lifers” were recognized for having attended Oak Knoll since kindergarten, including Lucy Duttenhofer ’24, Catherine Jordan ’24, and Lucia Sylva ’24.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024 and all OKS Upper School students!