Oak Knoll Celebrates Academic Achievement During 2023 Upper School Awards Ceremony

After a busy week celebrating milestones at all grade levels, students in grades 7-12 assembled with family members, guests, staff, faculty, and administration in the the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts to recognize the academic achievements of students in all Upper School grades, but in particular to highlight the leadership of the Class of 2023 and to express gratitude for their dedication and commitment to our community. The assembly marked the official close of the 2022-23 academic year with only Oak Knoll’s 94th Annual Commencement for the Class of 2023 on Sunday, June 11, 2023, to cap off a joyful year of learning and growth.

“Congratulations on all you have accomplished,” said Upper School Division Head Kate McGroarty in her opening remarks to the assembled students. “Not only are we stronger and wiser, but we have also demonstrated how we excel together. As we gather in the spirit of ‘together we thrive,’ I invite you to reflect on the moments this year when you have helped others thrive and when others have helped you thrive,” 

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

Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Clara O’Mara ’23

Dr. Shirley A. Jackson Award

Zahra Jones ’23

Connelly Scholar Award

Adrienne Lee ’27

Rorygrace Thompson ’27

Oceana Li ’27

Alani Bolivar ’27

Katie MacMaster Award

Isabel Wise ’27

Brigid Gibbons Award

Lucy Duttenhofer ’24

Holy Child Spirit Award

Laura Ryan ’23

Sr. Elizabeth Barber Award

Desiree Mitchell ’23

Dr. Yvonne Imbleau Award

Madeline Sepe ’23

For a full 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 prior to Commencement during Oak Knoll’s Baccalaureate Mass. 

Katie Nguyen ’23, Salutatorian for the class, was invited forward to offer her reflection to the Upper School community. 

“On the first day of school, the core council introduced the theme of the year as ‘Our Story,’ a theme which embraces not only our collective story as a whole community but also the stories of ourselves as individuals,” said Nguyen, who has been a member of the Oak Knoll community since Kindergarten. “We are all made of stories — those that comfort us on rainy days, others that bring tears to our eyes, and ones we can laugh about at the dinner table. All our stories contribute to the story of Oak Knoll. I am so glad to have shared mine with this community, and I am honored to have played even a little role in some of yours. Even just exchanging hellos and smiles in the hallways has brightened my days. So I hope you all continue to write your own narratives and have a positive impact on all those you come across.”

Senior members of the Oak Knoll Cum Laude Society were 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, Madeline Sepe ’23, Kelly E. Durkin Award Winner, Julia Ramsey ’23, Scholar Athlete Award Winner, Kate Siedem ’23, and Athlete of the Year Award Winner, Darby Campbell ’23.

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 who were previously recognized during the annual Arts Celebration were also honored during the awards celebration. Several senior artists were cited for outstanding achievement for their works featured in various outside exhibitions and competitions including photographers and artists: Katherine Burke ’23, Gabriella Cilli ’23, Katharine Cugno ’23, and Mia Vigliotta ’23.

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

Amelia Pace ’25 also earned the Hope Memorial Library Annual Book Lover’s Award which is bestowed to Oak Knoll’s most enthusiastic reader of the 2022-23 school year. 

Seven senior “lifers” were recognized for having attended Oak Knoll since kindergarten, including Iman Ali ’23, Samantha Liberato ’23, Megan McCann ’23, Katie Nguyen ’23, Emma Ramsey ’23, Susanna Sykes ’23, and Annie Verrone ’23.

Congratulations to the Class of 2023 and all OKS Upper School students!