Class of 2021 Set Standard for “Community Care, Concern, and Spirit”

A remarkable school year at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s ended triumphantly with an outdoor graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 and closing exercises for nursery through seventh graders. Head of School Virginia Connor saluted the student body for their persistence and determination this year. She also highlighted the work of the faculty for carrying the school through the COVID crisis, making possible a fully in-person school year while creating an online option to serve all students and families. 

“We have always known our teachers and staff to be talented, creative, and dedicated to our students,” said Ms. Connor. “During this pandemic year, their gifts and commitment to our students sustained us.”

In a nod to COVID restrictions, the graduation ceremony was moved from St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, its usual home, to a more intimate location: the school’s playdeck. Thirty-four students graduated as members of the class of 2021, leaving an indelible mark on St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s through their academic, artistic, and athletic accomplishments, not to mention their commitment to service, social justice, and environmentalism. 

“These COVID kids proved that they could accomplish anything,” said Barbara Tracy P ’91 ’93, GP ’21, vice president of the Board of Trustees, who offered this year’s commencement address. “With the help and support of their families and faculty, these teenagers became unfailing role models for their school and community. They and their talented faculty deserve our unqualified admiration for setting such fine examples of community care, concern, and spirit.” 

Secondary School Placement
While many school traditions changed this year, certain milestones remained. The comprehensive secondary school placement process, featuring virtual school visits and Zoom interviews, led the the class of 2021 to select an impressive list of high schools throughout New York City and the country. (*asterisk indicates schools where two or more graduates will attend.)

  • The Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, N.Y. 
  • Calhoun School, New York, N.Y. 
  • Dwight-Englewood School,* Englewood, N.J.
  • Eagle Academy for Young Men, Brooklyn, N.Y. 
  • Episcopal High School, Alexandria, Va. 
  • Ethical Culture Fieldston School,* Bronx, N.Y.
  • Fordham Preparatory School, Bronx, N.Y. 
  • Friends Seminary, New York, N.Y. 
  • Grace Church School,* New York, N.Y. 
  • Hackley School, Tarrytown, N.Y.
  • Horace Mann School, Bronx, N.Y. 
  • The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Conn. 
  • Iona Preparatory School, New Rochelle, N.Y.
  • Kent School, Kent, Conn. 
  • Loyola School, New York, N.Y.
  • Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, New York, N.Y.
  • Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, N.Y. 
  • The Packer Collegiate Institute,* Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Mass.
  • Riverdale Country School, Bronx, N.Y. 
  • The Spence School, New York, N.Y.
  • St. Luke’s School,* New Canaan, Conn.
  • St. Paul’s School, Concord, N.H. 
  • Trevor Day School, New York, N.Y. 
  • Trinity School,* New York, N.Y. 
  • The Webb School, Claremont, Calif. 

Award Recipients
Among a talented group of eighth graders, three graduates were recognized by the faculty with the school’s major awards:

  • Christopher Lyle, a gifted and dedicated trumpet player in the Brass Band, received the Patricia Leigh Abbott Award, given in memory of a former student who had a passion for the arts. The award recognizes academic achievement as well as interest in one of the performing or visual arts.
  • For her kindness, leadership, and generosity toward her classmates and the school, Charlotte Rose was given The Rt. Rev. Horace W.B. Donegan Award, named for an early champion of the school and its founder. The Donegan Award recognizes students who show friendship and compassion to all members of the school community.
  • Scarlett Huntington was awarded the Mother Ruth Award, which was named for the school’s founder. It is the school’s highest award for scholastic excellence. 

At Closing Exercises, held on June 8 in Gordon Chapel, three seventh graders were also given special awards: Maddi Albertell was given the seventh grade Donegan Award, and Bobby Fellingham received the seventh grade Mother Ruth Award. Additionally, Tommy Cozzi received the Sanja Milic Greenawalt Award, given in memory of a former St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s parent and grandparent, recognizing a student who shows exceptional love and caring for others.