2020 was by no means a normal year. We started with the onset of COVID-19, which forced the transition away from physical schooling into online schooling and the observation of social distancing. These cautionary procedures also led to the cancellation of spring sports, conferences, prom, graduation, and many other important events that have been ingrained in our vision of high school. Even as the curve was flattening, recurrent racial injustices led to rightful anger and protests in cities all across America, and more and more people questioning the legitimacy of the police force and judicial system. And 2020 is only half over.
As the Hawken administration and community grapples with the changes and happenings of 2020, it remains important that we celebrate what we are doing well, namely the successes of individuals that make up Hawken as a whole. In this sense, Awards Day 2020 served as both a shred of normalcy and an apt reminder of the numerous individuals of the Hawken community helping the world in their own way.
Awards Day 2020 was by no means completely the same as past years. For starters, instead of the procession taking place in the auditorium, students watched Awards Day 2020 via online YouTube video. Furthermore, to make the presentation of awards more engaging, teachers like Mr. Newman and Ms. Buckley donned comical costumes and utilized interesting props and backgrounds. However, the overall purpose of Awards Day remained the same as it always had been: to celebrate those in our community and their contributions to Hawken.
This year, the winners of the Dean's award for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were Abhi Chundru, Tommy Clark, and Sydney Bare. These three individuals were noted for their amiable and outgoing personalities, their humility, and many other traits that qualified them to be selected for this award. There were five respective winners of the 2020 Roth Service Award: Kynnedy Smith, Thomas Wong, Stone Zashin, Dana Granot, and Ella Martinez. All five of these winners have made significant contributions to their community through diverse service initiatives, some of which they pioneered. Finally, the winner of the 2020 Charles B. Bolton Award was senior Jocelyn Chin, who is the Managing editor here at the AffNo, and the winner of the 2020 Phi Beta Kappa award was Adele Metres. The AffNo has conducted interviews with these individuals that provide a glimpse into their lives and their success.
Questions with Jocelyn Chin, winner of the Bolton Award, and Adele Metres, winner of Phi Beta Kappa:
What is your favorite color?
Jocelyn Chin: The color of my room but a shade lighter
Adele Metres: Light green
What is your favorite animal?
A.M.: Probably either an elephant or a gecko
What was your favorite class?
JC: Ooo tough question. Strangers from a Different Shore
AM: This is such a difficult question! I’d have to say that my favorite class I took at Hawken was the intensive in Spain my junior year
What do you like to do outside of school?
JC: Read, exercise with friends, bask in sunlight, read some more
AM: I love running, hiking, and playing ukulele
What was your reaction to winning your award?
JC: “Holy crap no way ovnsjnf” and overwhelming gratitude
AM: I didn’t actually know what Phi Beta Kappa was! Ms. Samson and Mr. Cleminshaw had to explain it to me :)
As a graduating senior, what are your plans for the future?
JC: Attend Duke to perpetuate our nation’s deeply ingrained hierarchical school system before earning enough money to buy my family a Class C RV
AM: I will attend Bowdoin College (hopefully this fall!) and plan to major in Earth and Oceanographic Science and minor in Spanish.
What is your favorite part of Hawken and what would you like to see improved?
JC: Favorite part- Genuine care and encouragement I’ve received from teachers
Improvement- More maturity within the student body when the school holds discussions on serious topics
AM: My favorite part of Hawken is probably the faculty and mentors I’ve had—they are all so passionate and care so much for their students. I would like to see the Upper School’s attitude about success and the learning process change—despite improvements in this area with the addition of some Mastery School philosophies, over my four years I still felt pressure to be successful in everything and not make mistakes in the process.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your underclassmen?
JC: Hey y’all! Despite all your differences, everyone can learn SOMETHING from everyone else, so stay open-minded! Listen more, think before you speak, and say “thank you” more often.
AM: Challenge yourself academically, but remember that ultimately your relationships with friends and teachers are what will have a lasting impact on your life; strive for balance.
While 2020 was no doubt a year where the world was turned upside down, it was, too, a year we’ll always remember. As the class of 2020 graduates and the rest of us prepare to move into another year of high school not quite like the others, now is an important time for our community to come together, to celebrate and support each other in our endeavors, and to move forward together toward the future, whatever it may hold.