The senior class of Flintridge Preparatory School graduated as the class of 2011 in commencement exercises at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Sunday evening, June 5.
Teachers filed into the large auditorium to the sound of Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and then an organ filled the space with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” as students took their seats onstage.
Kyle Eschen led the invocation and was followed by Martha Montag Brown, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Montag Brown, whose three children attended Flintridge Preparatory, spoke about the characteristics that make Prep, as the school is known, unique; she also spoke about the challenges that lie ahead for each graduate.
“The difference between high school and college is that your choices are up to you now. There aren’t teachers, high school counselors or parents to tell you how to do your work, what classes to choose, when to go to bed, or what choices to make,” Montag Brown said.
Taylor Beith was elected to serve as 2011 Class Speaker and his words echoed those of Montag Brown’s’; Beith said he wasn’t given much direction for the speech, and he had to make the choices on what to talk about.
“There I was, aimless with no direction home,” he said. “I promised my dad I’d quote Bob Dylan in my speech and that’s as close as I could get,” he joked.
Katharine Schwab was honored with the National Council of Teacher of English Achievement Award and was also the class’s salutatorian. Jackson McHenry was honored as class valedictorian.
Although many of the students were honored with additional awards, several of the honors were kept secret until the ceremony and came as a total surprise to students.
Twenty-four members of the class were honored with Letters of Commendation as they were in the top 5% in the nation who took the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
The American Legion Award was given to Ali Preiss and Justin Farshidi. The Fathers’ Club Community Service Award was given to Naomi Hatanaka and the Parents’ Association Scholarships were awarded to David Russell and Jacob Steenwyk.
Faculty nominated students for awards of excellence in the following fields of study; Upper School Athlete of the Year, Brooke Elby and Kenyatta Smith; English award, Katharine Schwab; French, Jason Bunn; Spanish award, Naomi Hatanaka; Latin John W. Neupauer Award, David Russell; history, Shelly Kim; science, Jackson McHenry; computer science, Chelsea Cheng; math, Shelly Kim; Yee Sui King Tom award in math, Lisa Yun; visual arts award, Madeline Bouton; painting and drawing, Megan Barrett; R.I.S. D., Jonathan Shin; performing arts, Isabella Weiss.
Kyle Eschen was the recipient of the Founder’s Trophy and Jackson McHenry received the Benton Memorial Award, given to those students who show outstanding sensitivity and creativity in their academic pursuits.