Upper School Students Honored at 2024 Awards Reception

Jun 4, 2024

The Upper School community joined together for a night celebrating student achievements throughout the school year on Monday, June 3 at the Final Awards Reception. Read about each of the awards below. Congratulations to all award recipients! 

Baccalaureate Honor Roll 

This recognition is granted to those seniors who have been on the year-end honor roll all four years in the Upper School. 

Recipients (all Seniors):Charlie Beetham ’24, Haila Desai ’24, Katie Kirchhoff ’24, Alicia Leung ’24, RJ McFadden ’24, Dinah Megibow-Taylor ’24, Olivia Neri ’24, Kira Patel ’24

Mary and David Richie Service Award

The Richie Award is granted each year in honor of a Quaker couple who offered service to their communities, including MFS, in a number of ways. They were Quaker activists who committed their lives to educating young people about social and economic injustice. Their lives were a testament to the belief that work is love made visible. The students who receive this award will have participated in service activities throughout their years at Moorestown Friends, shown leadership through the initiation of projects and the recruitment of other students. 

Recipients: Ava Blumberg ’24, Charlotte Filak ’24, Avani Verma ’24

The Herman Hollerith Award 

Herman Hollerith Award recognizes a senior who displays through class work, extra-curricular activities and/or non-school experiences an inventive and entrepreneurial spirit. Herman Hollerith invented the electric punched card tabulating machine system, first used in the census of 1890. He founded The Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. He sold his company in a merger with three other companies in 1911 to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. In 1924, the company was renamed International Business Machines (IBM). Richard Hollerith, MFS Class of 1944, established this endowed award in recognition of the life and creative spirit of his grandfather.

Recipient:Elina Shah ’24 and Hannah Puc ’24

Thomas V. Sedlacek Award 

Dr. Thomas Sedlacek was considered one of the nation’s leading researchers in human papillomavirus. He graduated from Harvard University in 1965 and from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1969. He served as chairman of the obstetrics-gynecology department at Hahnemann University Hospital and later at Graduate Hospital. An MFS parent and School Committee member, Dr. Sedlacek died on January 7, 2000. In appreciation of his commitment to both science and athletics at MFS, this endowment was established to provide an annual award for both a male and female senior. The recipients must display sportsmanship, skill and commitment to an individual or team sport at a high level; as well as outstanding ability in the study of sciences at MFS.

Recipients: Nick Makar ’24 and Olivia Neri ’24

American Chemical Society Award

Presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of chemistry during high school. 

Recipient: Sophia Rutherford ’24

National Association of Biology Teachers Award

Presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of life sciences during high school. 

Recipient: Tara Esposito ’24 

American Association of Physics Teachers Award

Presented to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of physics during high school. 

Recipient: Yilin Huang ’24

Richard J. Turley Memorial Prize in Chemistry

The Richard Turley ’51 Endowment was established by Dr. and Mrs. Harold G. Turley in memory of their son. Richard Turley’s career work was in chemistry, a love and commitment nurtured initially at MFS. The Richard Turley Memorial Prize is awarded to a senior who has achieved an outstanding record in chemistry at MFS, and who wishes to pursue the study of chemistry in college.

Recipient: Alicia Leung ’24 

Technology Award

Awarded to individual students who show excel in technology studies.

Recipient: Bela Goldberg ’24

Language Awards

Awarded to individual students who excel in their particular language in and beyond the classroom. 

  • Chinese Award Recipient: Alicia Leung ’24
  • French Award Recipient: Dinah Megibow-Taylor ’24 
  • Spanish Award Recipient: Jewell Jacobs ’24

Athletic Honor Roll 

Awarded to athletes who have participated as a player and lettered in nine varsity sports at MFS.

Recipients: Ava Blumberg ’24 and Mikelle Smith ’25

Floss Brudon Award

Given to a player for their dedication, excellence, and outstanding participation in Girls’ Lacrosse during the school year. Floss Brudon began her coaching career at MFS in 1949. She helped to introduce lacrosse to South Jersey in 1958 and became a renowned lacrosse coach, even though she never played the sport herself. Floss guided eight MFS teams to undefeated seasons and the 1980 Girls’ Lacrosse Team to the State Championship. Floss served as Director of Girls Athletics from 1949 until 1968. She taught Physical Education and also coached field hockey, tennis and basketball. Floss retired in 1983. The Floss Brudon Endowment for Coaching was established by her former players in her honor. The Floss Brudon Award is given annually to the outstanding MFS girls’ lacrosse player.

Recipient: Mikelle Smith ’25

Scholar Athlete Awards

Awarded to athletes who have been on the honor roll throughout the entire school year and have lettered in two varsity sports as a player in that same year. 

Recipients: Nicolas Mandrackie ’24, RJ McFadden ’24, Olivia Neri ’24, Rohan Paleyanda ’24, Hannah Puc ’24

John “Doc” LaVia English Award

John LaVia joined the English Department at MFS in 1990. He held a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s degree and a doctorate from Duke University. He had an avid love and knowledge of literature, bird watching and baseball. He had a unique bond with his students, keeping in touch with them long after graduation. He was selected by the Class of 2000 to be the Commencement Speaker and retired that year. John LaVia died on September 9, 2000 on a bird-watching expedition with his two sons in Alaska. In remembrance, an endowed fund was established to provide resources for the annual Senior English prize, now known as the John “Doc” LaVia English Award. The Award is given to the one or two seniors who, in the judgment of the department, have maintained the most outstanding performance in English throughout the senior year.

Recipients: Dinah Megibow-Taylor ’24 and Haila Desai ’24

Douglas Searle Poetry Award

Douglas Searle was a member of the MFS Class of 1966. He passed away during the summer after his sophomore year and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Searle, established the Douglas Searle Poetry Award at MFS in memory. The award was first given in 1965 and the fund was endowed in 1968 to produce income for an annual poetry award for a student who displays great talent in poetry.

Recipient: Olivia Neri ’24

Research in History Award

This award seeks to recognize excellence in the field of historical research and writing. Nominees for this award have demonstrated the highest levels of commitment to investigating, analyzing, and developing original research in the field of history. These students have gone above and beyond the work in class to produce and revise research that is a standout in the department. Nominations may be made for one major research paper or a body of research work over the course of the year.

Recipients: Keva Elie ’26 and Kyra Koubiadis ’25

Friend of History Award

This award seeks to recognize students at MFS who have demonstrated a deep commitment to making the study of history central to their scholarly pursuits and public life. Nominees for this award show a passion for history unbounded by course or classroom. These students ask questions, pursue answers, and find ways to share what they learn with their peers. For students who win this award, history is something deeply personal. These students embody the spirit of inquiry and encourage others to get excited about the work of the historian. Nominations may be made for any student that has shown exceptional dedication to and leadership in the field.

Recipient: Haila Desai ’24

Marjorie F. Overholt Award

This award has been presented in honor and memory of Marjorie F. Overholt. Marjorie taught math at MFS for many years before her untimely death in 1990. She was the mother of MFS alumni Kristen ’94, Edward ’89, and Richard ’86. In dedicating this award, the school recognizes her skill as a teacher and her devotion to her students.

Recipient: Yilin Huang ’24 and Kira Patel ’24

Beth F. Oliviero Memorial Theatre Arts Award

Beth Oliviero served on the MFS faculty from 1969 to 1975. She served as both an English teacher and the theatrical producer for student and faculty performances. This award is funded by her son Jamie ’68 and daughter Melanie ’72. The award celebrates a life of learning through the arts and is given to two seniors to recognize their craft and dedication to theater here at Moorestown Friends School. 

Recipients: Bela Goldberg ’24 and Jamy Jacques ’25

2D Studio Arts Award

Awarded to two senior students who have taken at least one year of Art Studio and have received an A- average or above in those three trimesters. The awardees should have exhibited an outstanding sense of discipline, creativity, and growth in artistic skills.

Recipients: Alan ‘Flick’ Parker ’24

Instrumental Music Award

The Instrumental Music Award is given to the senior who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence in instrumental music and has actively sought out musical challenges while at Moorestown Friends School.

Recipient: Tara Esposito ’24

Choral Music Award

The Choral Music Award is given to a senior who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence in vocal music at Moorestown Friends School, and has emerged as a leader amongst their peers in both rehearsal and performance.

Recipient: Olivia Neri ’24

Cum Laude Society Inductees

World Language Honor Society Inductees

Herm Magee Award (for athletic achievement, leadership, and sportsmanship contributions)


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