End of the 2019-2020 School Year Wrap-Up

May 20, 2020

Despite the distance, the end of the 2019-2020 school year has been packed with presentations, projects, and awards, as our students finish out the last week of classes strong!

Capstone Presentations

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve heard presentations over Zoom from all three of our academic Centers of Excellence: BioScience, Engineering, and The Major, as well as the Honors Program. In BioScience, the topics ranged from “The Influence of Sleep Duration on Anticipatory Stress in High School Students,” to “The Effect of Individual Phonemes on Pain Threshold Reduction.”

Meanwhile in Engineering, students presented prototypes of the projects they’ve been working on the entire year, such as digitizing a Super 8 camera or designing an app to track the SSM bus. Each student created a standalone presentation followed by a short Q & A session held over Zoom. The Engineering presentations are available to watch here.

The students of The Major created video essays to display the research they’ve been doing this year about a topic of their choice. Topics ranged from the CIA’s torture methods to the Ebola crisis, and are available to watch here. Both seniors and juniors in the Honors Program also presented their chosen research topics over Zoom, which included work on using graphic design to benefit animal rights and writing one’s own fantasy novel.


Normally, the Vocal Performance Program Center of Excellence would end the year with what is known as a Recital & Jury, in which they carefully prepare a selection of songs to perform and are then judged on their performance. Since they couldn’t continue that tradition this year, the singers of VPP recorded their performances from home. You can view them here.

Similarly, the members of the Pre-Conservatory Program Center of Excellence also gave a virtual version of their Spring Concert, which is available on Facebook. These students found creative ways to perform from seven different countries, sometimes even playing multiple parts of the same song with overlapping videos.


In addition, for anyone who could not attend the Performing and Visual arts awards ceremony, we present this year’s winners. To view the ceremony, go here.

The Upper School Visual Arts Award: Lily Chen ’20
The Photography Award: Sky Hong ’20
The Jay Wang Animation and Video Award: Adolfo Diaz ’22
The National School Choral Award: Maddi Politoski ’20
The National School Orchestra Award: Elise Morphy ’20 and Suyoung Yun ’20
The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Kade Reese ’20
The John Phillip Sousa Band Award: Amber Lu ’21
The Upper School Dance Award: Emma Sawicki ’20
The Wagner Dramatics Award: Victoria Moullin ’20
The Rosaur Award for Technical Theatre: Keegan Cox ’20

Finally, current Dramatics Association president Victoria Moullin ’20 announced that the next President for 2020-21 will be Hannah Ray ’21, the Vice-President will be Abbi Gross ’21, the Secretary will be Emma Politoski ’21, and the Treasurer will be Hailey Peters ’21.


The last week of the school year will pass quickly, so don’t forget to tune in to our Upper School Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 20, at 7:00 p.m. CT at this link! The Middle School Awards & Closing Ceremony will be shared with families over email on Thursday, May 21. And we encourage everyone to attend the video premiere of Commencement 2020 on Friday, May 22 at 7 p.m. CT.