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March 2020 Commendation Ceremony

On March 10, we recognized the extraordinary achievements of Ithaca City School District students and staff at the second Commendation Ceremony of the 2019-2020 school year.

Held quarterly, the Commendation Ceremony celebrates the success of Team ICSD members who go above and beyond in school, extracurricular activities, or the community. Special recognition is also paid to individuals who embody one or more tenets of the ICSD Culture of Love – patient, honest, caring, forgiving, trusting, committed, and selfless.

Individual and Group Awards
  • ICSD teachers Patricia Buhr and Jennifer Lory-Moran achieved National Board Certification for Teaching. Read more>>
  • DeWitt Middle School students Anya Packard and LeAnn Zhu composed an original song about mental health issues and performed it at a recent choir concert.
  • Ithaca High School students Mae Conuel, Nora Cowett, Kezia Hector, Lillian Hwang-Geddes, Ryan Mao, Charles Shvets, Deacon Waller, Kelvin Wang, Gilbert Ye, and Patrick Yuan were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.
  • IHS choir students Anna Bjerken, Jasper Fearon, Hannah Logue, Sophia Michaels, Reese Mount, Max Rubenstein-Miller, Sam Sachs, Allison Stup, Anais Vanek-Raphaelidis, Clare Weislogel, and Geneveive Weislogel were selected by blind audition for the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Honor Choirs.
  • Forrest Kingsley (Mexico), Jillian Meidlinger (India), and Scarlet Quiñonez (France) were selected to study abroad next year through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
  • The DeWitt Middle School Math Club won first place in the MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition.
  • 16 students were recognized for receiving awards in this year’s Human Rights Arts Competition:
    • Sarah Al Luhaibi, Beatriz Godden, Cheyn Pedro, and Spencer Wilson placed in the grades K-2 visual arts competition.
    • Sanaa Benton, Bella Eckenrode, Eliana Giese, and Saia Mizrahi placed in the grades 3-5 visual arts competition.
    • Lila Holmes, Christian Mendez, Sadie Vander Ven, and Ethan Williams placed in the grades 6-8 visual arts competition.
    • Leo Holloway, Denae Lawhorn, and Dylan Mohler placed in the poetry competition. 
    • Joseph Levine won the Dorothy Cotton Poetry Prize.
  • ICSD transportation dispatcher and former bus driver Kwantia Griffin received her School Bus Driver Instructor Certification in the fall.
  • IHS junior Alexander Yoo won the Gold Key and Silver Key Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for creative writing.
  • Eighth grader Daniel Parker won the section title in wrestling and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Section IV tournament.
  • The boys varsity swimming and diving team were Class A sectional champions.
  • The boys junior varsity basketball team were the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) champions.
  • Varsity indoor track team members Elinor Kops Kuveke (55m hurdles and high jump), Makayla Podufalski (weight throw), Alexander Simpson (600m run), Spencer Whitmore (long jump and triple jump), and Ember Dengler (pole vault) were Division 1 Class A Champions and state qualifiers in their events. Geoffrey Washington (long jump) also qualified for states.
  • Benjamin Kirk and the IHS Brain Team finished in first place at the Lakeland Junior/Senior High School Annual Quiz Bowl Competition.
Culture of Love Awards
  • IHS sophomore Zola Vesci was awarded for her commitment to and enthusiasm for the Unified Sports program.
  • Robert Boynton, who plays a crucial role in the district as bus route coordinator, was awarded for being patient, caring, and committed every day.
  • Bus aide Charles Rhody, who puts in extra work to build relationships with the students and families on his route, was recognized for being committed and caring.
  • Teacher Valerie Evans was awarded for her commitment to fostering equity at Boynton Middle School.
  • The IHS math, science, and technology departments were honored for a commitment to creating dynamic learning environments to engage their students in scientific breakthroughs, technological revolutions and societal challenges, which led to IHS being named one of the top 50 STEM high schools in the nation.
  • School bus driver Ronnie Diaz was recognized for his role in building a caring Culture of Love by showing encouragement and enthusiasm for all students every day.
  • The Enfield Elementary Green Team and staff members Keith Harrington, Taura McMeekin, Jill Browne, and Ryan Abb were honored for their commitment to organizing a student-led farmers market that allows students to take home about 20 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables every month.
  • Tina Lindblad, the transportation department's senior typist, was honored for being a positive, caring, thoughtful, and collaborative addition to the ICSD.
Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from the ceremony!