St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School celebrated the 2019-2020 school year with a weekend of ceremonies culminating in the graduation of the Class of 2020.
The 51 members of the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School Class of 2020 will enroll in 35 different schools, from UC San Diego to New York University.
SAS is currently accepting applications for Fall 2020. For more information, go to www.sasweb.org
Steven Anderson, a seven-year day student from Hillsboro, Tenn., will attend Maryville College. Steven is a Boy Scout and received numerous honors in Latin, including the Ruth Cook Benson Latin V Award. He was captain of the football and wrestling teams and participated in track and field. In his sophomore year, Steven received the Most Improved award in wrestling. Steven’s favorite SAS memories are from his athletic activities, especially preseason. “Even though the sun was always unbearable,” he wrote, “being there with friends was always fun. Same with wrestling and track, even though we were stuck somewhere all day, being around friends always made great memories.” Steven offered thanks to his faculty advisor William Seavey and to all of his coaches for being supportive and helping him along the way, especially Sam Montgomery, Dan Monahan, and Michael Schaerer. Steven is the grandson of Gordon and Tamara Williams.
Cate Bachman, a 7-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend the University of San Diego. An Honors student, Cate served SAS as a Proctor and SAS Ambassador. Over the years she received the Mountain Mirror Literary Award and participated in the school’s Creative Expression Assemblies. She was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team and one of her greatest SAS memories was scoring the game-winning goal in her Senior Night game. She took full advantage of the option to take courses at the University of the South, completing courses in German, Spanish and Educational Psychology. During the summers, Cate participated in Duke TIP summer studies programs at Georgia Tech and Rice University. “I have met some of the most incredible people in the world (at SAS),” wrote Cate. “I don't think I would have met them any other way. SAS has given me lifelong friends in the form of students and teachers alike.” Cate is the daughter of Rob and Jen Bachman.
Jack Solomon Bailey, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn. is the recipient of an MC Scots Scholarship at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn. Jack serves with the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department and served as an SAS Ambassador. He provided technical support for many SAS theater productions for which he received two Technical Theater Awards. As an underclassman, Jack participated in mountain biking. Jack’s fondest memories at SAS involve spending time in the library with his friends and going to lunch with teachers Geoffrey Smith and David Prehn. Jack offered gratitude to former SAS theater faculty members Robie Jackson and John Holleman for being especially important to him during his time at SAS. He is the son of James Bailey and Amanda Bailey.
Emma Blount, a three-year boarding student, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will attend Valencia College in Orlando, Fla. Emma is the daughter of Greg Blount and Tricia Mazzilli, and granddaughter of Philip Mazzilli.
Zahnie Brown, a four-year boarding student from Atlanta, Fla., will attend Georgia State University. Zahnie was this year’s recipient of the Chinese IV award. Over the years, Zahnie has participated in Art Club, Fashion Club, Landscape Painting, Yearbook, and exhibitions in the SAS Gallery. Her special SAS memories include a trip to Mountain Goat Markey, “It was such a fun time, and I got to talk to people I wouldn't usually.” Zahnie is the daughter of Johnny and Zena Brown.
Emily Burch, a three-year day student from Decherd, Tenn., will attend Motlow College. Emily is the daughter of Kerry and Ronda Burch.
Huy Nguyen Anh Cao, a three-year boarding student from Da Nang, Vietnam, will attend Illinois Institute of Technology. Huy was an Honors student and an SAS Ambassador. Over his years at SAS, he was a member of the Dungeons and Dragons, Anime, International, and Math Clubs. He was a three-year member of the varsity Mountain Biking team and played in the school’s Guitar Ensemble his sophomore year. During the summer, Huy attended an ID Tech Camp and led a STEM program. Huy’s most memorable SAS experience was when he crashed so hard in mountain biking practice that he couldn't move his right arm for two weeks. Huy is the son of Tuan Cao and Chi Nguyen.
Lucy Carroll, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Emory University. Lucy was a Proctor and a member of the Honor Council. She received this year’s Rosie Paschall Visual Art Award, The William S. Wade Religious Studies Award, and The Danny Griffiths Award for Excellence in English. A high honors student, Lucy enrolled in courses in Arabic and political theory at the University of the South. Her past awards include the U.S. History Award and Honorable Mention in the Spanish III and IV National Spanish Exams. Lucy was a co-leader of Be the Change and participated in numerous clubs and activities over the years, including Art Club, Gender and Sexualities Awareness, Great Discussions, Interact, Literary Magazine, and Global and Local Outreach, A talented performer, she participated in Vocal Ensemble, Jam (Music) Club, and numerous Creative Expression Assemblies and theater productions. She also performed annually in Sewanee’s Perpetual Motion and performed a public reading of Elizabeth Wilder’s play Everything That’s Beautiful. Lucy’s artwork was frequently displayed in the SAS Gallery and one of her oil portraits was displayed at Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of Art. Lucy raised money for Operation Broken Silence, a movement that provides aid and empowerment to Sudanese people during current genocide and conflicts; Blue Monarch, a residential recovery program that seeks to help mothers who are struggling with addiction; and FOCAGIFO (Friends of Canon Gideon Foundation in Uganda). Lucy also served as a peer tutor. She was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team and a two-year member of the track team. During the summer of 2019, Lucy attended and volunteered at RightsCon, the world's leading event of human rights in the digital age. Her summer activities have included the art programs at Maryland Institute College of Art and Boston University and Summer Institute for the Gifted at Emory University. She has also worked part-time at the Monteagle Inn and Suites. Lucy is the daughter of Paige Schneider and David Carroll.
Michael Chen, a four-year boarding student from Shenzhen, China, will attend New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development with the intention of becoming a math teacher. As an SAS student, Michael enrolled in courses in Calculus II, Macroeconomics, Introduction to Educational Psychology, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations at the University of the South. Michael was a member of SAS’s Curriculum Committee and the International Club, Math Club, and Archery Club. Over the years, he participated in Strengthen & Conditioning, Mountain Biking, Cross-Country, and Track. Michael participated in SAS’s Spring Break Jamaica Service Trip and as volunteer teacher and group leader in Cambodia, Serbia, and Mongolia. He held an internship at the Guangdong Geological investigation Agency and helped to fundraise for hospitals in Wuhan during the pandemic. Michael offered his thanks to SAS teacher Marcus Murphy for being a great international student coordinator, Geoffrey Smith for being an enlightening history teacher and a considerate dean, and Margot Burns and Liz Quinn-Stine for being inspiring math teachers. Michael is the son of Junqing Chen and Lijie Fang.
Faith Daisy, a two-year boarding student from Salisbury, Dominica, will attend the University of the South. Faith served as a Proctor and SAS Ambassador and received recognition for her involvement with the school’s Chapel program. As a junior, she was a member of the Anime and International Clubs, played volleyball, and performed in the school’s production of Godspell. In reflecting on her time at SAS, Faith listed among her memories, “There was one weekend when a lot of us boarders got together and sat on the Owen Student Union steps and had a sing-along for about an hour. It was fun and cute”. Faith is the daughter of Philbert Daisy and Cathy Aubrey.
Ryan Eppenger, a one-year boarder from Memphis, Tenn. will attend the University of Mississippi on a Red & Blue Scholarship and the Pell Grant. Ryan, a member of the varsity swim team, was a Hubbard Scholar at SAS, a special merit scholarship for students from Shelby County. Before coming to SAS, he played baseball and participated in Campaign for School Equality and Leadership Memphis. Despite entering SAS his senior year, Ryan quickly made friends. Among his favorite memories were the times when he and his friends talked and played on the Quad, “I always thought to myself how I really do belong here.” Ryan is the son of Kennethea Sledge and stepson of Eligah Sledge.
Chloe Fontenelle, a six-year day student from Monteagle, Tenn., will attend Colorado College as a Bridge Scholar. A high honors student, Chloe enrolled in courses in Arabic and political theory at the University of the South. She served as an SAS Ambassador and, over the years, participated in Global and Local Outreach, International Club, ECO-SAS, History Club, and theater. She was head of public relations for the Interact Club. Chloe was a member of the soccer and swim teams and previously participated in track and field. Her sophomore year, she was named Most Improved Swimmer. Her work was included in the school’s literary magazine. Chloe spent her junior year studying in Thailand on a YES Abroad scholarship from the U.S. State Department. She also studied Spanish and culture in Chile on a full scholarship from CIEE Global Navigator. Since ninth grade, Chloe has worked part-time at the Monteagle Inn. One of Chloe’s best SAS memories was hiking the Appalachian Trail during Winterim her sophomore year. She added, “What is most memorable about my experience at SAS is the level of commitment, care, and compassion shown by my awesome teachers!” Chloe is the daughter of Kate Gunderson and the late Wayne Fontenelle.
Evan Fox, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend The University of Tennessee’s Tickle College of Engineering where he plans to study aerospace engineering. Evan was this year’s recipient of the G. Sanford McGee Outing Award and The James Agee Award for Non-Fiction. A high honors student, Evan was a three-time National Spanish Exam medalist and was enrolled in American Government and Politics at the University of the South. Evan served SAS as a Proctor and an SAS Ambassador, but his true passions were for climbing and mountain biking. Evan was captain of the Climbing Team and leader of the Climbing Club and won the Interscholastic Climbing League out of a field of 300+ climbers, leading his team to a third-place season finish. He competed in the USA Climbing competitive series and earned a national competition qualification. With the help of his sister, Anna Fox, '17, and Outdoor Education Coordinator Michael Short, Evan helped to grow the climbing program at SAS. He was also a four-year participant in the varsity Mountain Biking program, a Mountain Biking MVP, and a soccer player. He is Wilderness First Aid certified and served as a counselor for SAS’s Waterfalls and Swimming Holes and Appalachian Adventure Camps. The last two summers, he has worked for the University of the South's grounds maintenance department. Evan’s photograph of atomic emission spectra appeared in a gallery show at Sewanee’s Stirling’s Coffee House. “SAS provides a space for everyone to be themselves in the company of others,” wrote Evan. “My time there sculpted me into who I am, and I couldn't be more grateful.” Evan hopes to see stronger support for non-traditional/outdoor programs at SAS in future years. He is the son of John and Barbara Fox.
Matthew Gilliam, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will enroll at Chattanooga State University. Matthew played baseball and football earlier in his SAS career, earning Most Improved Player honors in baseball, but has devoted much of his time in recent years as a member of the Sewanee Fire Department. He has also participated in backpacking trips. Matthew is the son of Melissa Gilliam and Kevin Gilliam.
Isabelle Gordy, a four-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Lee University. Isabelle is a filmmaker, dressage rider, former basketball player, and state ranked track and field athlete. Her sophomore year, she placed 1st in discus and shot put at regionals, and fourth in the state meet in discus and 5th in shot put. Her junior year, she placed 1st in the discus at regionals and 3rd in the state meet. Sadly, this year’s track and field season was a victim of the pandemic. Isabelle presented her films at multiple Creative Expression Assemblies. Isabelle is a volunteer with the Sewanee Fire Department and a hostess at the Sewanee Inn. “My most memorable experience at SAS was going to the State Track meet in Murfreesboro and being proud to represent SAS at such a large event,” wrote Isabelle. “Seeing my name on the board in the top three while standing on the podium will be my favorite memory forever.” Isabelle added, “I’m grateful for all the teachers at SAS, even ones I did not get the opportunity to take a class from. The teachers at SAS truly get to know you. The mountain will always be home.” Isabelle is the daughter of Stephen and Karine Gordy.
Robert Gordon Graham III, a day student from Tullahoma, Tenn., attended SAS in middle school and returned for his senior year. He plans to attend Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma. Robert was a member of the varsity golf and soccer teams. He is the son of Paige Prescott.
Jerry Gu, a three-year boarding student from Shanghai, China, will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Jerry is an honors student and was named Most Improved Swimmer his junior year. He is the son of Wen Gu and Jing Ni.
Peter Louis Cavagnaro Haight, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend the University of the South. Pete is an Honors student, a musician, and a thespian. He performed in several Creative Expression Assemblies as a member of two student bands and Guitar Ensemble and in numerous SAS theater productions, including starring roles in Godspell and Babka Without Borders. He also participated in the school’s Debate Club and Outdoor Adventure program and on the 2019 service trip to Jamaica. In February of this year, Pete had the surprise opportunity to perform "Knocking on Heaven's Door" with Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. Pete offered gratitude to SAS music teacher J.R. Ankney. “Mr. Ankney has provided such a great benefit to student musicians,” wrote Pete. “(He) has provided the means for a more open music scene, and it has allowed many students to display their musical talents. It comforts me to know that he'll continue to do the same for future members of the SAS community.” Pete is the son of Catherine Cavagnaro and Will Haight.
Harrison Hartman, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn. will attend Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Harrison, a High Honors student and Eagle Scout, was a member of the Honor Council, Cum Laude, and Be the Change, president of Global and Local Outreach, and a Proctor and SAS Ambassador. At this year’s Honors day, he received the Day Student Award, given by the faculty to the individual whose character and involvement in the life of the school have contributed significantly to the community, and the William Holland Varnell Manager’s Award. As an underclassman, Harrison served on the House Leadership and participated in Great Discussions and ECO-SAS. He received numerous academic awards over the years, including the award in Health and Fitness, Literary Magazine Award, Photography Award, and Outstanding Achievement Awards on the National Spanish Exam. Harrison served the SAS athletic teams as an Athletic Training Assistant. He was a frequent participant in the University of the South’s Perpetual Motion dance showcase and took courses at the university in Ethics and the Anthropocene, Studying Asian Religions in the West, Introduction to Political Theory, and Arabic. His service and summer activities included Governor's School for International Studies, service trips to Costa Rica and Jamaica, and coaching for the Tigershark summer swim team. “I am grateful to have been challenged by the SAS community,” wrote Harrison, “and to have had the privilege of learning, growing, and changing alongside so many wonderful people in such a beautiful place.” Harrison is the son of Eric and Lisa Hartman.
Noah Henley is a two-year day student from Cowan, Tenn. He will be attending Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tenn. Noah was a varsity cross-country and track athlete and two-time participant of the Coaches’ Award in cross-country. He participated in the Middle Way, a group that provided spiritual fellowship between Upper School and Middle School students, and an active member of Cowan Baptist Church. Noah is the son of Terry and Kelly Henley.
Sarah Beth Hobby, a seven-year day student from South Pittsburg, Tenn. will attend Macalaster College in Minnesota. She was the recipient of this year’s Head of School Cup given by the faculty to the individual whose achievements in academics, extra-curricular activities, and service to St. Andrew's-Sewanee are outstanding. An honors student, Sarah Beth served SAS as a Proctor, choosing to board her senior year to provide additional leadership in the campus residences. She was a member of the two-time state Ethics Bowl Team and received several Chinese language awards, the History 10 Award, and this year’s Functional Pottery award. She was co-founder of Be the Change and performed in numerous Creative Expression Assemblies. Active in the Gorgas House leadership since 7th grade, most recently Sarah Beth served as president and vice president. This year’s Best Female Athlete Award recipient, Sarah Beth was a multi-sport varsity athlete competing over the years in soccer, track, and swimming and was active in the school’s strength and conditioning program. Sarah Beth was Track and Field MVP in 2017 and 2018, and 2019 Soccer MVP, and received the Coaches’ Award in swimming in 2017. She received All-Conference Soccer honors in 2019. She holds all of the school’s women’s weightlifting records. Sarah Beth plans to continue to participate in soccer and track in college. Sarah Beth conducted an Independent study in Chinese language and participated in the 2019/2020 Stanford China Scholars Program. As an SAS student, she enrolled in courses in Comparative Politics and Globalization and the Americas at the University of the South. In the summer of 2019, she interned at Bridge Refugee Services in Chattanooga. The previous summer she participated in a field ecology trip to Yellowstone National Park. “One of the most memorable experiences I have had at SAS which, thankfully, I had the ability to experience every year, was soccer preseason,” wrote Sarah Beth. ‘Being able to live, bond, and play soccer with such an amazing group of people for an entire week before school began my freshman year gave me a sense of community and family that I have always and will always associate with the women’s soccer team at SAS. My love of this time made it even more amazing when I was able to come up with my own ideas on how to make it special for the new players this year as a senior leader.” Sarah Beth went on to thank every teacher and student she came into contact with at SAS, “There is not a single person with whom I have interacted who I haven’t learned something from and for that I will always be grateful. I would, however, like to specifically thank Coach Harrison Camp for always being willing to help push me to become a better athlete, a better leader, and a better person on and off the field. Thank you for always encouraging me and for showing me the importance of stepping back when I need to.” Sarah Beth is the daughter of Brent and Kim Hobby
Sylvan Huber-Feeley, a four-year boarding student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Susquehanna University. An honors student, Sylvan served the school’s Chapel program as a sacristan. Over the years, he was a member of the History, Math and Debate clubs. He competed as part of the school’s football, soccer, climbing, and cross-country teams and participated in the school’s Strength and Conditioning and theater programs. Sylvan served as sergeant at arms for Teen Action Group, an organization that planned free events for residents of Winchester. Among his favorite memories of SAS, was his time spent with Latin teacher William Seavey. Sylvan is the son of Stephen Feeley and Heidemarie Huber.
Katie Finn Hurst, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend the University of the South. Katie Finn was this year’s recipient of The Sewanee Poetry Award for outstanding original poetry. She was a four-year member of the varsity volleyball team earning MVP and All-Tournament honors her senior year. She also participated in swimming and landscape painting. Katie Finn participated in Experiment in International Living’s China program in the summer of 2018 and traveled with SAS faculty to Costa Rica and Greece. In reflecting on her time at SAS, Katie Finn wrote, “I have heard it said many times that SAS is defined by its people, and that sentiment rings true for all of my memorable experiences here. I don't think it's the things I've done that are all that interesting, but rather the people I share these memories with that really mean something. I highly doubt I would have found friendships that have changed my life so drastically anywhere else, and I'm so happy to have spent my high school career somewhere that gave me friends for life.” She also offered thanks to her teachers. “To Mr. (Geoffrey) Smith: thank you for your never-ending enthusiasm and love for history, your desire to learn along with us, and for being a true role model for me. To Ms. (Malia) Carlos: thank you for being the kind of teacher who inspires every student you teach, and for giving me the courage to believe in my writing skills. Being your student made me love writing again. To Dr. (William) Seavey: thank you for your love. I may not have been your student for most of high school, but your classroom and ears were always open, and I'm so grateful for that. High school is hard, but you all made it so much easier. Words aren't enough to express my thanks, but they'll have to do for now.” Katie Finn is the daughter of Joan Hurst and the late Michael Hurst.
Kendale James, a seven-year day student from Tracy City, Tenn., will attend Mississippi State University where she received several scholarships, including the Non-Resident Scholarship, the Compass Scholarship, the Colvard Future Leader Scholarship, and the Freshman Excellence Scholarship. She was this year’s recipient of the Advanced Statistics award. Kendale was a two-year captain of the varsity volleyball team, an SAS Ambassador, and an honor student who participated in Vocal Ensemble, Global and Local Outreach, and Creative Expression Assemblies. She was part of seven theater productions at SAS, most recently playing Liesl in The Sound of Music. In her earlier years at SAS, she also participated in ECO-SAS and Guitar Ensemble. Several years ago, Kendale started her own charity to collect used stuffed animals from people around Grundy County and provide them to the county police to be given to children in crisis. She received the Grundy County Volunteer of the Month award and a 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Star Award for these efforts. Kendale also helped to run the clock for SAS basketball games and volunteered at the Tennessee Aquarium. She plans to major in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Studies. Among Kendale’s favorite SAS memories is the annual celebration of Earth Day, “From making dream catchers with Mrs. Quinn-Stine, to Creative Expression, and playing Jenga with Mrs. Pond, it’s the best day of the year. The House Games at the end of the day are always memorable, especially House dodgeball.” Kendale is the daughter of Larry James and Lisa Wiggins-James.
Mary Joffrion, a three-year boarding student from Nashville, Tenn., will attend Birmingham Southern College where she plans to study Health Science. An honors student, Mary received the National Spanish Exam bronze medal and participated in the school’s farm and Mind-Body-Exercise programs. As a sophomore, she also participated in theater productions of Metamorphoses and Kaleidoscope and Guitar Ensemble. Prior to coming to SAS, Mary participated in the Tennessee Model United Nations, Youth in Government, and Progressive Students Club. Mary’s pottery has been displayed in the SAS Gallery. Mary was an in-store team member at Subway and events catering for Ben & Jerry’s. In reflecting on her memories at SAS, Mary wrote affectionately about the first friend she made upon my arrival. She also wrote, “I want to thank Ms. (Robie) Jackson and Ms. (Malia) Carlos for encouraging me and helping me grow as a writer. I’m grateful to all of my teachers for supporting me during my time at SAS, for giving me wonderful books to read, and for making learning an intellectually stimulating and fun experience (most of the time). I also want to thank Burki (Gladstone) and all of my closest friends for giving me guidance, kindness, and inspiration throughout my years at SAS.” Mary is the daughter of Elizabeth Joffrion and Winston Joffrion and stepdaughter of Mark Lester and Nicole Joffrion.
N'Delaya Lewis, a four-year boarding student from McDonough, Ga., will be attending the University of the South on an academic merit scholarship. Laya is a high honors student, an SAS Ambassador, and service coordinator of Christabel House. Over the years, she received honors in Spanish and participated in Be the Change, literary magazine, yearbook, Interact, Global and Local Outreach, ECO-SAS, Fashion Club, and Gender and Sexualities Awareness. A four-year member of the volleyball team, she was a two-time team captain and recipient of the Coaches’ Award. She did an independent study in Clay and exhibited her pottery in the SAS Gallery. During the summer, she traveled to Spain to teach English. Among Laya’s memorable moments at SAS are all of the times she spent with former International Student Coordinator Heather Cooper and German exchange student Anna Freyland eating pierogi and just hanging out. Laya offered her appreciation to teachers Osei Hill and Heather Cooper, “From always encouraging my friends and me to be better to taking us on trips to celebrate our successes, I’m so thankful I was able to meet them and get to know them while becoming very close with them.” Laya is the daughter of Jameelah El-Amin.
Xuanyi “Jerry” Lin, a four-year boarding student from Shanghai, China, will attend Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. He plans to study psychology. Over the years, Jerry participated in the International Club, Math Club, the SAS Farm, and Anime Club. He was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team and Most Improved Player twice. His freshman year, he also played basketball and was recognized as the Most Improved runner on the cross-country team. Jerry enrolled in German classes at the University of the South and participated in SAS’s service trip to Jamaica. He is the son of Hua Lin Aimei Cai.
Saje Mangru, a seven-year day student from Winchester, Tenn., will attend the University of Chicago where she plans to major in linguistics and prepare for medical school. Saje, a high honors student and Proctor, was a member of Cum Laude and Honor Council. She was this year’s recipient of The Sewanee Military Academy Memorial Merit Award which is presented annually to the student who has displayed athletic proficiency, academic excellence, and, above all, outstanding character in all actions both within and outside of our school community. Her junior year, she received the Biology award and the Frank Phillips White English award. Saje participated in technical theater at SAS and was a two-year captain of the volleyball team. She received both the Most Improved Player and the Coaches’ Award in volleyball and tennis. She also performed the school’s Creative Expression Assemblies. Saje studied Russian language and piano at the University of the South while enrolled as a student at SAS and attended the Governor’s School for International Studies. Saje was a hostess at Old Mill Manor restaurant, a Sunday School teacher, and served as a peer tutor for three years. In recalling her favorite memories of SAS, Saje wrote, “I think a memory that I always go back to is sitting by the windows at the back of Simmonds with my friends and having such a good time that it felt like it was never going to end.” She thanked her faculty advisors, Robie Jackson and Osei Hill, “They were extremely different advisors, but I greatly value the individual impact they’ve made on my life.” Saje is the daughter of Nevindra and Denize Mangru.
Daniel McDonough, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Roanoke College. An honors student, Daniel participated in the Ecology Project International trip to Yellowstone and was active in the school’s technical theater program. He volunteered at Animal Harbor in the summer of 2019. He is the son of Christopher McDonough and Kelly Malone.
Cailan McLean, a four-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Middle Tennessee State University. Over the years, Cailan participated in Boy Scouts, football, soccer, and basketball. He named MVP of the football team his senior year and received the Coaches’ Award his junior year. Cailan participated in the Ecology Project International trip to Yellowstone. Among his favorite memories, Cailan wrote that he enjoyed “hanging out in Harvey on the weekends with the homies.” Cailan is the son of Brian and Beth McLean.
Jayla McLaurin, a four-year boarding student from Las Vegas, Nevada, will attend University of New Mexico where she received the Amigo Scholarship. A high honors student, Jayla was a Proctor and SAS Ambassador. Over the years she received numerous awards in Latin and Spanish. She co-founded the school’s Be the Change organization and was a member of the two-time state champion Ethics Bowl team. Over the years, Jayla also participated in Interact, Global and Local Outreach, Great Discussions, and Race Awareness & Dialogue. She performed in numerous theater productions, Creative Expression Assemblies, and Perpetual Motion dance showcases and had leading roles in Universal Robot, Metamorphoses, Kaleidoscope, and Leaving Iowa. She was also on the tech crew for Robber Bridegroom and Babka Without Borders and stage manager for The Sound of Music. She was a three-year member of the varsity track team. She was scheduled to present at this spring’s TEDx at the University of the South.
“My favorite experiences were the ones made in both of the Ethics Bowl competition seasons,” wrote Jayla. “I wouldn't trade those enlightening conversations or bouts of laughter for anything. From having no idea what we were getting ourselves in to, to winning two back-to-back state championships, I was honored to have a part in establishing what I hope will be a long standing SAS tradition for years to come. Thank you to Sophia Patterson, Justine Rogers, Sarah Beth Hobby, Erin Mattingly, Gabriel Pongdee, and Mac Croom for being phenomenal and awe-inspiring teammates. Thank you to Dean (Geoffrey) Smith for your diligence and encouraging leadership! Of all of the things I will take with me from my time at SAS, what's most valuable to me are the relationships I've created in my time here. My friends obviously mean the world to me, but I will use this space to recognize my favorite teachers. Dr. (William) Seavey--you're the absolute best! Thank you for talking to me for hours on end after school about everything from classism to O' Brother Where Art Thou. It was an honor to be your student and try to keep up with your wit. Ms. (Chelsea) Padro, I can't thank you enough for wearing so many hats in my life. I never could have imagined developing such a strong connection with a new teacher within a year and I can easily say that it was such a blessing to meet you. To Ms. (Malia) Carlos, I had apprehension about being a young black girl going to school in Tennessee, and you singlehandedly made me feel at home. Also, I've never had a better hug than one from you. And finally, to Ms. Robie Jackson, thank you for being a second mama. Thank you for believing in me when I definitely did not believe in myself. I would not be half the woman I am today without your care and guidance. I love you all so dearly, and I'm excited to keep in touch!”
George Meng, a three-year boarding student from Shanghai, China will attend the University of the South with an International Honors Award. George received this year’s Boarding Student Award given by the faculty to the individual whose character and involvement in the life of the school have contributed significantly to our community. An honors student, George served as an SAS Ambassador, International Student Mentor, and president of Turkington House. He was a captain of the varsity basketball team, a member of the track team, and served as a student athletics trainer. George received the SAS Gallery 2-Dimensional Art Award and participated in numerous clubs and activities, including Be the Change, International Club, Interact, Vocal Ensemble, Global and Local Outreach, Creative Expression Assembly, Chinese Culture Club, Anime Club, ECO-SAS, Archery Club, Fashion Club, and the SAS Farm. His senior year he played Rolf in the school’s production of The Sound of Music. As a student at SAS, George enrolled in a course in politics at the University of the South. During the summers, he participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Tearing Down the Walls (a race and leadership conference for independent school students), and as a counselor at SAS summer camps. One of George’s favorite high school memories was the moment he hit that game-winning free throw in a triple overtime basketball game during his sophomore year. George offered thanks to his teacher Osei Hill for being the best coach, dorm parent, DJ, barber, and art teacher and to Sherri Bergman and the Rev. Molly Short for all the support they gave him. He is the son of Zhiyi Meng and Yuefei Dai. Jayla is the daughter of Derrick and Kesha McLaurin.
Lattie Michael, a two-year boarding student from Memphis, Tenn, participated in the school’s Chapel program as a sacristan and was a member of the varsity soccer team. Lattie is the son of Madison Michael and Christie Michael.
Bryce Moser, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Roanoke College. Bryce is the son of Andrew Moser and Keri Downing.
Tim Nelson, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn. will attend the University of the South. A high honors student, Tim received the Spanish IV award his junior year and participated in Literary Magazine. Tim was a four-year member of the varsity tennis team. He was two-time recipient of the William Holland Varnell Manager’s Award for his work with the school’s football team. Tim served as a volunteer at Otey Memorial Parish Church. In reflecting on his time at SAS, Tim wrote, “My time in Exercise Science is very memorable, especially when Coach Harrison Camp openly took in my request to change my workout to accommodate exercises that target muscle groups frequently used in motorcycle racing. I am eternally grateful to him for letting me take that first step.” Tim went on to thank Coach Camp, “I want to especially thank Mr. Camp for his Exercise Science class, as it allowed me to really understand and grow an appreciation for working out and staying fit while learning in a flexible environment.” Tim is the grandson of Phebe Hethcock and son of Mary Nelson.
Nneka Okolo, a three-year boarding student from Medina, Tenn., will attend the University of the South. An honors student, Nneka was a Proctor and received numerous Latin awards over the years, including this year’s Latin III award. She also received Gold Summa Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam. She was MVP of the girls’ basketball team before an injury sidelined her. Nneka is the daughter of Joseph and Stacey Okolo.
Morgan Phares, a six-year day and boarding student from Pensacola, Fla., will attend the University of the South. An honors student, Morgan was a Proctor, a member of the SAS Vocal Ensemble, and recipient of this year’s Outstanding Chorus award. She was formerly an SAS Ambassador. Morgan participated in theater at SAS and starred as Maria in this year’s production of The Sound of Music. She was a frequent performer in the school’s Creative Expression Assemblies and participated in Chapel activities such as The Middle Way and Bible study. She was a four-year member of the volleyball team, earning Most Improved Player her senior year. As a junior, she participated in track and field. The summer before her senior year, she attended SUMMA debate camp at the University of the South and every summer since 8th grade she has participated in a mission trip. Of her college choice, Morgan wrote, “Looks like I'm not ready to leave the mountain quite yet. I'm not sure what I am going to major in, but I know I want to make the world a better place. I love working with people and I intend on making as many people smile as I can.” In reflecting on her time at SAS, Morgan added, “I always tell my friends and family that SAS is where I learned to spread my wings and live into my voice. Without the support from Ms. (Robie) Jackson, Mr. (J.R.) Ankney, my family, and my friends I may have never been given the opportunity to sing and perform on stage. Being "Maria" in The Sound of Music this year is a memory I will always hold dear to my heart. Out of all of the gifts SAS has given me; mentors, confidence, a love of learning... true friendship is the greatest gift of them all.” Morgan is the daughter of Nicholas and Teresa Phares.
Gabriel Pongdee, a seven-year day student from Tracy City, Tenn. and this year’s valedictorian, will attend Vanderbilt University. A high honors student, Gabriel was a Proctor, president of Cum Laude, and the 12th Grade Honor Student. He was a National Merit Commended Scholar and was the recipient of this year’s Sarah McPherson Carlos Calculus Award and enrolled in courses in Advanced General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry I at the University of the South. Over the years, he won Gold, Silver (x2), and Bronze National Spanish Exam Medals, and the Spanish I, World History I, Algebra II, Precalculus, Advanced Chemistry, and Lisa Keith-Lucas Chemistry Award. Gabriel was a member of this year’s state champion Ethics Bowl team, head of Math Club, and co-captain of the Climbing Team. He was also a peer tutor. In his freshman and sophomore years, he raced with the school’s mountain biking team. During the summers he attended Vanderbilt Summer Academy and worked as an intern in Vanderbilt’s Sulikowski Laboratory. In reflecting on his memories at SAS, Gabriel wrote, “In freshman year, I went on a spring break trip to Washington DC with Mr. (Geoffrey) Smith and some classmates. It was the first time that I had really gone to an urban environment to do something other than run errands or something. I was there just to be there and to take in everything that the city had to offer. It was the first time I walked around a downtown area at night and experienced just how much stuff is packed into these places... and is packed into the world in general. This was, for lack of a better term, my introduction to tourism and the “city experience”. I really enjoyed my time there, and I know where to find a nice, quaint Italian restaurant when I return. SAS has been my life's second most formative environment, being beaten out only by my home. The people I met here taught me everything I know about friendship, and the ability of groups of friends to form a sort of family around each other. I will not forget the kindness that has been shown to me and will ensure that it does not go to waste.” Gabriel is the son of Rongson and Rosie Pongdee.
Anna Post is a seven-year day student from Monteagle, Tenn. An honors student, Anna received this year’s Algebra III award. Over the years, Anna was a member of the varsity basketball, tennis, and soccer teams and participated in the Fashion and Spanish Clubs. She was captain and MVP of the girls’ tennis team, a member of the 2018 DII-A District 2 Championship tennis team, 3rd place doubles team, and a sub-state qualifier. In 2019, her tennis team was 4th in the District, qualified for the East Region quarterfinal, and her doubles team finished second in the District, and earned All-District Team honors. Anna also displayed her photography in the SAS Gallery. During the summers, Anna competed in USTA tennis tournaments and was a counselor at the SAS Soccer Camp and Camp Nakanawa in Crossville, Tenn. Anna is the daughter of Geoff and Lecia Post.
Ali Sacco, a two-year boarding student all player and volleyball player from Cincinnati, Ohio, will attend Arizona State University. Ali is the daughter of John and Cathy Sacco.
Tessa Shackelford, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend the University of the South. A high honors student, Tessa was inducted into Cum Laude this year. Last year, she received the school’s Bun Pickering Spanish V award. Tessa took a course at the University of the South, Studies in Fiction. A star tennis player, Tessa received the Coaches’ Award her freshman year and a member of the 2018 DII-A District 2 Championship tennis team, 3rd place doubles team, and a sub-state qualifier. In 2019, her tennis team was 4th in the District, qualified for the East Region quarterfinal, and her doubles team finished second in the District and earned All-District Team honors. Tessa is the daughter of John and Conchie Shackelford.
Van Carlton Shanahan, a four-year boarding student from Brandon, Miss., will attend Millsaps College with a significant merit scholarship. Van Carlton was this year’s recipient of The Lulu Hampton Owen Service Award given by the faculty to the individual who has shown outstanding service to the school and to the community-at-large and The Mountain Mirror Literary Magazine Writing Award. He was also recognized for his service as a sacristan, acolyte, and SAS Ambassador. His junior year, Van Carlton received the Josephus Conn Guild Colmore, Jr., Award and the Coaches’ Award for tennis. His freshman year, he received the William Holland Varnell Manager’s Award. Over the year’s Van Carlton has been a member of the History Club, Literary Magazine staff, Interact, and Art Co-op. He helped to manage the football and basketball teams and was a four-year member of the varsity tennis team. Van Carlton performed in this year’s productions of Babka Without Borders and The Sound of Music. Last summer, Van Carlton interned at the Mississippi State Crime Lab. He participated in a NOLS trip to Alaska the summer of his freshman year. In reflecting on his time at SAS, Van Carlton wrote, “For the four years I have attended St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School I always did what I could to make sure everyone felt like they had someone they could talk to. I found that to be my purpose on the campus and along with that I reached out to the middle schoolers to help show that everyone matters no matter their age, and it’s okay to reach out to other people.” He also wrote, “I will always remember my time here at SAS, but one of the most prominent memories I will have is making two really great friends in my junior year.” Van Carlton went on to thank the school’s caring staff, “The Reverend Molly McGee Short has been the faculty member I could always go to when I needed some advice, help, or to someone to talk to. In the times I felt lost, or upset I found myself to become cheerful and excited after talking to her or just saying hello. I am honored to have met such a wonderful priest and teacher on campus. Shawna Midgett is another one for always reminding me to shave or I could have the luxury of required dress. Ms. (Kim) Perkins and Ms. (Malia) Carlos for helping me with classes when I needed time from situations. Finally, General Kelly Black! It’s been an honor to have had her as my academic dean, tennis coach, advanced biology teacher, advisor, and one of my superior officers. I couldn’t have made it through the year without her this year especially. Thank you for all that you guys have done!” Van Carlton is the son of Joe Shanahan and stepson of Chelsea Chicosky-Shanahan.
Lizzie Sluser, a four-year boarding student from Nashville, Tenn. will attend University of Alabama – Birmingham. An honors student, Lizzie received this year’s Statistics & Probability award. Lizzie served the school as an SAS Ambassador. Over the years, she participated in volleyball, yearbook, Bible study, Fashion Club, and theatre. She was captain of the JV volleyball team for two years. Lizzie volunteered at Thistle Farms, a Nashville-based non-profit that helps to provide second chances for women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. In reflecting on her time at SAS, Lizzie remembered all the laughs she had with her friends and teachers. Lizzie is the daughter of Susan Ferguson and Derron Sluser.
Aidan McGrath Smith, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn. and this year’s Salutatorian will attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., where he plans to study engineering and biochemistry. A High Honors student, Aidan was a member of the Honor Council and Cum Laude and enrolled in Introduction to Political Theory at the University of the South. He was a member of Interact, a Proctor, and is also an Eagle Scout. As an underclassman, Aidan provided leadership to the school’s House Program, served as an SAS Ambassador, participated in Great Discussions, Global and Local Outreach, Barbell Club, Cycling Club, and ECO-SAS and went on the school’s service trip to Jamaica. He has received numerous academic awards including this year’s Advanced Biology award and The Michael S. Dalton Award for Excellence in Physics. In past years, he has received Silver and Bronze medals in the National Spanish Exam and is a past recipient of the SMA Junior Leadership Award. At Honors Day, Aidan was recognized as a three-sport/four-year athlete and named the Best Male Athletes. His athletic career included state finishes in swimming and mountain biking. He served as captain of the varsity mountain biking team, where he earned MVP and Coaches Award honors. In swimming, Aidan was a captain and a two-time MVP. He qualified for the state swim meet this year in the 200 Freestyle Relay with his team finishing 6th and in the 100 Butterfly and 200 Freestyle. He holds three school swim relay records and one individual record. He received the Coaches Award in Soccer and was named to the All-District Team twice. While a student at SAS, Aidan took courses in Macroeconomics and Political Theory at the University of the South. In addition to swimming with the Tigersharks summer swim team, Aidan worked as a mechanic for Woody's Bicycles and participated in the Sewanee Haiti Institute. In reflecting on his time at SAS, Aidan wrote, “I made my best memories outdoors – from Betsy's Path to the trails and sports fields – with my friends and teachers, learning to simply enjoy what and who was around us.” He went on to thank “the teachers who invited me on a trail run or ride, to lunch off-campus, or on an extracurricular trip. You made my time at SAS truly special, and you all taught me things that cannot be learned in the classroom. Between my coaches and academic mentors, there are too many people to name, but I am more grateful than I can express.” Aidan is the son of Ken Smith and Deborah McGrath.
Thomas Stapleton, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend Roanoke College on a Tuition Exchange scholarship. Thomas played football and soccer at SAS and received the Most Improved Player award in football in his junior year. He participated in theater and worked at Octopi. Thomas is the son of Archie and Helen Stapleton.
Markus Thurman, a seven-year day student from Sewanee, Tenn., will attend the University of the South. Over the years, Markus participated in Theater, Dungeons and Dragons, Gender and Sexualities Awareness, Race Awareness & Dialogue, and volleyball. A talented artist, he attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for two weeks during the summer of his junior year. In looking back at his SAS career, Markus remembered his first year at SAS, “I ate outside for lunch and one of the dogs came up and took my sandwich.” Markus offered a shout-out to his favorite teachers, the Rev. Molly Short, Michael Short, and Thomas Priestley. Markus’s parents are Eric Thurman and Lesley Thomas.
Zoe Wallace, a seven-year day student from Monteagle, Tenn., will attend Western Carolina University. An honors student, Zoe was a two-time recipient of the Coaches’ Award in volleyball and vice president of Turkington House. She is the daughter of Owen and Emily Wallace.
Grange Wengraf-Simons, a four-year boarder from Nashville, Tenn., will attend The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, where he received an academic merit scholarship. Over the years, Grange was a member of Be the Change, Outdoor Club, Archery Club, Math Club, and Dungeons and Dragons. He also participated in numerous SAS theater productions and provided tech support for Act 1, a Nashville community theater. He also volunteered with the Morton Memorial Church food distribution and by providing fellowship for the residents of Autumn Oaks Assisted Living Center. He was this year’s recipient of The Betty Guyear Condra Perseverance Award which is given by the faculty to the individual whose perseverance in academics and extra-curricular activities is outstanding. In reflecting on his time at SAS, Grange wrote, “All of my time at SAS has been memorable, and I would not trade it for the world. He also offered a special shout-out to chemistry teacher Jennifer Bachman. Grange is the son of John Wengraf and Adele Simons.
Alvin Wong, a four-year boarding student from Hong Kong, will attend University of Connecticut. During his time at SAS, Alvin won Most Improved player awards in both basketball and cross-country. He is the son of Guodong Huang and Lijuan Fang.
Jiaying Yang, a four-year boarding student from Dalian, China will attend the University of California at San Diego. A high honors student, Jiaying was a member of the Honor Council, a Proctor, and an SAS Ambassador. She was a past recipient of the SMA Junior Leadership Award and the Statistics and Precalculus awards. She received first prize in the AMC 10, AMC 12, and 2019 Math Madness competitions. Over the years, Jiayang was president of the Math and Archery clubs, a member of International Club, Gender and Sexualities Awareness, Spanish Club, and on the yearbook staff. She received the Coaches’ and Most Improved Awards in wrestling and was a two-year team captain. Jiaying participated in SAS’s Ecology Project International trip to Yellowstone in 2018 and as an IBM summer intern in 2019. She was a Wharton High School Investment Competition regional qualifier and a teaching assistant in psychology for a summer camp. Jiaying offered thanks to her SAS teachers Margot Burns, Liz Quinn-Stine, Heather Cooper, Jen Bachman, and Dan Monahan for taking care of her for the past four years. Jiaying is the daughter of Tiankun Yang and Huaping Zhuang.
Serena Zeng, a four-year boarding student from Nanchang, China, will attend George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Serena was this year’s recipient of The Andrew Nelson Lytle Writing Award. A high honors student, Serena enrolled in Utopias and Dystopias and World Politics at the University of the South. Over the years, she served as SAS Ambassador and participated in International Club, Math Club, Yearbook, Archery Club, and K-pop Dance Club. She was co-leader of Tea Club. She won third place in the AMC 12 math contest and third place in the Art Festival Piano Competition Yearbook. Serena was a four-year member of the varsity swim team. She participated in the Ecology Project International trip to Yellowstone National Park. In considering her memorable experiences at SAS, Serena wrote about the grade-level program her senior year, “I hung out with people who have been around me for four years. We played games and talked almost the whole night around the fire. I will never forget any of the moments in SAS.” Serena also wrote, “I want to thank Mrs. (Heather) Cooper for taking care of me for three years. She helped me with my schoolwork and my struggles in daily life. I could not do all of this without her.” Serena is the daughter of Yadong Zeng and Li Feng.