Byram Hills High School juniors and seniors were honored for their individual achievements at the annual awards ceremony on May 25 in the high school theater.
“We are gathered here tonight to celebrate the achievements of all of the students who are behind me on stage,” Principal Christopher Walsh said. “It’s been such an incredible year, for so many reasons, for our high school community.”
This year, Byram Hills students were recognized by organizations including the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the New York State School Music Association, Regeneron, the College Board, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, Con Edison, Section 1 Athletics, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
“Countless other local, state, national and international organizations recognized Byram Hills students for their achievements,” Mr. Walsh said. “Our students were celebrated for their work in and out of the classrooms, both at school and on the road, and even remotely.”
He thanked the students’ families for their endless support.
“None of the students would be able to be up here without all that you do for them,” Mr. Walsh said of the students seated on the stage. “Thank you for the hours and hours of support that enabled them to achieve so much.”
The top honor for a graduating senior, the Hy Blatte-Jack Wollenberg Memorial Award, is given to a student with a humanitarian outlook, a willingness to extend himself for others, and an optimistic approach to life and its challenges.
Mr. Walsh presented the award to Ross Eagle, hailing him for his leadership, involvement and willingness to help.
“This student always looks on the bright side and sees challenges as an opportunity for growth and learning,” Mr. Walsh said. “He is kind, compassionate and cares deeply for his community. This student reflects the values of Byram Hills High School.”
Along with the award, Ross received a $1,000 scholarship from the PTSA, $100 to donate to a charity of his choice, and by tradition, gave a speech during the ceremony.
“When looking back on our time at the high school, it was nothing short of unusual, and a true test of our resilience,” Ross said, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had shifted the mindset of students. “But it taught us an important lesson: that is, to make the most of the time we have and not to worry about the things that are out of our control.”
The PTSA Caruolo Leadership Award, which is decided by a student vote and comes with a $1,000 scholarship, was presented by Assistant Principal Kristen Sautner to senior Irene Byrnes.
The award goes to a student who demonstrates outstanding leadership and exhibits character, dedication, loyalty and humanity. Ms. Sautner noted that Irene is described as dynamic, intelligent, fun loving, kind to all and always willing to lend a helping hand.
“She has strength in her convictions and has shown that she can support and lift up others while also making her voice and point of view heard,” Ms. Sautner said. “This student works hard to ensure the success of those around her. She is also known for being astute and recognizing when a fellow classmate may be in need of help and demonstrates genuine care and willingness to assist others.”
The awards ceremony was filled with applause and pride as dozens of students were recognized, a wonderful way to kick off the end of the academic year.
News and photo courtesy of the Byram Hills School District