Includes recent updates about what's happening on campus with community activities, academics, and athletics. Also alumni news, information about upcoming camps, reports from the Weekend Program, and other updates. Read it here
Last Saturday, six student-athletes graduated from Carrabassett Valley Academy at the Richard Bell Chapel, at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. We also saluted our Winter Term Seniors Ben DiBiase, Oscar Horovitz and Gannon Stewart. Congratulations to the resilient and remarkable Class of 2021!
Head of School Kate Punderson remarked during the ceremony "While the road to getting here was not the path that we had expected, nonetheless, it was an extraordinary year. There were challenges. There were obstacles. There were many moments of triumph. Today we will celebrate all of the moments that have brought us here together, with a new sense of gratitude toward this special gathering. Thank you to the parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and friends that have loved and supported these deserving student-athletes through their CVA journey, and especially through the difficult past year. And equally as important, I want to thank the remarkable CVA faculty and staff that have nurtured, taught, coached, and mentored all of our Big Dogs. You are all heroes in my book and I am eternally grateful. But I save my most important thank you to the Class of 2021. Thank you for your perseverance – you made this happen. In true CVA fashion you never gave up, and your love for each other, and for CVA has brought us together today. Each of you so deserve the diploma you are about to receive. Soak in this moment and be proud of your accomplishments."
The Valedictorian, Arden Velenchik and Salutatorian, Brighton Bradford addressed the class during the ceremony, along with Senior Class Choice speaker Sam Osgood and Faculty Choice speaker James Holahan.
Other award recipients recognized at the ceremony:
Arden Velenchik, John Ritzo Headmaster's Award, for her leadership qualities and her notable contribution to the betterment of the school and the local community.
Sam Osgood, David Holmes Most Improved Student Award, for showing the most growth of any senior over the course of his time at CVA.
Brighton Bradford, Benjamin Weisbein Award for best exemplifying those qualities that Ben possessed. He was a superb athlete and an exceptional student who always worked tirelessly to achieve his potential. Brighton, like Ben, truly represented the “CVA way:” outstanding athletics, serious scholarship, personal development and strength of character.
Eli Fournier, CVA Alumni Association Award, for exhibiting a strong and steady character, reliability, consistently positive attitude, and respect for others. Eli has proven a commitment to “doing his best” academically, athletically and in the school community.
Drew Hooker, J. Keith Penninger Memorial Fund Award for representing CVA in terms of leadership and commitment to the CVA mission and community.
The H. King Cummings Service Award was given to Steve Sitz, Director of Finance, in honor of his seventeen year career with CVA.
Benjamin Bisson ’09 inspired and celebrated the graduates as the key note speaker.
The annual Senior Banquet was held at the Sugarloaf Base Lodge Friday night, with a reception on the Beach and dinner in the Maple Room.
During the ceremony, The Denny Flag Award was presented to Acy Craig and Angelique Labelle in honor of their commitment to excellence and CVA.
The evening ended with the Senior Slideshow - a fan favorite walk down memory lane.
About 250 students, family members, coaches and faculty gathered outside Murfey Hall to honor students from all grades and disciplines with academic and athletic awards at the Big Dog Awards Ceremony on June 4th. In addition to the awards, every student received a personal note card signed by CVA staff.
Kate Punderson offered these words: "Hello and Welcome to the 2021 Big Dog Awards Ceremony. It has been almost 2 years since we have all been together as a school community. Two years! I am so so happy that we are back together. To our Coaches, teachers, staff and parents: Thank you all for believing in CVA. For believing that kids need to be kids. And also that as a kid, time is precious and time is of the essence. The adolescent years fly by. Not a day should go by without a young person feeling loved and valued and appreciated. Everyday there should be opportunities for young people to learn and build knowledge and strength, to add tools to their social and emotional toolbox. Kids also need to be kids, to have fun, laugh, experience joy, be adventurous, and make connections. Thank you for believing that to do all that, young people need to be and feel safe - that safety is the foundation. Thank you all for joining me in these beliefs and embracing our students and their CVA experience, even when it required tremendous sacrifice. To our students - you are our inspiration. We are beyond proud of the way you responded to the opportunities you were given. Thank you students for believing in us and putting up with our many changing rules, confusing protocols and the restrictions we put on your daily activities. Your willingness to do whatever it took was amazing. David Brook’s message to the Boston College Class of 2021 sums up this time well. He said,
“We are all coming out of something hard….But here’s the good thing about enduring a hard thing when you are young. Forever after, you’ll now know you have the capacity to survive hard things. And you don’t need to be terrified of them.”
Congratulations to each and every Big Dog for your many accomplishments this year!