Parents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered under the tent on Stockton Field for Indian Mountain School’s 95th graduation ceremony on Friday, June 8, 2018. Sunshine prevailed as 44 ninth graders and 13 departing eighth graders bid farewell to their friends and teachers before heading off for the summer and on to their next schools.

Following tradition, piper, Mr. K. Lee Collins led the procession of honorees into the tent while eighth grade marshals, Fred Coulibaly and Claire Kim, directed graduates to their seats.

The Reverend Heidi Truax, Pastor at Trinity Lime Rock, gave the invocation followed by the traditional singing of America the Beautiful, led by Ms. Joanna Seaton, accompanied by Donald Sosin.

Head of School Jody Reilly Soja welcomed everyone with opening remarks. “In reflecting on this group before us today, the class of 2018, I am struck by the growth we have observed in you,” she shared. “Your growth has not always followed a linear path. I admire that you, as a group, have always chosen your own path and, when you have, you had courage to wander, to take in the view, to consider how things could be done or seen differently, and then carried on.”

Mr. Ram Miles then directed a group of IMS singers and musicians in a performance of I’ll Always Remember You by Hannah Montana. The Mountain Voices later performed 100 Years by John Ondrasik.

Ms. Soja recognized excellence in academic achievement. This year, IMS established an honors society called the Pi Tau Mu Society. The name comes from the abbreviation for the Greek words “Prothumia Teis Matheiseos,” a translation of the phrase “the passion to learn” from our School’s mission statement. Students recognized in this way represent the top 5% of their class.

7th grade: Emily Hou; Yujin Kim
8th grade: Patricia Daum; Kevin Lam; Hansi Zhu
9th grade: Alex Liang; Hannah Stewart

Following the recognition of academic excellence, Ms. Soja also announced two new awards, as well as the School’s longstanding awards.

Courage to Climb Award recognizes outstanding leadership on behalf of Indian Mountain School. Established in 2018, this award will be given annually by the Head of School to recognize courageous leadership demonstrated by any member of the IMS community. In honor of Maria Horn’s transformative work as Board Chair, this award is given to any person who acts boldly and tirelessly on behalf of IMS.

Presented to: Maria Horn

The sixth grade citizenship award was established in 2018 in honor of Dan and Jody Bliss’s combined tenure of nearly 50 years at Indian Mountain School, and their leadership of the 5th and 6th grades. In acknowledgement of the importance they placed on community building and participation, the sixth grade citizenship award is selected annually by the 5th and 6th grade teaching faculty and presented to the member of the sixth grade class who has consistently demonstrated enthusiasm for school life, unerring kindness, respect for others, and positive leadership skills.

Presented to: Rusty Chandler


Mountain Card: Anton Kuskin
Spofford Award: Jody Bliss
2006 Distinguished Teaching Chair: David Pecchia
Head of School Awards: Kevin Lam, Kayo Wiggins, Jin Chey, Hanyan Cai
McMillen Prize: Maria-Victoria Liberati
Schutte Prize: Ore Tejuoso
The 2006 Prize: Lillie Simpson
Rouse Prize: Hollis Churchill
Doolittle Prize: Hansi Zhu
Austen Fox Riggs Prize: Hannah Stewart
Triangle Prize: Ellie Traggio

11-Year Veterans who have been at IMS since pre-kindergarten: Colin Maxwell, Hannah Stewart, and Ellie Traggio

Alex Liang, Mason Popowitz, Ellie Traggio read the class of 2018 “This We Believe” speech, and then Ms. Soja and IMS Board President Maria Horn presented the graduates with diplomas and departing eighth graders with certificates.

After the ceremony, graduates and their families enjoyed lunch in the dining hall before saying their goodbyes for the summer.

Photos will be available to view and purchase online from Highpoint Pictures soon. 

Congratulations to our graduates!

Class of 2019
Hale Hailand Brown
Patricia Audrey Daum
Josephine Emma Duggan
Kevin K. Lam
Santiago Mijares Gutierrez
Phoebe Simmons Mulder
Elaine Oghogho Oghoore
Diego Santos
Ajani Mikael Sigler
Chelsea Hewitt Sinclair
Jiaying Sun
Sarah Leilani Swendsen
Hansi Zhu

Class of 2018
Patricio Albitos
Aidan James Aloisi
Mason Petter Berlinghoff
Hanyan Cai
Tyrese la-roy Caines
Oliver Carleton
José Armando Castilleja González
Jin Chey
Hollis Hendricks Churchill
Ashton Nicholas Colangelo
Junsik Eom
Adolfo Gonzalez Goudet
Kevin Shawn Gu
Yijie Han
William Samuelsen Hoyt
Kexuan Huang
Anderson Youngyool Jeon
Andrew Youngdo Jeon
Che Rim Kang
Isaac B. Kante
So Jung Jessie Kwon
Vsevolod Lebedev
Hanxiao Li
Alexander Tian Liang
Maria-Victoria Diane Liberati
John Gordon Anderson Lock
Jacob David Marlowe
Gavin Toby Marr
Rafael Mata Avila
Colin McGee Maxwell
Chelsea Kate Mendez
Jasper R. A. Pearman
Mason Gregory Popowitz
Dominic Anthony Sessa
Xinkai Shen
Yihan Hans Shen
Lillie Swan Simpson
Hannah D’Arcy Stewart
Oreoluwa Tejumade Tejuoso
Ellie Laidlaw Traggio
Ian Lukis Tyson
Peiyao Wang
Kayo Kevin Altonio Wiggins, Jr.
Aiden Williams McCracken