Head of School Jody Soja presented a Mountain Card to Phoebe Mulder on Tuesday, May 1. The Mountain Card is the school’s highest formal accolade and recognizes individuals who go above and beyond our expectations. Below are the words that Mrs. Soja read at Morning Meeting.

Not always is courage evinced by grand and public acts. It is also found in those who seek within themselves the answers, the meanings, the understanding of relationships, and the triumphs. These, in their subtleties and nuances, can be overlooked in the infinite continuities of the human experience.

Phoebe Mulder is one such seeker. Humble and reserved, yet at the same time, confident and poised, Phoebe’s introspective approach yields insights and connections that elevate the level of the myriad activities in which she is involved. Remarkable was both her participation in and reflection on the class camping trip. By embracing her vulnerabilities, she showed others how to do the same. On the stage, she takes the time to get to know the characters she is playing–a hallmark of any serious actor–and thus establishes herself as a contextualizing guidepost for her fellow thespians. And then there is her academic performance: a gifted writer and communicator, Phoebe regularly and thoroughly dissects and analyzes course material across all subject areas before synthesizing it into novel ideas of her own, which she shares, respectfully, yet with conviction, to the benefit of all those around her.

All that would be remarkable enough, but anyone who knows Phoebe knows that she is also just plain nice. She exhibits a subtle but palpable empathetic aura, and you know when you interact with her that she really cares–a trait which, as impossible as it might sound, eclipses all the rest.

It is for her quiet courage, her ability to look within to help those without, and her truly benevolent spirit, that the Indian Mountain School faculty awards Phoebe Mulder its highest honor: The Mountain Card.