Commencement 2024

On the morning of June 7, 2024, parents, students, faculty, and alumni gathered under the tent on Stockton Field for a joyous and emotional celebration of our graduating ninth graders and all their achievements.

The piper, Mr. Jesse Ofgang, led the procession of honorees into the tent on Stockton Field, while the eighth grade marshals, Coco Wang and Charles Weihman, directed graduates to their seats. 

The Reverend Andrew A. Kryzak ’98, priest-in-charge of St. John’s Church in Stamford, Connecticut, gave the invocation followed by the traditional singing of America the Beautiful, led by Ms. Joanna Seaton and accompanied by Donald Sosin.

Head of School Jody Reilly Soja gave her opening remarks. She acknowledged her connection with this class as her final class of graduates as she too will be departing IMS this year. She spoke of how this class represents the true spirit of IMS through their never-wavering empathy, curiosity, and selflessness despite the challenges they faced throughout their academic journeys. “You have always struck me as an exceptionally happy class” said Ms. Soja. “You are a class that has embraced the experience of being an IMS student to the fullest.”

This class has made a lasting impact on our community just like Ms. Soja and we are grateful for their dedication to creating a joyful and safe space for all our students to grow.

"You have sown the seeds of happiness throughout your time on the mountain and shared that found joy and playful spirit with our community. This is your legacy."

Mr. Ram Miles directed a group of IMS singers and musicians in a wonderful performance of Home by Edward Sharpe. Accompanied by Ms. Seaton and Mr. Sosin, the Mountain Voices later performed Slipping Through My Fingers by ABBA.

Ms. Soja also acknowledged our 11-Year Veterans who have been at IMS since pre-kindergarten (AJ Horosky, Louella Barillaro, Thatcher Meili, and Pippa Clark) and our four-year boarding students (Papa Kofi Awuah and Connor Li) who have been boarding students since sixth grade. 

The following prizes were presented:

Mountain Cards: Mr. Sam Decock; Mr. Danny Tieger

Courage to Climb Award: James Vazquez Castelan

Spofford Award: Ms. Sarah Smith

2024 Distinguished Teaching Chair: Mr. Alex Hodosy

Head of School Awards: Pippa Clark; Emma Ohler

McMillen Prize: Phoebe Tobin

Schutte Prize: Papa Kofi Awuah

The 2006 Prize: Evie Scofield

Rouse Prize: Margaret Marcum

Doolittle Prize: Nikita Weiss

Austen Fox Riggs Prize: William Soja; Louella Barillaro

Triangle Prize: Santi Meza Rivera

There was a big surprise at the end of Ms. Soja’s remarks as she put on a wig, and Mr. Charles Brown walked up to the stage dressed as — who else?— Charlie Brown.  What followed was a Peanuts skit (a nod to this year’s musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), that included  Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Halloran, Mr. Hodosy, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Abendroth, and Mr. Tieger. It was a memorable moment that had everyone laughing and eager to see which classic character would pop up from the audience next to join in on the fun.

Then, ninth graders Emma Ohler, William Soja, and James Vazquez read a moving “This We Believe” speech, and Ms. Soja, Mr. Hodosy, and Ms. Breakell presented the graduates with their diplomas.

After the ceremony, students bid a bittersweet farewell to their friends and teachers before heading off for the summer and on to their next schools.

Congratulations to our graduates!