Skip To Main Content
Students in the Class of 2024 Honored with Academic, Engagement, and Athletic Awards 

Congratulations to the outstanding Montclair Kimberley Academy seniors who have been honored with academic, engagement, and athletic awards. We could not be more proud of their hard work, dedication, and the impressive feats they have accomplished during the 2023-2024 school year. 



Marjorie Winfield Easter Award – Marjorie Winfield Easter, Headmistress at The Kimberley School from 1960-1965, encouraged creative self-expression and selfless dedication to the school community. It is with this in mind that we present the Marjorie Winfield Easter Award to the senior who, behind-the-scenes, has given generously to the MKA community without expecting formal recognition. The award winner has consistently demonstrated outstanding character, leadership qualities, and moral values: Eunice Fernandez

Rudolph Deetjen Awards – The Rudolph Deetjen Awards are given in memory of Mr. Rudolph Deetjen, a 1950 graduate of Montclair Academy, Brookside School Headmaster from 1973-1974, and Head of Middle School from 1974-1977. He was instrumental in the merger of Brookside School, The Kimberley School, and Montclair Academy in 1974. The Rudolph Deetjen Awards are presented to one female and one male student-athlete in the senior class who have distinguished records in MKA athletics and academic work and whose character and deportment have been a positive influence in the life of the school. Award winners will have demonstrated a positive attitude in the classroom, in their respective athletic arenas, and in the community at large, exemplifying the grace, humility, tenacity, and charisma that defined Rudolph Deetjen’s life: Aeryn Curren, Stephen Hatfield

Robert C. Hemmeter Memorial Award – The Robert C. Hemmeter Memorial Award was established in June 1990 by The Board of Trustees of Montclair Kimberley Academy in memory of Robert C. Hemmeter. Bob served Montclair Academy and Montclair Kimberley Academy from 1962-1990 as a Master Teacher, Advisor, Coach, Department Chairman, and Dean of Faculty. A resolution written by the Board describes Bob as a model of scholarship, dedication, caring, and friendship to students, colleagues, and trustees. To remember Bob, the Board has established an award to be given to a senior with interests beyond the classroom. The recipient must have intellectual curiosity and a love of books, enjoy sports and cultural activities, and have an enthusiasm for living that will lead them beyond the MKA community: Margaret Horn

Ethel M. Spurr Award – Ethel Spurr, Headmistress of The Kimberley School from 1950-60, embodied strong leadership, passion for teaching, and generosity with time and service. She brought new ideas and positive change to the curriculum, the daily schedule, extra-curricular activities, and student life. The person receiving this award should be an involved and dynamic member of the MKA community and must possess the self-starting and enthusiastic approach to academics and engagement in school life for which Miss Spurr was known. The ideal winner of this award seeks to bring new perspectives to the school to strengthen and transform existing programs: Emma Choy

Dr. Peter R. Greer Character Award – Given annually to a senior who has demonstrated exceptional character, this award honors Dr. Peter R. Greer, MKA Headmaster from 1992-2005, for his commitment to the field of ethics. The recipient embodies virtues including honesty, generosity, kindness, and respect. The person receiving the award should be someone who embraces the Socratic principle "Know thyself." Ellis Fertig



William Miller Prize in Science – Established as a bequest from William Henry Miller who taught science at Montclair Academy for 46 years, it is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated the greatest academic excellence in the sciences: Gary Hu

Downsbrough Prize – Awarded jointly by the Science and Math Departments, the Downsbrough Prize was established in 1982 by parents of a Montclair Academy graduate. This award is given to a senior with high moral and ethical standards who has shown outstanding intellectual capacity in physical sciences or mathematics by achieving distinguished grades in these subjects and demonstrating exceptional ability in related projects: Cyrus Rosenberg

Margaret Jenkins Osborne Prize for Excellence in Science – The Margaret Jenkins Osborne Prize for Excellence in Science was established in 1973 by the students and faculty of The Kimberley School to honor Mrs. Osborne’s outstanding service to the school. Mrs. Osborne is a member of The Kimberley School Class of 1950. This award is given to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding interest in science, understanding of concepts, and creativity in their studies in the field: Kaavya Krishnan

National Strings – The Montclair Kimberley Academy National School Orchestra Award is presented by The Instrumentalist Magazine. It recognizes outstanding students in the MKA Strings Program who have shown exceptional talent, dedication, and commitment to their instrument: Matthew Bonarti, Christopher Hernandez

John Philip Sousa Band Award – Introduced in 1955 to honor the top student in the high school band, the John Philip Sousa Band Award® recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication. It was created with the approval of Helen Sousa Albert and Priscilla Sousa, daughters of the famous composer and bandmaster: Nolan Gyves

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award – The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award® was inaugurated in 1974 with the consent of his widow shortly after this great jazz artist died in 1971. It honors the outstanding jazz musician at each high school: Jared Greene

Visual Art – The Visual Arts awards are given to the seniors who have distinguished themselves with outstanding technique and skill in their craft, find joy and demonstrates determination in art making, and have stayed true to their individual style and voice: Hudson Hargrave, Olga Shandarivska

Anthony Cuneo – The Anthony Cuneo Award is named for Tony Cuneo, Drawing, Painting, and Photography teacher at MKA from 1988 - 2018. Talented in a variety of disciplines, Tony’s sense of humor, high intellect, knowledge of and devotion to the visual arts and its pedagogy informed all of his work, whether it was in paint, through a lens, or as a mentor to the thousands of students he taught at MKA. The Anthony Cuneo Award is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated a sustained curiosity in, commitment to, and love for the arts in at least two disciplines: Eliana Vega

Vocal – The Vocal Music Award is given to a senior(s) who has distinguished themselves with outstanding technique, skill, musical aptitude, and expression. This student demonstrates determination and exemplary work in ensemble and/or solo singing: Aidan Maas, Caroline Sachs

Dance – The Dance Award is given to a senior who has shown tremendous growth in technique and artistic expression, as well as demonstrated leadership qualities for the overall program through consistent dedication and professionalism: Leyna Greenberg

Marilyn Faden Awards for Excellence in the Theatre Arts – Presented to students who have a true love of theatre:

  • Musical Theater Award – Elliot Higgins, May Slim
  • Deetjen Award for Drama – Logan Zur
  • Technical Theater Award– Anabelle Gonzalez, Sebastian Gonzalez

World Language Prizes – Each year, the Upper School World Languages Department recognizes the top students in the twelfth grade in Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish. The students who earn these awards excel in and out of the classroom and engage in the study of language and culture with empathy and understanding. Students are nominated by their current teachers, and then the awardees are decided upon by the department as a whole:

  • Latin – Zain Zaidi
  • Spanish – Sebastian Gonzalez
  • Chinese – Ellis Fertig
  • French – Olga Shandarivska

History Prize – Awarded to a senior who demonstrates enthusiasm for the study of history and society, a strong engagement with the research process, a generous spirit with classmates, and academic excellence in the department: Aidan Maas

John Rabuse History Prize – In the spirit of Jack Rabuse, long-time history teacher with a particular passion for American history, politics, and the presidency, the John Rabuse History Prize is awarded to that junior or senior student who truly loves American History and is interested in politics, the Presidency, and the workings of government: Elias Solomon

Computer Science Award – Awarded annually to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in, and dedication to, the field of computer science through performance in classes, independent study, and work outside of the classroom. Alexander Abdulayoglu

Nazarian Prize for Mathematics – Established in 1982 in memory of Winifred and Samuel Nazarian and awarded to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in, and dedication to, mathematics: Gary Hu

Barras Prize in English – This award fosters the memory of William Avery Barras, who, with inspiring scholarship, taught English at Montclair Academy for 28 years, until his death in 1957. The Barras English Prize is awarded to a senior whose work at the Upper School has reflected outstanding scholarship, a unique literary voice, and an abiding belief in the value of great literature, both in and out of the classroom: Bella Kuick



Scott M. Johnson Memorial Award – Given annually to the MKA graduating senior who has best demonstrated a spirit of warmth, generosity, and goodwill toward others. Scott M. Johnson, MKA Class of 1993, embodied that spirit as a student at MKA and Trinity College, as an archeologist in Israel, as an investment banker in New York, and as a dear friend to many around the world. Scott’s life was tragically taken on September 11, 2001, but his kind, welcoming spirit is alive in the hearts of his loving family and friends and prevails each time a person treats another as Scott did. So that humanity may progress with respect and understanding, the recipient of this award is recognized as a torchbearer of Scott’s fine spirit: Devin Ramsay

Everett Glenn Memorial Medal – As created by his fellow classmates, the Glenn Medal honors the outstanding House Captain who demonstrates the same warmth, enthusiasm, and infectious love our beloved Everett Glenn, Strong House Captain ’11, exhibited during his time at MKA. Like Everett, this recipient not only executes their duties as a captain with pride and excellence but possesses the innate ability to inspire, motivate, and unite their house. This recipient inspires all members of the MKA House System to act and lead their community in the unforgettable way that Everett did: Kendal Walls

Bud Mekeel Memorial Award – This award is named for O. Stanley “Bud” Mekeel, Class of 1929, who was involved in all aspects of school life at Montclair Academy, including sports, drama, publications, and student government. The award is given to a talented and distinguished MKA senior and is to be applied toward first-year expenses at the college of the recipient’s choice: Eunice Fernandez 

Elliot Furbert Memorial Award – Given annually to a worthy senior of outstanding character and academic promise, this award honors the memory of Elliot Furbert, MKA Class of 2014. In his time at the Upper School, Elliot demonstrated what happens when an unmatched work ethic and appetite for challenge meets broad opportunity and strong mentorship. In his academic program, on the track, while playing tenor sax, as president of his class, and in a series of prestigious programs outside of MKA, Elliot stood for quality and integrity ne plus ultra. The recipient must possess the fine qualities embodied in Elliot: intellectual curiosity, a high level of engagement in a variety of school activities, and unwavering character: Jaelyn Alexander

James D. Timmons Award – The James D. Timmons Award was established in 1982 by Anita Timmons to honor her husband, a trustee, parent, and grandparent. It is awarded to an MKA senior who is the child of an MKA faculty member. The recipient is honored for distinguished academic work and significant contributions to the life of the senior class and the MKA community: Shea Branigan

Head’s Awards – Awarded to seniors who have made a unique contribution to MKA and have changed the school for the better: Alana Arcilla, Zach Goyal, Hannah Ewing, Naya Saker



Mary K. Waring Scholars – Students who make the High Honor Roll (no grade below an A-) in both semesters of a given school year: Giorgio Altirs, Dylan Fishman, Gary Zhutian Gao, Sebastian Gonzalez, Gary Hu, Azariah Johnson, Maya Koserowski

Avery Barras Distinguished Scholar – Students who make the High Honor Roll in both semesters of a given school year, and who earn all A’s: Alexander Abdulhayoglu, Hannah Ewing, Ellis Fertig, Zachary Goyal, Kellen Ievers, Bella Kuick



Presidential Service Awards – A government premier volunteer awards program that encourages citizens, through presidential recognition, to live a life of service. Awards are based on hours of engagement. A Bronze Award to students who perform 100-174 hours; a Silver to students who perform 175-249 hours; and finally, a Gold Award to students who perform over 250 hours of community engagement. The following students were recognized for their Community Engagement hours:

  • Gold – Kellen Ievers, Henry Kilcoyne
  • Silver – Gary Zhutian Gao, Stephen Hatfield
  • Bronze – Orly Sedransk

Senior Community Engagement Award – Awarded to the student or students who have demonstrated a commitment to developing a deeper understanding of the needs and perspectives in the community in order to make a positive difference: Orly Sedransk



Yogi Berra Museum’s “Best Teammate Award” – Given to that MKA team member who represents the very best of what being a teammate is all about: Elias Solomon (Baseball)

Essex County Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients – Each year the Essex County Athletic Directors’ Association selects a male and female recipient from each school in Essex County in recognition of their achievements in the classroom and within Essex County athletics: Nicholas Snyder (Cross Country, Lacrosse), Orly Sedransk (Lacrosse)

NJSIAA Scholar-Athlete Award Recipient – Given to that student-athlete who has maintained no less than a 3.0 GPA, has exhibited outstanding school and community citizenship, and has exhibited excellence in his or her chosen sport throughout their career: Kellen Ievers (Indoor Track, Track Field)

Spring Captain’s Prize – Awarded each season to the team captain who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and fair play: Luis Crespo (Soccer, Tennis)

Klein Award – The MKA “Klein Awards” are given in memory of Dr. William Klein, eminent physical sports enthusiast and grandfather of two graduates of Montclair Academy. The Klein Awards recognize one male and female student-athlete in each grade who exemplify, within the current school year, excellence in athletics and character and achieve a creditable record in academics. Award winners must demonstrate dedication to their studies and a positive and respectful attitude towards their teachers, coaches, and peers: Salange Bell (Soccer, Basketball, Track and Field), Imanuel Udofia (Basketball)

MKA Varsity Awards – The MKA Varsity Award recognizes senior athletes for their dedication, success, and achievement throughout the course of their MKA athletic careers. The MKA Varsity Award is given in recognition to those senior athletes who have received 10 or more varsity letters throughout their MKA athletic careers: Salange Bell (Soccer, Basketball, Track and Field), Aeryn Curren (Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse), Margaret Horn (Field Hockey, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Track and Field), Olga Shandarivska (Cross Country, Indoor Track, Track and Field)

Al Stapf Award – Presented to a senior who has overcome a physical handicap or serious injury in order to contribute to the success of athletics at Montclair Kimberley Academy: Kellen Ievers (Indoor Track, Track and Field)