March 2022 Accolades

Danny Stock

Here are our picks for Middle School and High School accolades from March, including debate, Model UN, essay competition, poetry competition, and music awards...

Debate 

Thanks to debate coach Gabe Koo for the updates...
At the Harvard National Forensics Tournament, which had 420 schools attend with 3,600+ competitors across 35 states and 6 countries:

  • The team of Julien Berman '22 & Addie Lowenstein '22 were the CHAMPIONS of the varsity policy division.
  • The team of Sophie Bronner '23 & Griffin Brown '23 were doubleoctofinalists in the varsity policy division.
  • Sophie was the 1st Overall Best Speaker of the varsity policy division.
  • Griffin was the 7th Overall Best Speaker of the varsity policy division.
  • The team of Dhilan Desai '25 & Kevin Xia '25 were quarterfinalists in the novice policy division.
  • The team of Darwin Gu '24 & Hercules Zhang '24 were octofinalists in the novice policy division.
  • The team of Ananth Mangalam '27 & Jacob Tobias '27 were tripleoctofinalists in the middle school public forum division.
  • Jacob was in the 98th percentile in terms of speakers in the middle school public forum division.
  • The team of Justin Heffernan '28 & Maceo Lindsey '28 had a winning record in the middle school public forum division.

At the Lakeland Westchester Classic, which had 91 schools and 600+ competitors from 20 different states and five countries:

  • The team of Sophie Bronner '23 & Addie Lowenstein '22 were the CHAMPIONS of the varsity policy division.
  • Sophie was the 9th Overall Speaker in the varsity policy division.
  • Addie was the 10th Overall Speaker in the varsity policy division.
  • The team of Laila Bapna '25 & Naomi Borek '25 were quarterfinalists in the varsity public forum division as freshmen.
  • The team of Zoe Maas '26 & Emma Renigar '26 were octofinalists in the middle school public forum division.
  • The teams of Ila Dohrmann '24 & Caroline Garland '24 as well as Dhilan Desai and Kevin Xia had winning records.
  • The teams of Thalia Grigsby '28 & Helena Seiken '28 as well as Justin Heffernan '28 & Nate Saelinger '28 had even records and were one win away from making it to elimination rounds.

As we rolled through March, championship tournament season began. At the Woodward First and Second Years National Championship, Ike Song ’24 and Mark Orr ’24 reached the Octofinals (top 16)! That’s a tremendous accomplishment.

We will be sharing more soon about the upcoming Tournament of Champions soon as our star debaters—Julien Berman ’22 and Addie Lowenstein ’22—go in as favorites to win! Join us in cheering them on!!

If you all see any of these students, please congratulate them. As always, thank you for your support.

Model UN

GDS Model UN Students competed at the Virginia Invitational Model UN Conference (VIMUNC) at Langley High School in March. Students took part in committees, wrote great position papers, and got to meet students from other schools in person!

Below are the awards:

  • Verbal Commendation: Max Burns ’22
  • Honorable Delegate: Nico David-Fox ’24, Aidan Mostashari  ’24, and Seth Riker ’22
  • Outstanding Delegate: Cole Huh ’24

Winning essayist on social justice legacy of Emir Abd el Kader

‚Äč‚ÄčLaith Weinberger ’24 was selected as a winner in the Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) 2022 Student Contest for his essay on the Emir Abd el Kader. According to the organization’s website, “AEP began in 2009 as an organization committed to cultural literacy, civility and respectful engagement between all people through education and outreach drawing on Emir Abdelkader’s life story and value that transcend culture and faith traditions.”

Laith used the essay to consider parallels and contradictions between the emir’s legacy and our current criminal justice system. He wrote:

“Law enforcement should use the Emir’s treatment of his Algerians as a guide, learning to view civilians not as potential threats, but as people they must dutifully protect. The Emir made sure to preach the importance of respecting differences—racial, religious, and otherwise—stating God made humans to be different and diversity was one of His many blessings. Similarly, officers should follow these principles and treat all civilians properly, no matter if they are white, black, or brown.

“Additionally, Abd el-Kader made a point of treating the imprisoned with the utmost respect and dignity; he recognized their humanity. The government should follow this behavior and prioritize the humane treatment of prisoners, ensuring inmates are well fed and taken care of and necessary services are readily available.”
 

Poetry winner

Eighth grader Anjali Martin-Shanker’s poem “The Future I Will Create for Myself” has been selected by the Parkmont Poetry Festival finalist judge, Ethelbert Miller, as a winner in the 2022 festival competition. Twenty middle-school and 20 upper-school finalists share this distinction, and they will be celebrated at the 40th Annual Parkmont Poetry Festival on Saturday, April 30. Festival organizers received 369 submissions this year from more than thirty schools. 

Accolades that are Music to Our Ears

Thanks to GDS jazz and creative music director Brad Linde for sending in these accolades:

“I want to congratulate all of the students in the jazz community on their performances during our festival run.  Between February 18 and March 5, the students put together their own bands with their own repertoire, personnel, arrangements, and presentations for five events across DC, VA, NC, and a virtual festival out of the New School. Abby Kanter ’22 and Julius Boxer-Cooper ’22 performed original compositions. Below is a list of participants and award recipients. Please congratulate them all on their accomplishments and the sharing of their talents and passion. Special thanks to Topher, Meredith, and Deirdre for chaperoning the out-of-towners!”

Elon Jazz Festival at Elon University (* indicates Outstanding Soloist Award)

Minor 7
*William Liu - violin
Matthew Jones - trumpet
Thomas Ogada - tuba
*Ollie Alfonso-Frank - piano
Hudson Brown - electric bass
Cecelia Dyson - drums
*Max Froomkin - trumpet

Straight Outta Compin’
Tigin Unsal - alto saxophone
*Kenji Yokote - piano
Zachary Henderson - electric bass
Alex Marchand - drums 

The Swingset Septet
*Alex Wood - alto saxophone
Max Stumpf - percussion
Jeremiah Farr - vibraphone
*Jacob Getlan - guitar
Max Froomkin - piano
*Isaac Seiken - bass
Julius Boxer-Cooper - drums 

Carolina Jazz Festival at UNC Chapel Hill (* indicates Outstanding Performer Award)

Heard Immunity
*Abby Kanter - piano
Jake Markarian - soprano saxophone, bass clarinet
Harrison West - trumpet
Jamie Lewis - electric bass 

9am Lemonade 
*Ben Finkelstein - alto saxophone
Arjun Narayan - guitar
Max Mendelsohn - guitar
Oakley Winters - electric bass
*Harold Oppenheim - drums
Eli Faber - Nord electric piano 

Executive Order
Aydin Smobo - alto and tenor saxophone
Harrison West - trumpet
*Kaiden Yu - piano
*Jamie Lewis - electric bass
Noah Kubler - drums 

The Virgitarians
*Jaia Wilensky - vibraphone
Tatiana Nazlymov - alto saxophone
Aydin SmoBo - alto saxophone
Asha Adiga-Biro - accordion, piano
Lucas Sullivan - piano
Jamie Zimmermann - guitar
*Alexandra Caskin - electric bass
Cam Salehizadeh - drums 

The Charles Mingus Virtual Festival (no awards given, only feedback)

9am Lemonade 
Ben Finkelstein - alto saxophone
Arjun Narayan - guitar
Max Mendelsohn - guitar
Oakley Winters - electric bass
Harold Oppenheim - drums 

Jazz Ultra Upper Level
Julius Boxer-Cooper - flute
Aydin Smolover-Bord - alto saxophone
Ben Stern - trombone
Mila Noshirvani - vocals and piano
Jamie Lewis - electric bass
Noah Kubler - drums 

Mason Jazz Festival at George Mason University (one soloist award offered, other awards for big band sections and summer camp scholarships)

9am Lemonade 
Ben Finkelstein - alto saxophone (**Best Soloist Award**)
Max Mendelsohn - guitar
Oakley Winters - electric bass
Harold Oppenheim - drums 

Executive Jazz Ultra Upper Level Order
Julius Boxer-Cooper - flute
Aydin Smolover-Bord - tenor saxophone and guitar
Mila Noshirvani - vocals and piano
Kaiden Yu - piano
Jamie Lewis - electric bass
Noah Kubler - drums 

GDS Jazz and Creative Music Festival (* indicates Outstanding Performer or Soloist Award)

9am Lemonade (**Outstanding Ensemble Award**)
*Ben Finkelstein - alto saxophone
*Max Mendelsohn - guitar
Oakley Winters - electric bass
*Harold Oppenheim - drums
Eli Faber - Nord electric piano 

The Ghost Of Elana Perl (**Festival Director's Award**)
Abby Kanter - piano
Jake Markarian - soprano saxophone, bass clarinet
Claire Cooper - soprano and alto saxophone
Harrison West - trumpet
Jonah Shesol - electric bass
Meyer Leff - drums 

The Swingset Septet
Alex Wood - alto saxophone
Max Stumpf - percussion
*Jacob Getlan - guitar
Max Froomkin - piano
Isaac Seiken - bass
*Julius Boxer-Cooper - drums
 

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