Middle School Students and HEART Celebrated at Annual Awards Ceremony

The Flickinger Performing Arts Center (FPAC) was the stage for Nichols School's annual Middle School Awards and Eighth Grade Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, June 5.

Paul Errickson, Head of the Middle School, opened the ceremony with remarks on the Middle School HEART initiative they have emphasized during this school year. Errickson reflected on how the experience has helped the school find an inclusive, connective, transformative and restorative focus throughout the many activities the past year brought, while learning what heart means to each student and teacher. Errickson also thanked the Class of 2023, who will move on to the Upper School in the fall, for their hard work, leadership, character, and of course their HEART that they brought to the Middle School.

What does HEART mean to the Middle School?

Hear from the students and teachers themselves in the video below.

Cornelia Dopkins, former teacher and Head of the Middle School, was present to honor the four recipients of the Cornelia L. Dopkins Award, given to students in fifth through eighth grade who were nominated by their peers for their genuine concern for others and Nichols School, in addition to their enthusiasm and passion. This year's honorees were Connor H. '26, Lucy C. '25, Roman M-S. '24, and Camden B '23.

Four Middle School students were recognized with the Henry D. Waters Award. Named after the English teacher, Hall of Fame coach and athlete and friend, this award is given to fifth and sixth grade students who display a willingness to participate to the best of their ability, good sportsmanship, empathy, citizenship and a good sense of humor. The 2018-19 honorees were Matthew L. '26, Megha P. '26, Max L. '25 and Madison W. '25.

The Pliny H. Hayes III Award was given to two students, established in the name of a former Head of the Middle School and designated to those whose pursuit of excellence was infectious, whose enjoyment and passion in finding new experiences encouraged others, and whose personal character and integrity was excellent. This year's recipients were Giacinta M. '24 and Avery O. '24.

The Bruce Anderson Award, given by the Class of 1973 in honor of their classmate, was presented to an eighth-grade boy who displayed athletic excellence and sportsmanship in addition to his contributions to the general welfare of his classmates. This year's honoree was Dominic D. '23.

The Coaches' Award was given to an eighth grade girl who displayed athletic excellence and sportsmanship in addition to her contributions to the general welfare of her classmates. The 2018-19 honoree was Molly S. '23.

Five students were commended with the 8th Grade Faculty Award, given to students who earned special admiration for their positive leadership, sound character, concern for others and helping nature – all critical parts of HEART. Nick K. '23, AJ M. '23, Kurt M. '23, Micah P. '23 and Cate W. '23 were honored with this award.

Cate W. '23 also received the Robert A. Gillespie-Vincent E. Walsh Academic Award, presented to the student with the highest academic standing during their eighth grade year. Kate C. '23 and Clare R. '23 received the Charles I. Kleiser Award, which was established in 1960 to honor the memory of a longtime Nichols Junior School teacher. It is awarded to eighth grade students who embody Kleiser's memory through positive leadership, sound character and concern for others.

Henry C. '23 and Farah F. '23 spoke on behalf of the Class of 2023 to reflect on the memories, learning and experiences that were shared by the class during their time at the Middle School.

Congratulations to all the Middle School students on a wonderful year!