“Many have said this is a strange year, which while true, belittles the weight of the time we’re passing through. This is a disastrous year. One of disappointments and solitude, of economic hardships and racial turmoil, of strife and loss. To not acknowledge this pain does not let us speak to the resilience and courage we have shown.”

—Rivers Leche, Student Council President

he 58 members of the Class of 2020 were celebrated with a physically distanced diploma ceremony and pre-recorded video commencement address on Thursday, August 6.

Student speakers Rivers Leche, Margaret Balich, and Aria Eppinger were joined by Board President Paul Rosenblatt and Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech in addressing students and families in the video. During their remarks, they lauded the class for their adaptability and courage during these unprecedented times, and offered a shared hope for the future.


“But you all, my classmates and friends, you give me hope. You’re smart, cunning, and determined to get what you want. I know that our generation won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, whether we’re finding a vaccine or talking to lawmakers. We know what we want, and we’re not afraid to get it.”

—Margaret Balich


“All joking aside, the WT teachers are special in that they compassionately share their best counsel as we step out into this uncertain time. From Mrs. Sickler, we learned the importance of relaxation; from Dr. Horton, passion; from Ms. McDermott, the courage to be confident; from Ms. Gropp, the idea of intersectionality; from Ms. Haselrig, positivity; and from Mr. Nassar, germaphobia. Again, all very helpful in our ever-changing world.”

—Aria Eppinger


“Winchester Thurston School has been committed to preparing you not only for the academic rigors you will face in the months and years to come, but we have been committed to helping you develop as critical thinkers in an age where the truth can be hard to find. We have helped you develop as people who can help identify problems in the world, but more importantly helped you grow as problem solvers who will craft creative solutions which honor our credo. And perhaps most importantly, we have worked to cultivate in you the character to serve others and to make a difference in the world, one person at a time.”

—Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech


“Despite the fact that this graduation looks and feels quite different than any of the other WT graduations I have attended, we are here to celebrate you, the graduating class of 2020, for who you are, who you have become as young adults about to start your next chapter in life, and where you will go in the future.”

– Paul Rosenblatt, Board President

Winchester Thurston School Class of 2020


Jacob Allebach
Margaret Claire Balich
Tatiana Jacoud Barelli
Aida T. Beru
Leo Michael Berzon
Esmeralda Bessor-Foreman
Daniel Branstetter
Charles E. Burton
Yixin Cai
Anisa Callis
Tianyi Chen
Corrine Marie Crawford
Aria Rosalee Eppinger
Ian Frank
Alexandra D. Friedlander
Adia L. Glen
Morgan Bradley Graham*
Sydney Amaya Gray
Elizabeth Caroline Grossman
Angela Elizabeth Hayes
Sean Joseph Heintzleman
Bridget Kathleen Hughes
Claire A. Hughes
Igor Karusewicz
John C. F. Kubiak
Katherine Kunkle
Max Fantazier Lasky
Rivers L. Leche
Mikayla S. Leimer
Shuyi Li
Huiyun Liu
Shiyu Liu
Isabel Sierra Lowry*
Jelisa Naomi Lyde
Izel Machado
Alessandro Gaetano Memoli
Thatcher Over Montgomery Jr.
Lila Summer Ost*
Daniel Pellathy
Christopher Porco
Sadie Quimby
Kathryn H. Rockwell
Scott Ralph Routledge*
Patricia Sarada
Sophia H. Scheatzle
Diederik-Paul Schlingemann
Nicole Zoi Shigiltchoff*
Katherine Barrie Slaymaker
Leon Peter Dominic Sleator
Annabelle Small
Emma A. Small
Cole A. Smith
Olivia O. Sobkowiak
Zoé A. Soteres
John Elio Stern
Makoto L. Tomokiyo
Kieran Walter Williams
Xiaohan Zhang

*WT Lifer

Excellence Honored


The Emily E. Dorrance award for a student whose conduct, interaction, and leadership best demonstrates the school credo, Think also of the comfort and the rights of others, given by friends of the Dorrance family
John Elio Stern

The Mary A. Campbell award for outstanding scholarship, given by Katherine Houston Rush
Nicole Zoi Shigiltchoff

The Mary A. Graham Mitchell award for character, personality, loyalty, and scholarship
Christopher Porco

The Alice M. Thurston award for integrity, courageous leadership, and service
Rivers Leche

The Ruth S. Gamsby award for citizenship, kindness, and courteous helpfulness, given by the Daniel F. Mullane family
Jelisa Naomi Lyde

The Nina Wadhwa Student Council award for a student who best exemplifies Gentle in Manner, Strong in Deed, endowed by the Wadhwa family
John Elio Stern

The Jane L. Scarborough Award for teaching excellence
Connie Martin