Students Inducted into National Honor Society

Brewster Academy recently inducted 16 students into the John Brewster Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). Photos.

The ceremony’s guest speaker was Fred Garnsey, associate director of admission. He recognized the teachers for pushing students to achieve their potential and the parents –giving a nod to those parents who could not make the long trip to campus – who light the path ahead for their students and who provide advice and sometimes subtle direction when guidance is necessary.

Then he addressed the inductees seated before an audience at the Pinckney Boathouse. “It is important that you know that in this world, where everyone gets a trophy and we seem to recognize everyone for something, that this honor you are about to receive is different. This is special recognition that is claimed only by a few. Those who have seen where they are going, have planned a path to get there, have utilized those around them who matter as partners in your journey, and have worked very hard for this honor.”

Following Garnsey’s remarks, the current officers lit four candles, each one representing one of the four pillars of the honor society: scholarship, character, service, and leadership. In turn, they explained the meaning of each pillar. The officers then announced the inductees one by one to award them their gold cords, pins, and member certificates.

Senior inductees are Zaha Al-Zaabi (Muscat, Oman), Dexter Hanson (Wolfeboro), and Michelle Su (Senzhen, China).

Junior inductees are Zachary Bennett (Alton), Katie Blackburn (Seattle), Katie Chiasson (Pelham, New York), John Campbell (Wolfeboro), Calina Rose Folkersen (East Wakefield), Anya Found (Wolfeboro), Alice Hou (Beijing), Catherine Murphy (Northborough, Mass.), Meaghan O’Hearn (Swansea, Mass.), Olivia Papp (Wolfeboro), Ella Roberge (Alton), Dui Dui Yue (Shandong, China), and Monica Zhang (Jiaxing, China).

These students join seniors President Kaya Beland (Gilford), Vice President Maura MacDonald (Beverly, Massachusetts), Secretary MacKenzie Donovan (Londonderry, New Hampshire), Treasurer Dawson Allwine (Wolfeboro), Maya Gomi (San Francisco), and Katie Slock (Alton).

Faculty council members are Bret Barnett, Matt Butcher, Laura Duffy, Jennifer Dumont, Maria Found (faculty advisor) and Rob O’Blenis.

Election to the John Brewster Chapter of the National Honor Society reflects a distinguished academic record and exceptional contributions of service and leadership. Students who meet eligibility criteria are considered for election by a faculty council in the fall of each academic year and are inducted into the NHS in the winter trimester. Only junior and seniors are eligible for consideration.

Brewster Academy is an international leader in independent secondary education and is widely recognized for its success in using advanced learning and information technologies to accelerate student growth in a vigorous college preparatory environment. Brewster provides its 360 students (Grades 9-12 and post-graduate) with a personalized curriculum based on individual mastery and best-teaching practices in a sophisticated technology-rich learning environment.

Brewster Academy is accredited as a secondary school by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Inc.

The Academy is located on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in the resort community of Wolfeboro, N.H. Learn more about the Brewster difference by visiting us at or giving us a call at 603.569.7494.







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Donovan Mitchell’s Impressive Rookie NBA Season

Donovan Mitchell has accomplished a lot in the two and a half years since graduating from Brewster Academy. The former senior prefect who seemed as comfortable addressing the student body in Anderson Hall as he did amassing points on Radley Court for Bobcat Nation, is enjoying an impressive debut season in the NBA.

For starters the Utah Jazz shooting guard is shattering records. In December he hit five 3-point shots in one game against the Oklahoma City Thunder raising his 3-point tally on his first season to 61, the highest ever for an NBA player through their first 25 games.

That same month he also broke the Jazz rookie single-game scoring record when he dropped 41 points in a big win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Even some of the greatest players in the game have praised the 21 year-old. “He’s a player,” LeBron James said. “Kid’s got a lot of game. … He’s not afraid of the moment, he just goes out there and plays ball.”

After some pre-draft training with Oklahoma Thunder sensation Paul George, George had this to say: “Sometimes you can just see it in a person. You can see how much he loves the game. He’s going to be good for a long time.”

This past week Mitchell was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in December, an honor edging him closer to possibly becoming the NBA’s Rookie Player of the Year.

Above, Mitchell was back on campus in September helping sister Jordan get settled for her sophomore year.

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This Is Me

Kingswood Regional High School junior Sarah Huckman was the featured guest at today’s All-School Assembly. Sarah spoke about being transgender and her journey to becoming a young woman. She dispelled myths and stereotypes, shared challenges she has faced, including in the New Hampshire legislature, and also talked about the immense support she has received from her family, friends, and the communities in which she has lived.

Using slides, she walked attentive students and faculty through her life beginning with the adoption of her and her twin brother Jim from a Cambodian orphanage and her childhood, first on Cape Cod and then to Wolfeboro where her family moved when she and Jim were in the fifth grade. Growing up she happily gravitated toward dressing up, wearing dresses, joining a cheerleading squad, and dancing ballet while Jim was busy pursing what might be considered more traditional activities for boys his age. Eventually, with the support of her family and friends, Sarah began publicly identifying as a girl at the beginning of seventh grade. She recalled sharing her decision first with her school chorus of about 80 classmates and, to her surprise, being met with a standing ovation of support.

As an athlete approaching high school, Sarah had to seek permission through the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association to participate on the girls’ cross country and track team because initially the rules stated that transgender athletes had to have sex reassignment surgery to play on the team that matched their gender identity (a surgery not recommended for adolescents). Although that rule has changed, school districts in New Hampshire ultimately get to decide on which team a transgender student can participate. Fortunately for Sarah, the local school district decided in her favor but there is still no sure policy at the state level that allows transgender students in New Hampshire high schools to participate on the team that matches their gender identity.

During her presentation, she offered practical advice such as using appropriate pronouns (he, she, him, her) when addressing a transgender person. “If you don’t know what pronouns to use when talking to a transgender person, just listen first … if you accidentally mess up wrong pronouns you just need to apologize really fast, don’t make it a big deal, it makes it awkward for me, it makes it awkward to you, just don’t make it a big deal … or you can ask if you feel comfortable.”

She cautioned that it’s not okay to ask a person whom you don’t know well if they have had sex reassignment surgery. “Some transpeople do choose to have the surgery but others may choose not to. It doesn’t make us any less of who we are.”

At times, Jim joined her on stage to talk about his experience as the brother of a transgender sibling. He shared how initially he experienced a range of emotions from sadness over losing a brother to feelings of annoyance and of why is this happening to me.

“For a while I sheltered myself a little. I didn’t really feel like opening myself up to being like ‘hey this is my sister, she’s transgender,’” he shared. “Now it’s a completely different story. I’m here now talking to you guys about how I feel and what’s happened and how it’s changed me. It’s changed me a lot by seeing how the world actually is as it is. You can’t just look at one thing and say this is that and that is going to be that.”

He continued, “The biggest thing for me was to cope with the idea that I have to deal with this for the rest of my life and then I realized that that’s just not the way I’m going to go at it. I’ve got to go at it with a positive attitude, saying ‘hey, my sister is transgender.’ I have to deal with this. This is great. And she has done incredible things like speaking to everybody now, going and talking to the whole entire courtroom, and it’s been a great experience for me.”

Asked what was the one thing each member of the community could do to support transgender individuals, Sarah offered, “Definitely just be a friend. Don’t make it a big deal if you find out somebody is transgender. If that person is transgender so what. They’re a human being. They’re just like you. All you can really do is go out into the world today and be you to them and have them be them to you. Just let them express who they are through themselves.”

Sarah and Jim, along with their parents and younger brother, joined the Brewster community for lunch. The Office of Campus Affairs and the Director of Community and Inclusion Programs Melissa Lawlor hosted Sarah and Jim’s visit to campus.

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