Graduating seniors and other Upper School students received a host of annual awards at Commencement and our Awards Night celebration.

Hadyn E. Jones Cup: Berat Gulecyuz
Awarded to the class valedictorian as determined by the administration, based on the four-year cumulative grade-point average. To be eligible, a student must have attended the Academy for at least three years, including 11th and 12th grades. The winner receives a gold plaque and has his or her name inscribed on the cup.
Harry D. Abells Award: Aariel Batchelor
Awarded to the class salutatorian, based on four-year cumulative grade-point average. The winner receives a United States flag and a silver plaque.
Scholarship Award: Divya Avula
Awarded to a senior scholar in recognition of scholastic excellence, citizenship, and participation in school activities. It is chosen by vote of the Upper School faculty and carries with it a bronze plaque.
Jean Landon Taylor Alumni Award: Celeste Phengpumipanit
Awarded to a senior scholar in recognition of academic achievement, citizenship, and participation in school activities as determined by vote of the Upper School faculty.
Martin J. Wolf Service Award: Banu Gulecyuz and Berat Gulecyuz
Awarded to the senior(s) with the most outstanding record of service to the school and the community as selected by the service club advisors.
Global Scholars Award: Tillie Wagner and Davey Salwan
Awarded to two graduating seniors who have demonstrated a strong and consistent interest in international affairs throughout their time at the Academy. The Upper School faculty chooses these students based on their involvement in academics and co-curriculars with an international or service focus. Additionally, their travel to other countries and the hosting of international students plays an important role in the selection process.
Cum Laude Society: Divya Avula, Aariel Batchelor, Berat Gulecyuz, Savi Rathi, Anastasia Stanley, Maria Ulayyet
Awarded to seniors who are ranked in the top 20% of the graduating class.
Christine Linnerud ’01 Alumni Association Best Female Athlete Award: Berat Gulecyuz
Selection is made on the basis of total “points” accumulation during four years of varsity and junior varsity participation. To receive this award, a student must have attended the Academy for at least three years of high school and must have played on two varsity teams.
Senior Art Award: Ashley Wilson
Awarded to the senior with the most outstanding record in art, based on artistic activities and production, as determined by the Upper School art instructor.
Senior Music Award: Sylvia Zhao (Chorus) and Shengming Hu (Instrumental)
Awarded to the senior(s) with the most outstanding record in music, based on musical activities and productions determined by the Upper School music instructors.
Senior Drama Award: Amara Obasi
Awarded to the senior with the most outstanding record in drama, based on dramatic activities and production, as determined by the Upper School drama instructor.
Senior World Language Awards: Shannie Shelby (French), Berat Gulecyuz (Spanish), Hannah Branit (Mandarin)
Gold plaques are awarded to the seniors with the highest cumulative academic averages in each world language during Upper School.
Senior Social Studies Award: Shengming Hu
A gold plaque is awarded to the senior with the highest cumulative academic average in social studies and humanities, including at least one social studies elective, during the four years.
Senior Journalism Award: Banu Gulecyuz
Awarded to the senior with the most outstanding record in journalism, based on journalistic endeavors, as determined by the humanities curriculum leader in conjunction with the sponsors of the various journalism activities.
Arthur A. Baer English Award: Banu Gulecyuz
A gold plaque is awarded to the senior who has shown the most diligence, talent, and passion for English and has maintained an excellent cumulative average over four years.
Annie E. Heath Mathematics Award: Shengming Hu
A gold plaque is awarded to the senior with the greatest initiative, work ethic, innate abilities, achievements, and passion in the study of mathematics over four years.
Dr. Larry Brown Science Award: Anastasia Stanley
Named in honor of Academy science department head on his retirement, this gold plaque is given to the senior with the highest cumulative average in science.
Illinois Science Teachers Association Science Award: Shengming Hu
Awarded to the student who most clearly demonstrates outstanding leadership, academic achievement, and interest in the field of science. The recipient is selected by the science faculty.
Jerome A. Thrall Junior Class Leadership Award: Theo Covello and Isis Rodriguez
The most prestigious award given to students at the end of their junior year, recognizing faithfulness to the MPA tradition of excellence in citizenship, superior scholarship, and dedication to the enhancement of the common good. Recipients are chosen by the Upper School faculty and receive a $4,000 scholarship for their senior year at the Academy.
Head of School Book Awards: Alana Lay-Phillips and Robert Russ
Mrs. Sheppard selects several seniors for special recognition.
Scholar Awards: Katarina Stanley, first; Anastasia Stanley, second; Aariel Batchelor, third
Gold, silver, and bronze medals given to students with the highest academic averages in the Upper School this school year.
Academic Distinction by Grade: Annika Echols (9), Angela Cabrera (10), Katarina Stanley (11), Anastasia Stanley (12)
Awarded to the students in each Upper School class with the highest academic average for the school year. Their names are placed on the honor plaque hanging in Alumni Hall.
Arts Achievement: Aariel Batchelor (Art); Annika Echols (Music); Olivia Kowalsky (Drama)
Awarded to students with the highest achievement in the areas of art, music, and drama, based on academic achievement, activities, and performance.
Thespian Award: Niles Williams and Halle Berghoff
Awarded to the student(s) judged as the best thespian for the school year.
Book Awards: Angela Cabrera (French); Theo Covello (U.S. History); Annika Echols (Spanish); DeAngelo Fletcher (Mandarin); Emma Huang (Biology, Mathematics); Celeste Kettaneh (World History); Grace Lei (English); David Valentine (Chemistry)
Awarded to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who have demonstrated the greatest interest or who have had the highest academic average this school year in various subjects. In case of a tie, the student in an honors or AP section or the student in the higher grade will be given preference. Selected by curriculum leaders.
International Quill and Scroll Honor Society: Banu Gulecyuz, Ireland Lawrence, Ximena Zuleta
Awarded for outstanding journalistic endeavors.
Student Council Civic Achievement Award: Amara Obasi
Awarded for outstanding contribution in school activities.
Parents Association Art Award: Aariel Batchelor
The Parents Association sponsors an art contest for each of the school divisions. The pieces are voted on by the faculty and parents, and the winners receive a framed copy of their piece and a $500 gift. The original is framed and will be hung in the Arts Center.
House Cup: Norton House (Captains Celeste Phengpumipanit, Annika Echols, Alex Fleming)
The MPA house system provides a framework for intramural, athletic, charity, fundraising, and community competitions. Students win points for participation in all facets of school life, including academic achievement, co-curricular involvement, good deeds, and volunteer work. At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins the cup.
National Honor Society:
Inductees – Aariel Batchelor, Theo Covello, Emma Huang, Olivia Kamin, Grace Lei, Sabrina Rathi, Amanda Sun, David Valentine, Adam Wu
Members – Divya Avula, Hannah Branit, Banu Gulecyuz, Berat Gulecyuz, Shengming Hu, Alana Lay-Phillips, Celeste Phengpumipanit, Savi Rathi, Anastasia Stanley, Katarina Stanley, Sylvia Zhao
Membership in the Morgan Park Academy chapter of the National Honor Society is an honor bestowed upon deserving students by the faculty based on the criteria of Scholarship, Service, Leadership, Citizenship, and Character. Eligible candidates must: be members of the junior or senior class; have been enrolled at the Academy for at least one semester; have a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.70; and be strong in areas of service, leadership, citizenship, and character.
Illinois State Scholars: Divya Avula, Aariel Batchelor, Hannah Branit, Berat Gulecyuz, Daniel Jesuthasan, Savi Rathi, Anastasia Stanley, Cecilia Teppema