Class of 2020 "Senior Spotlights"

Starting the week of April 20, 2020, we will spotlight 2-3 of our seniors each weekday, in order of tenure at Davidson Day School. Each of these Patriots is unique and remarkable in his or her own way, and together, they represent a stellar Class of 2020!
Nick Deane started at Davidson Day as an Eaglet (three years old), which makes him our longest-tenured student!

Nick is a dedicated lacrosse player. He played middle school lacrosse for the Patriots starting in 6th grade and varsity lacrosse starting in 9th grade. He helped coach our younger players with Little Sticks Lacrosse.
"The younger athletes absolutely admire any upper school student-athlete who is willing to give their time and attention to them. It is something special for our youngest Patriots to be able see players, like Nick, on the field and in their hallway," said Lacrosse Coach Caitlin Barndt who witnessed Nick in action with the Little Sticks program.

Nick spent two summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Belize and Greece, and he has presented his findings at archaeological conferences in Florida and at Davidson Day.

Nick is also a 2-year Student Ambassador and a 2-year volunteer at Christmas in Davidson. Outside of school, Nick has worked at Sam’s Xpres Car Wash.

Nick’s advisor, Ms. Kelly Milligan: “I have loved watching Nick grow over the years. He is extremely bright and has a lot of amazing qualities that will lead him to much success in his future. I will miss Nick next year but I know he will enjoy his time at USC.”
 
Nick will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall.
Mark Breunig started at Davidson Day in Transitional Kindergarten. He is a National Honor Society member and a 4-year Student Ambassador, and he served as a junior marshal at Commencement 2019. Mark earned the Math Department’s Underclassman Award as a junior, and he is one of two National Merit Finalists in our Class o f2020. ⁠ ⁠

Mark is a 4-year member of the Varsity Boys Basketball team, earning All-Conference Honors as a sophomore and helping to lead the Patriots to their first-ever state championship win this year. Mark is also a 2-year Varsity Boys Soccer player, serving as captain as a senior; and a 3-year Varsity Boys Golfer, qualifying for 2019's 2A state tournament. ⁠ ⁠

Basketball Coach Ron Johnson: "Mark's energy, effort, and overall versatility were invaluable in our quest to capture a state championship this year. Using his impressive gifts and talents, I'm excited to see the impact that Mark will make in whichever field of study he decides to pursue." ⁠ ⁠

Outside of school, Mark has been a frequent volunteer for the Kennedy Strong Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and as an Ada Jenkins LearnWorks tutor. He is also a 4-year Pinky Swear Youth Leadership Council member.⁠ ⁠

Mark spent five summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Spain, Belize, and Greece; and presented his findings at archaeological conferences in Florida and at Davidson Day. ⁠ ⁠
Mark’s advisor, Dr. Mark Ehlers: “Mark is an extremely bright young man who puts in the hard work needed to accomplish his goals. He asks the tough questions and seeks out the difficult answers in class. Plus, Mark is a wonderful ambassador for Davidson Day with his kindness and generosity.”⁠ ⁠

Middle School Technology Teacher, Mrs. Michelle Mullineaux: “Since his 5th-6th grade days, Mark has grown not only in height but also as a leader and role model. Students of all ages look up to Mark, and he has influenced them greatly by modeling academic excellence. I am proud of all Mark has accomplished, but I know he is destined to do more great things in the future.”⁠ ⁠

Mark will attend the University of Virginia in the fall.⁠
Kiley Woods started at Davidson Day in Transitional Kindergarten.

Kiley is a 3-year member of the Yearbook Team, serving as Photo Editor as a junior and Captions Editor as a senior. She is a 2-year member of our Writing Club. Kiley was a Student of the Month as a junior and a Varsity Cheerleader as a senior.

Outside of school, Kiley took part in the Young Elites (now She’s the First) Leadership Summit for two years.

Yearbook adviser, Mrs. Tiffani Thomas: “Kiley is a consummate observer whose contributions outweigh her quiet demeanor. She is most comfortable behind the camera lens and is always the first Yearbook staff member to complete her own photo assignments and offer to help others with theirs. At the same time, she is an equally skilled writer. Her copy reveals a depth of analysis and conceptual comparison which makes each sentence insightful and a pleasure to read. She is a quiet powerhouse who is just now coming into her own.”

Kiley’s passions over her upper school years have been creative writing and photography. She hopes to be a writer/journalist, following in the footsteps of her mother, our Photography Teacher and School Photographer, Mrs. Laura Mueller Woods.

Upper School English Department Chair, Mr. Steve McGill: “Over the past three years, beginning when I first taught Kiley as a sophomore in English II Honors, I have watched her blossom from ‘the quiet kid’ who was shy and nervous to a self-confident young woman who has made quite the mark on our school, both in the classroom and on the stage. In Creative Writing class her junior year, Kiley wrote some wonderful stories and poems, and I could see a legitimate talent emerging as she grew more and more confident in her writing voice. In her senior year, she was the glue that held our Writing Club together. During an assembly period this past November, Kiley recited a wonderful, beautiful poem that she had written in honor of her grandfather, whom she had lost during her junior year. Like the daffodils that appear in so many of her poems, Kiley has blossomed into a beautiful flower who knows who she, and who is not afraid to be that person.”

Kiley will attend Randolph College in the fall.
Justin Riou started at Davidson Day in Transitional Kindergarten. He earned the honor of Student of the Month as a sophomore, and he is a 3-year member of our Curling Club. He has also been a bass guitarist with our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble music troupe.⁠ ⁠

Justin spent three summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Spain, Belize, and Portugal, and he has presenting his findings at archaeological conferences in Florida, at Davidson Day, and internationally at the University of Calgary.⁠ ⁠

Outside of school, Justin has volunteered with the Mooresville Soup Kitchen and Mooresville Area Cyclists since his freshman year, and he has worked at Harris Teeter as a cashier and most recently as a server/host at Kung Foo Noodle.⁠ ⁠

Justin is a passionate car enthusiast; he is currently building a drift car to drive in local events/competition.⁠ ⁠

Justin’s advisor, Mr. Mike Thomas: “I have always known Justin to be a food guy, partly because he knows how to cook very well and will create complex meals for his family. The main reason that I think of Justin as the food guy though, is because he is always feeding his many friends. A trip to the store is preceded with multiple food orders that Justin invites from his schoolmates. If someone is short on money, Justin will tell them not to worry about it and ask them what they want anyway. Once, when I saw Justin enjoying what appeared to be a delicious breakfast sandwich, I commented on how good it looked. Justin, of course, was quick to offer me half. I have learned over time that Justin truly enjoys serving others, which is a quality that I admire greatly.”⁠ ⁠

Justin will attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the fall.⁠
Charlotte Ratcliff started at Davidson Day in the middle of Transitional Kindergarten. She is a dual citizen, born in the U.K., and the first in her family to attend college in the U.S. She is a member of National Honor Society and served as a junior marshal at the Commencement of the Class of 2019. ⁠ ⁠

Charlotte is a dedicated and versatile athlete, playing three sports a year for multiple years. She has run on the Varsity Cross Country team since 7th grade, earning multiple Cross Country honors and awards, including MVP (10th and 11th grade), All-State (11th grade) and All-Conference (7th-11th grade). A competitive swimmer since the age of 5, Charlotte has been a 4-year Varsity Swimmer, earning the team’s MVP award as a junior. She has also played Varsity Girls Soccer for 3 years. ⁠ ⁠

Varsity Cross Country Coach Dave Hall: "Without a doubt, Charlotte has left a lasting legacy on our Cross Country program here at Davidson Day. Multiple time team MVP and All-State honors are highlights of her fine career, and her team-first leadership will be sorely missed next year!"⁠ ⁠

Charlotte has been active in multiple clubs, including serving as president of the Pinky Swear Club (grades 10-12), as member of our Outdoors Club (11th grade), our Spirit Club (12th grade), our Debate Club (grades 10-11), and our Key Club (grades 9-12). ⁠ ⁠

Charlotte has also been dedicated to our AFAR program, pursuing summer academic field research in Belize, Spain, and Greece and presenting her findings at archaeological conferences in Florida and at Davidson Day.⁠ ⁠

Outside of school, Charlotte has worked a youth swim coach for the Point’s Piranha Swim Team in the summer and as a local math tutor to middle and high school students in Mooresville and Davidson.⁠ ⁠

Charlotte’s advisor, Dr. Mark Ehlers: “Charlotte is a bright young woman who is willing to work hard for her ambitious goals. She is charismatic and unfailingly friendly to everyone. I'll miss her infectious laugh in the upper school hallway. I'm excited to see what the next stage of her life brings.”⁠ ⁠

Charlotte will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall.
Carson Pauling started at Davidson Day in Kindergarten. She is a National Honor Society member and served as a junior marshal at Commencement 2019. She earned a Student of Character award as a sophomore and the Wellesley College Book Award as a junior. ⁠ ⁠

Carson has served as a Student Government Association representative throughout upper school. She is a 3-year Yearbook team member, serving as a Photo/Copy Editor. She is a 4-year Varsity Cheerleader and won the team’s Leadership Award as a junior. She also managed the Varsity Volleyball team and has been a member of our Debate and Key Clubs.⁠ ⁠

Yearbook adviser, Mrs. Tiffani Thomas: “Carson is the kid who seems to be able to do it all, well. We should all be so lucky to have a Carson in our classes and in our lives!”⁠ ⁠

Upper School Dean of Students, Mrs. Debbie Taylor: “Carson has been such a special part of Davidson Day. She is a true leader; she thinks before she speaks and genuinely cares about making the world a better place.”⁠ ⁠

Carson was a lead vocalist, bass player, and alto saxophonist in our Contemporary Ensemble music troupe all four years. US Music Teacher, Mr. Noel Freidline: “Carson is one of the most committed and conscientious students I've worked with. I pushed her way out of her comfort zone, and she stepped up and knocked it out of the park!”⁠ ⁠

Since 9th grade, Carson has been an executive board member of Jack and Jill of America Inc., which provides educational and cultural opportunities to black youth. She has been a 4-year member of “Brown Girls Big Things” and “Freedom School,” empowering girls of color in the Charlotte area through service and volunteer work. In Summer 2017, Carson started the Get W.O.K.E (Get Working On Knowledge and Empowerment) program to build connections between Davidson's youth and local police.⁠ ⁠

Carson has worked as a cashier at Harris Teeter since her sophomore year.⁠ ⁠

Her advisor, Dr. Mark Ehlers: “Carson leads by example. She is always willing to work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure an event, project, or show goes off without a hitch. I can't wait to see what she tackles next in her life.”⁠ ⁠

Carson will attend Spelman College in the fall.
Olivia Oosterhouse started at Davidson Day in Kindergarten. She is a member of National Honor Society, and she has performed in two mainstage musicals, Sister Act and Rock of Ages.

Olivia is a 4-year Volleyball player and helped lead the Varsity team to this year's State Championship. She is a 3-year Varsity Cheerleader, served two years as the Varsity Boys Lacrosse manager, and is a 4-year member of our Spirit Club and Prom Committee.

Olivia is also a 4-year member of the Yearbook team, first an Article Editor and now Editor-in-Chief. Yearbook adviser, Mrs. Tiffani Thomas: “Olivia's love of life seems to spill over into everything she does. Once excited about an idea, her enthusiasm buoys the people around her and makes challenging work appear achievable. This year's yearbook is certainly a reflection of her inspiration, but more so it reflects her ability to collaborate with peers and channel her individual joy into a collective enthusiasm for a shared purpose.”

Olivia is passionate about photography; she has had her work featured twice in "Style Blueprint" for spreads on the openings of Hello Sailor and Top Golf. She also earned second place “Feature Photograph” by the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association for one of her yearbook photos.

On top of all her activities and awards, Olivia paints our Spirit Rock regularly. Over her years in upper school, she has done over 60 rock paintings.

Olivia’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “Olivia wants to make the world a better place. She thinks about solutions to issues instead of being downtrodden by them. Not just nebulous global problems, I mean the issues faced by her community and friends. Wherever life takes her, Olivia will look out for the people around her and find her own way of making things a bit better, one day at a time. I know the world needs it more than I do, but I'll be a little sad that Olivia won't be there to say hello every morning next year.”

Middle School Technology Teacher, Mrs. Michelle Mullineaux: “I vividly remember the ray of sunshine that Olivia brought into my classroom years ago, and I know she has continued to bring positivity to Davidson Day with her positive attitude and contagious smile. I can't wait to see all she accomplishes and will miss her dearly.”

Olivia will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall, in their Honors Program.
Emma Lindquist started at Davidson Day in Kindergarten. She is a member of National Honor Society, earned a Student of Character award as a freshman, and served as a junior marshal at the Commencement of the Class of 2019. She was elected by her peers to be a 4-year member of the Honor Council. Emma has been a 4-year member of the Varsity Girls Tennis team, going to states this year as a senior. She is also a 4-year member of our Writing Club and its president as a senior.

Emma has been involved in our Theatre program throughout upper school. Theatre Director, Ms. Joanna Gerdy: "From her humble beginnings as a lamb in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to the unforgettable Tiny Tim in a Christmas Carol, from a visionary god in Thebes to the Mayor of Los Angeles in Rock of Ages, Emma is a natural talent on stage. She is also a phenomenally talented visual artist who also designed the apparel graphics for several Theatre productions. Emma is a brilliant student, a gifted writer, and someone with whom I am so grateful to have shared so many creative endeavors. She is a powerful intellectual and artistic force whose story has barely begun to unfold."

Emma has spent four summers conducting field research on AFAR projects in Spain, Greece, and Portugal. She has presented at multiple archaeology conferences, including one in Helsinki, Finland.

AFAR Director, Mr. Mat Saunders: “When I ask something of Emma, I automatically know that she will deliver something beyond my expectations. Emma also represents the best characteristics of a field school student with her strong work effort, talent and ability, and most importantly, because she is simply awesome to be around.”

Emma’s advisor, Ms. Kelly Milligan: "Emma gives 100% to everything she does, and the results are evidence of her dedication and hard work. Watching Emma in the theater performances over the years has been great; to see her step out of her naturally reserved personality and perform on stage is so impressive! And let's be honest, her artwork speaks for itself. It’s simply incredible."

Emma will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall.
Connor Jones started at Davidson Day in Kindergarten.

He was a 3-year member of the Varsity Boys Lacrosse team, and he played guitar with our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble music troupe. Outside of school, Connor has prioritized opportunities to work. He as worked as a cashier at Harris Teeter, a body shop repair technician at Hometown Auto, a cook/team member at Pizza Hut, and at software company Omnistream.

Connor's advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: "Since I've known him, Connor's interest in the outside world has always reflected an uncommon degree of maturity. As a freshman, Connor would bring in questions about current events that bore most adults, but that brought out his innate passions and willingness to speak his mind. While I wasn't always able to answer Connor's questions or persuade his opinion with my own, it was refreshing to be around a young person who was considering those topics and wasn't intimidated by an intellectual debate with an adult. In our time together, I've witnessed Connor as a steadfastly loyal friend with a heart in the right place. I'm proud of the courage and self-improvement that Connor has shown over the past few years, because such forays are uncommon regardless of age. I'm looking forward to seeing the avenues through which Connor devotes his passion in the years to come. His drive will lead him to persevere when others might not, and the results will be fun to witness."

Head of Upper School, Mr. Michael Smith: “Among his most admirable qualities, Connor is without question one of the most disarmingly honest people I have ever known. He doesn't shy away from difficult conversations; he will look you in the eye and express himself with a maturity that is at once articulate and uncluttered. I know that he will be a loyal friend to all who are lucky enough to get to know him in Boulder."

Connor will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall.
Caleb Tate started at Davidson Day in Kindergarten. He is a 4-year member of the Varsity Boys Soccer team, serving as captain the past two years. Caleb won the ‘Unsung Hero’ Award as a junior and the Most Valuable Player Award as a senior. Throughout upper school, Caleb has played competitive club soccer all over the East Coast with Lake Norman and Charlotte Independence Club.

Varsity Soccer Coach Brad Laatsch: “One of Caleb’s most endearing qualities is his coachability. I’ve had conversations with him on topics ranging from a defensive technique, a way to approach solving an equilibrium problem, or how he leads his peers. Caleb listens to what others have to say and asks questions to put things into his own personal context. Caleb embraces these opportunities to grow. It is so valuable to work with an individual like Caleb who can receive feedback with a positive outlook, give thought about how to change patterns, and actually follow through and engage these strategies.”

In addition to soccer, Caleb spent three summers conducting field research on AFAR projects in Belize, Spain, and Greece. He has presented at the Maya at the Playa conference in Florida and the Maya at the Lago conference at Davidson Day.

Caleb is also a self-taught pianist and a 4-year member of our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble music troupe. He founded our Medical Club as a senior, aiming to pursue the biological sciences in college.

Outside of school, Caleb has attended Davidson College’s Camp at the Lake since 5th grade, and has worked there as a counselor for the past two summers. Caleb is also the content publisher for his father Chuck Tate’s company, Digital Momentum, updating the website weekly for professional racing teams and drivers.

Caleb’s advisor, Ms. Kelly Milligan: “While no one is perfect, Caleb is pretty close. He is a great example of someone with a good head on his shoulders. He is unbelievably kind and considerate; he never gets too excited nor does he get too upset. He is a ‘Steady Eddie.’ I will miss Caleb terribly, but I have every confidence that he will be successful at anything he puts his mind to.”

Caleb will attend NC State University in the fall.
Abby Myers started at Davidson Day in the middle of Kindergarten. Abby is our Literary Magazine’s co-creator and co-Editor-in-Chief in this, its third year. She has been part of multiple mainstage Theatre program productions as an actor, stage manager, and costume assistant. She also played two years on the Varsity Girls Soccer team.

Abby has been very interested in the AFAR Program at Davidson Day. She spent four summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Belize and Spain. Abby pursued an independent study in medieval mortuary practices as a senior, inspired by her experience. She has presented her research once at an international conference in Calgary, Canada, four times at the Maya at the Playa conference in Florida, and once at the Maya at the Lago conference at Davidson Day. She also assisted Mr. Mat Saunders with Davidson Day’s summer archaeology camp.

Outside of school, Abby worked for two years as a Starbucks barista and babysits in her free time.

Abby’s advisor, Mr. Michael Thomas: “One of the first things that I learned about Abby, is that she is a gift giver. In fact, she gave me my favorite cup, a metal Yeti that keeps beverages hot or cold all day. It was not the last gift that I witnessed, she would never miss a friend’s birthday or any other occasion to pass on something special. I love my Yeti cup, because it reminds me of Abby’s generous spirit.”

Abby will attend Western Carolina University in the fall.
David Dennis started at Davidson Day in the fall of 1st grade.

David played Varsity Football in 9th grade and then competed with the Hickory Hawks in 10th grade.

David spent four summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Belize and Spain.

Outside of school, David has been a junior firefighter for three years. He also worked at Cliffhangers this year.

David’s advisor, Mr. Michael Thomas: “David has always been a physical guy. I first met him on the AFAR Spain project when he was only in middle school. David moved more dirt than anyone, and he did it with a smile on his face. When David got to high school, he was always the first to acknowledge me with a shout or a high five. David will let you know you have a friend and that he has your back. These qualities will make him a great firefighter, and I could not be prouder that he is choosing a service vocation.”
Will Confoy started at Davidson Day in the fall of 1st grade.

He is a member of National Honor Society, and he earned the honor of serving as a junior marshal at the Commencement of the Class of 2019.

Will is one of two National Merit Finalists among our Class of 2020. This means that Will is among 16,000 top high school seniors across the country selected to advance in the 65th annual scholarship competition. These students are vying for 7,600 college scholarships worth approximately $31 million, to be awarded in the spring.

Will is the founder and president of our Curling Club. Inspired by the 2018 Olympics, Will learned to curl and recruited a team to compete, which is one of only three high school teams in the region. Will also spent two years as a member of our Varsity Cross Country team, and he ran Varsity Track from 7th-9th grade.

Will designed and 3D-printed multi-material endotracheal tube positioning device for canine veterinary surgery, and it has been successfully used in veterinary practice.

Will is a 9-year competitor in the National Mythology exam, earning 5 gold medals and 4 silver medals.

He has also spent time at Thanksgiving each year volunteering at the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Will’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “At Davidson Day, we emphasize self-advocacy in our students, but this skill has never been a problem for Will. From his first days as my advisee, Will was always comfortable speaking his mind. He's entirely confident in what he knows and what he needs help with. As his academic performance shows, he rarely struggled with the material. I'm confident that Will's self-starting nature will serve him well as he pursues his passions, both in college and beyond. I'll miss our painless grade checks together and look forward to seeing what his future holds in store.”

Will is attending Williams College in the fall.
Lauren Orfinik started at Davidson Day in the middle of 1st grade.

She is devoted to both writing and community service. Lauren is our Literary Magazine’s co-creator and assistant Editor-in-Chief in this, its third year. She is a three-year Christmas in Davidson volunteer, and a 4-year volunteer for the She’s the First organization.

Lauren is passionate about international travel and world languages. At Davidson Day, she has taken French up through AP French, and she has proactively and independently taught herself Russian and German.

Outside of school, Lauren has been a dedicated equestrian since the age of 11. She spends countless hours each week at FairyTale Farms riding and taking care of horses. She has competed in many horse shows and experienced great success. In fact, in the 2014 Pony Finals, Lauren competed in Medium Ponies and was 34th overall in the nation.

In addition to her own equestrian pursuits, Lauren has trained and assisted elementary and middle school students about proper riding and horsemanship at FairyTale Farms Camp.

Lauren’s advisor, Mr. Mike Thomas: “What I will always remember about Lauren, is how her wisdom and maturity belie her diminutive stature. Lauren will always ask me how I am doing in the morning, like many people do. What makes Lauren different, is that she will take the time to listen. Lauren remembers what you tell her and she is always quick to follow up later with genuine concern and interest. I will miss Lauren's presence in my mornings. She has been a steady buoy in the whirlpool of adolescent energy.”

Lauren will attend Furman University in the fall.
Will Coble joined Davidson Day in the 2nd grade.

Will has been an official leader on the Varsity Basketball team since his freshman year, but it is not an exaggeration to say that he has been a part of the team since second grade. Will’s dad, Jeff Coble, is one of our basketball coaches, and starting at 7 years-old, Will had special access to the team. He observed players during practice, attended games, chased basketballs, helped clean up after practices, and loved every minute of it. It was also in lower school that Will began to play competitive AAU Basketball year-round. He has maintained this commitment to AAU throughout high school, which has required him to travel extensively and to devote more weekends to tournaments than he can count. 

Will helped lead the Patriots to their first-ever state championship win this year as a senior, and he earned All-Conference Honors.

Coach Ron Johnson: "It has been a pleasure watching Will develop as a player and person over the years. His commitment to the Davidson Day basketball program, and his overall dedication to improving as a player is admirable. His versatile skill-set was a major reason we were able to have so much success this season.  I look forward to watching his continued growth at Randolph-Macon College."

Director of College Counseling, Mrs. Tia Hill:  “In his junior year, Will faced a major turning point when he was forced to have knee surgery that limited his physical activity, including basketball, for weeks. Will has always known he loved the sport, but this experience reinforced the fact that he NEEDS the sport. Basketball is in Will’s blood, and he is determined to continue playing for as long as possible.”

Outside of school, Will is an active member of Bethel Presbyterian Church, and he loves to fish in his free time.

Will will play basketball for Randolph-Macon College next year.
 
Henry Jamison joined Davidson Day as a 3rd grader. He is a member of National Honor Society, a 2-year member of our Key Club, and a single-year member of our Outdoor Club.

Henry played on the Patriots Varsity Football team in 9th grade, and then competed in an extracurricular football league for two years. He has played Varsity Boys Soccer for two years and Varsity Boys Lacrosse as a junior. 

Henry also spent two summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Belize and Portugal, plus attended the Maya at the Lago Conference for two years.

Outside of school, Henry has worked for three years at AutoBell.

Henry’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “I knew Henry before advising him because I'd watched his older brother pester him for years. Even as a Freshman, Henry was an uncommonly mature and grounded young man. Henry was reluctant to start playing Soccer as a Junior because it was a sport he'd never played before. It didn't take long for me and Coach Laatsch to realize that his athleticism was something the team couldn't go without. Henry was a key contributor as a Senior and only left the field due to injury during the playoffs. I always appreciated his honesty and the quiet diligence he showed in the classes we shared together. Henry is grounded and comfortable in showing his intellect and these are traits that will serve him well as he enters college in the Fall.”
 
Sophie Toya joined Davidson Day in the 4th grade. Sophie has been dedicated to our Theatre program ever since she participated in Musical Theater Club. She has performed in many mainstage productions over the years, and she is also a valued member of our audition-based Performance Ensemble. 

Theatre Director, Ms. Joanna Gerdy: “It has been such a pleasure to be a part of Sophie’s growth as a performer throughout her tenure at Davidson Day. Her mature work ethic and incredible diligence, coupled with her ability to take direction flawlessly, has made her an invaluable member of the theatre community.  Even as a middle school performer, her quick, wry wit and deft ability to master comic timing seemingly without effort, was remarkable to watch.  From the sauciest Little Red Riding Hood in the campy Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, to her gripping performance in the creepy English ghost story thriller, Snake in the Grass (with Shakespeare, Greek tragedies, and several musicals thrown in for good measure), Sophie is always a compelling on-stage presence. I was thrilled to see her round out her Davidson Day Theatre career as Denni Dupree in Rock of Ages!” 

In addition to her passion for theatre, Sophie is the leader of our Community Service Club. She single-handedly raised over $11,000 for the Kennedy Strong Foundation to create “Love Bundles” to be delivered to every patient at the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. 

Head of Upper School, Mr. Michael Smith: “Sophie is the consummate 'doer.' While she is perfectly comfortable being out in front and in the spotlight, she is just as satisfied toiling away in the background making great things happen on behalf of others. In the middle of last summer, she and I met so that she could prescribe her vision for the upper school's Community Service Club. It is fitting that she has been a cheerleader throughout her Davidson Day School tenure, since she has done so much to further the experiences of others.”

Outside of school, Sophie has volunteered countless hours working with local children at the Ada Jenkins Center as a LearnWorks teaching assistant. 

Sophie will attend Wake Forest University in the fall
 
Izzy Freidline joined Davidson Day as a 4th grader. She earned the Student of Character award as a freshman and the honor of serving as a junior marshal at the Commencement of the Class of 2019.

Izzy is passionate about Theatre program and our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble music troupe. She has been involved in every mainstage production since she enrolled, as an actress, a musician, and behind-the-scenes helper. She has created twelve posters and eight playbill covers for theater productions, using her own original graphic design.

Izzy is also one of the most dedicated student researchers in the AFAR program. She has completed nine weeks in Spain, two weeks in Belize, and two weeks in Portugal. She has been a site photographer, attended the Maya at the Lago conference twice, and presented at an international conference in Helsinki, Finland.

Somehow, Izzy made the time to swim on the Varsity Swim team for all four years of upper school.

Outside of school, Izzy spent two years with the Student Critic Program, which is a joint venture with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Charlotte Observer. She has also been a 4-year volunteer with Shirley’s Angels.
Using her creativity and graphic design skills, Izzy also pursues freelance design and social media work. 

Izzy’s advisor, Ms. Kelly Milligan: “Izzy Freidline is the definition of talent. She is an amazing musician, actress, photographer, and and graphic artist. Unbelievably creative! She always made me extremely proud when I'd watch her perform on stage with contemporary ensemble or in the theater productions. One of my favorite roles she played was Carol in the Bardy Bunch! On top of her creative talent, Izzy is probably the friendliest student at Davidson Day. Kind and considerate, Izzy genuinely cares about others.”

Izzy will attend Hollins University in the fall.
Ian Smith joined Davidson Day in the 5th grade. He has received a number of honors, including membership in National Honor Society and the English Department’s Underclassman Award as a junior.

Ian has a variety of extracurricular interests that span from outdoor fitness such as mountain biking and running to the Olympic sport of curling to selling his grandmother’s old dolls on Ebay. Most of Ian’s talents and interests are self-taught. Whether it be guitar, bass, piano or drums or foreign language, Ian began his high school career in a fairly typical fashion as a lineman on the football team, yet will leave with a wide array of talents and skills.⁠

Ian is also passionate about Chinese culture and the Mandarin language. He is the co-founder of our Chinese Club and spent 2 weeks last summer in China immersed in the local community that fellow senior, Dazhi Li '20, calls home.

Ian’s advisor, Mr. Mike Thomas: “Ian is one of the most intelligent and talented students that I have seen at Davidson Day. He can almost sneak under the radar because he is so well rounded. The people that know Ian, know that he is thoughtful and has a great sense of humor. He is also a very good friend and a great fit for Davidson College. I know that he will have an immediate positive impact there in the fall.”

Ian will attend Davidson College in the fall.
Ashlynne Horstmann joined Davidson Day as a 5th grader. She is a member of National Honor Society and our Head Student Ambassador.⁠ ⁠
 
As an athlete, Ashlynne is a 4-year member of the Varsity Girls Tennis team, serving as captain her senior year. She also managed the Varsity Boys Tennis team for two years.⁠ ⁠

In addition to her athletics, Ashlynne is devoted to community service. She is a 4-year Key Club volunteer, and spend two years each as a Pinky Swear Ambassador and a KennedyStrong volunteer.⁠ ⁠

Ashlynne’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: "Ashlynne has a fierce confidence that amazes me at her age. She also is strongly opinionated, and not afraid to share her thoughts with you. These traits, intertwined with her honesty and integrity, make her the type of student every teacher loves to teach. On days when I feel frenzied from having too many things on my to do list, she brings a calm collectiveness that I will greatly miss next year."⁠ ⁠

Ashlynne will attend Wake Forest University in the fall.⁠
Regan Pelino joined Davidson Day mid-year as a 5th grader. 

Regan is an outstanding, competitive soccer player. She has played club soccer since the age of 10 and has traveled all over the Southeast to compete. She’s played for the Varsity Girls Soccer team since 7th grade and has served as team captain since her sophomore year.

In addition to her grueling soccer schedule, Regan is an honor roll student, assists in coordinating our Patriot Pals events for over 500 students, and is a 2-year member of our Outdoor Club and a 3-year member of our Key Club. Through Key Club, Regan has volunteered with the Kennedy Strong Foundation, Shirley’s Angels 5K, and the ‘Bag Lady’ Luncheon.

Regan spends her summers at the beach in Avalon, New Jersey, where she babysits, offers soccer lessons to local children, and works at a local clothing boutique.

Regan’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: "The thing I appreciate most about Regan is that she possesses a great sense of gratitude.  She genuinely is appreciative of the time and energy that her teachers and coaches devote to making life at Davidson Day the place that we all love.  In return, Regan is that student that puts her heart into everything she does, from the classroom to the soccer field.  This is why Regan could ask me for ANYTHING, even a special order of chicken nuggets, and I would gladly do it."

College Counselor, Mrs. Caitlin Barndt: “Regan's impact on the soccer field is well known, but her innate ability to reach younger students and set an example for them that has left a lasting mark on the culture of our School. Through her work with the Patriot Pals Program, our version of the big brother/big sister program, Regan has spread a type of kindness, patience and acceptance that is noticed by lower school faculty and students. Regan is a quiet, humble young lady.”

Regan will attend Elon University in the fall.
 
 
Maddie Gay joined Davidson Day mid-year as a 5th grader. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-year member and vice president of our Key Club. She has been a member of the Varsity Girls Soccer team since 8th grade.

She is dedicated to the Theatre program as both an actor and more frequently in the important role of stage manager for several productions. In this role, she is responsible for lighting, projections, sound, blocking, and helping to run rehearsals.

Outside of school, Maddie is an active babysitter and yoga enthusiast. She also works as a student volunteer coordinator for Food For Days and as a Camp Soar volunteer. 

Maddie’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “There aren't many people who are as driven and resolutely independent as Maddie. In our time together, she worked tirelessly along her own path instead of asking her classmates for help in navigating theirs. On the last night of Rock of Ages, Mrs. Gerdy was effusive over Maddie's autonomy as the stage manager coordinating the countless moving pieces (moving humans the most challenging of those) that go into a two-hour musical. One night, on the way home from rehearsal in the final preparations for the show, my son-by-proxy [senior Tom Li] made the unsolicited declaration that, ‘There is no way that show could happen without Maddie. She is a saint.’ There is no better example of what the volunteer spirit really means.”

She attended Summer Design Academy at UNC-Charlotte’s School of Architecture last summer.

Maddie will attend the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design in the fall. 
 
 
Isabella Minaya joined Davidson Day mid-year as a 5th grader. She has worked backstage (light board, sound board, and crew) for our Theatre program since she enrolled. She earned membership in National Honor Society, and she completed a National Geographic Photojournalism Expedition in Alaska. Isabella also participated in the AFAR Greece project last summer. 

Isabella is a 4-year member of the Varsity Girls Soccer team, and having played recreationally since the age of six, she has played Varsity Tennis for two years. 

Outside of school, Isabella does competitive cheerleading with Cheer Athletics, and she has worked as a cheer coach for children with special needs through Cheer Athletics’ TreasureCats.

Isabella will receive the Gold Congressional Award Medal in June. This prestigious award is given by the United States Congress to students who have completed at least 400 hours of volunteer service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and devoted time to expedition. Isabella’s volunteer work has included helping the Pinky Swear Foundation and the American Cancer Society, as well as working at a local food pantry.

Isabella’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “I'm going to miss Isabella's laugh. It isn't loud, but it's one of those ‘full-body, can't contain it’ laughs that is nothing if not contagious. Isabella has been one of the kindest and most unassuming students in the school since I've gotten to know her. I'm proud of the work I saw her deliver in my AP U.S. History class as a junior, and I know that she was equally dedicated to all of her classes during her time in the Upper School.” 

Isabella will attend Cornell University in the fall.
 
 
 
Steven Scherrman started at Davidson Day in the 6th grade. He was awarded Student of the Month as a junior and earned membership in National Honor Society as a senior.
 
Steven is a multi-sport athlete. He played on the JV Basketball team as a starting guard, serving as team captain as a sophomore, played on the Varsity Basketball team as a senior, and he played Court 1 singles and doubles on the Varsity Tennis team.
 
Steven also participated in AFAR projects in Belize and Portugal, and he presented his archaeological research findings at the Maya at the Lago Conference.
 
Outside of school, Steven volunteers with Elevation Church in Cornelius, and each summer, he has pursued work at a restaurant or grocery store.
 
Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Ron Johnson: "After not playing basketball his junior year, we were pleased to see Steven rejoin the team as a senior. He played a much-respected and integral role on this year's State Championship team. Steven's attitude and overall work ethic inspired his teammates, as well as our coaching staff."
 
Assistant Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Chris Graham: “I had the privilege of seeing Steven every day in practice this past year. He knew going into this year that it was going to be hard for him to see court time given the number of seniors on this year's team. But that did not stop him from giving it his all in practice. He worked just as hard and was just as determined as those who started and who would eventually land a spot on a college team next year. This young man's character will help him succeed in college, I'm sure of it!”

Steven will attend North Carolina State University in the fall.
Lance Fenderson joined our school as a 7th grader. He is a National Championship caliber Mazda Racing Driver who has devoted 13 years to the sport. Lance has earned sponsorships, spent time studying automotive design, created sketches of next generation cars, and even worked as a coach for young drivers.
 
At Davidson Day, Lance was a 4-year member of the Varsity Soccer team and a 3-year member of the Varsity Lacrosse team. He tutored students in all divisions, served as a Student Ambassador, and earned membership in National Honor Society. Lance also spent two summers conducting academic field research on AFAR projects in Belize and Portugal.
 
Outside of school, he has been a leader on the Youth Leadership Council of the Pinky Swear Foundation and completed an internship with Stewart-Haas Racing.
 
Lance sustained a spinal injury during a lacrosse game last May. He spent several months in treatment and rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, during which time he served as the unofficial “mayor” of the spinal cord injury floor.
 
Director of College Counseling, Mrs. Tia Hill: “Lance has all the qualities that will make him a successful college student; he is academically motivated, extracurricularly accomplished, a natural leader, kind, open-minded, and mature. But what is most impressive about Lance is his resilient spirit and ability to overcome setbacks. Lance embraces life with the most incredible attitude and spirit.”
 
Lance’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: "Lance is genuinely thoughtful and will always put others first before himself. Lance is also inquisitive; he has a strong passion for learning and always wants to fully understand concepts deeply. Lastly, I am continually inspired by his ‘can't stop, won't stop’ attitude."

Lance will attend North Carolina State University for the College of Engineering in the fall.
 
 
 
Sarah Alexander joined Davidson Day as a 7th grader. She is a four-year member of both our Spirit Club and our Key Club. Her favorite Key Club activity was delivering KennedyStrong Foundation ‘Love Bundles’ to Levine Children’s Hospital. 

Sarah has been playing club volleyball year-round since the age of 12. She was a four-year member of the Varsity Volleyball team, serving as captain as a senior and helping the Patriots win the state championship both as a freshman and as a senior. In addition to volleyball, Sarah spent one year as a Varsity Cheerleader and two years as a Varsity Girls Soccer player.

Varsity Volleyball Coach Fulton: “Sarah has made such a huge impact on Davidson Day School since the 7th grade. Sarah has played varsity volleyball since her freshman year and has left her mark on the volleyball program with two state championships plus All-Conference and All-State honors. Sarah is not only a force on the court, but also is the life of every conversation. Sarah, I will miss all our laughs together! You are going to do great things in the coming years.“

Sarah will attend the University of Mississippi in the fall.
 
Abigail Bennett enrolled with us as a 7th grader, sparked by her strong interest in our Theatre program. She has been an important part of Performance Ensemble and the entire theatre community during her tenure at Davidson Day. 
 
Theatre Director, Ms. Joanna Gerdy: “Though Abigail possesses remarkable innate talent as an actor, she has never rested on her laurels; she is also fiercely dedicated to doing her very best, regardless of the role. As both her teacher and theatre director, I have come to know her in academic, artistic and collaborative settings. Having worked together on over ten productions, I have seen her intense work ethic in full force.  She is a creative thinker, one who truly throws herself into her work, and does her best work when given the freedom to accomplish a task ‘outside the box’.”  

Abigail's advisor, Mr. Mike Thomas: "I will always remember Abigail’s performance in Amelie. Abigail did such a great job embodying the traits of the title character. It reminded me of some of the things that I admire about Abigail. She might appear naive, but Abigail sees things in a very thoughtful way. Like Amelie, Abigail may be young, but she is also very determined. I know that her fresh vision will make the world a brighter place."
 
In addition to her theatre pursuits, she participated in the AFAR Spain project after her freshman and sophomore years and performed with her fellow students while there. She is a four-year member of our Debate Club and served as vice president. 
 
Outside of school, Abigail is a Children’s Ministry leader with her church, and she has completed two mission trips to Jamaica with the Won by One organization. She has participated in two See Her Lead summits, and she volunteers for the Pinky Swear Foundation. Interestingly, Abigail participated in runway shows as a model for Charlotte Fashion Week and entertains children at parties as a princess! 
 
Abigail will attend the College of Charleston, Honors Program, in the fall.
 
Carolyn Conway started at Davidson Day as an 8th grader. She is a member of National Honor Society, and she is passionate about photography. Carolyn spent three years as a Student Ambassador, co-founded our Outdoor Club, worked on the Prom Committee as a junior and a senior, and has been a three-year member of both our Spirit Club and our Key Club. 
 
Carolyn is an extremely dedicated and versatile athlete, playing three sports a year for all four years of upper school. She has played tennis for 11 years in a winter/spring league and for Patriots and also played on the Varsity Girls Soccer team. Carolyn's favorite sport, though, is volleyball. She was a four-year member of the Varsity Volleyball team, serving as captain as a senior and helping the Patriots win the state championship both as a freshman and as a senior.
 
Outside of school, Carolyn has played club volleyball for three years and beach volleyball for one year. She spends her summers at Camp Merri Mac.
 
Carolyn’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “The thing that I appreciate most about Carolyn is her spontaneity. She values the experiences of life and takes every opportunity to live life to its fullest. She is her own person and doesn't get caught up in the 'drama’ of her peers. These qualities allow her to take on any challenge without fear of ridicule or judgement. Carolyn truly appreciates the process of learning without sweating the small stuff. She will undoubtedly do great things at Boulder next year.”
 
Carolyn will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall.
 
Dan Hills joined Davidson Day as an 8th grader and played football in his first year. In the Upper School, Dan played basketball for the Patriots for two years and played varsity lacrosse his junior year. Athletically, his greatest strength is his calm demeanor. Dan can handle high stress moments on the field or the court without getting rattled, making him an asset to any team.  ⁠
Outside of school, Dan became a volunteer firefighter in summer 2019.  He has worked more than 200 hours in this role, which has included both medical and fire calls. ⁠

Mr. Steve McGill: "Dan is a down-to-earth person outside of the classroom who is easy to get along with. He’s originally from Chicago and I’m originally from Philadelphia, so whenever I see him  we kid each other about our favorite sports teams, especially when they play each other. Dan knows how to keep it lighthearted and fun, which reflects his easy going personality."
 
Mr. Mat Saunders: “Dan is quiet and unassuming both in the classroom and out, always exhibiting impeccable manners and a positive attitude. He is loved by his friends and teachers, but never puts himself in the spotlight. As a student, Dan was excellent and always had a positive attitude. I enjoyed having him in my Anthropology Honors class."
 
Dan will attend Florida State University in the fall.
 
Makayla Tejeda enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. She is a member of National Honor Society. Makala played on the Varsity Girls Basketball team all four years, and she served as captain for this year’s State Championship winning season. She is also a coach at Dream Big Basketball Academy in Huntersville.

Outside of basketball, Makayla is musically talented. She is an instrumentalist (flute, alto and tenor saxophone), and she is a member of our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble (vocalist and tenor saxophone).

Makayla’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: "Makayla epitomizes the term 'student athlete'.  She is a dedicated athlete who gives her all on the court and knows how to be a leader and mentor on her team.  Although she has suffered numerous injuries over the past 4 years, she has never given up on the desire to perform at a high level, both on the court and in the classroom. Personally, I appreciate that she always gets my corny jokes, enjoys a good 'gif' text from her cool advisor, and shares the same outstanding taste in music as I do."

Born outside of Baltimore, Maryland, Makayla is excited to head back to the mid-Atlantic area for college. She will attend Howard University in Washington, DC, in the fall.
 
 
Kiko Williams enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. He is a dual citizen, born in Italy. He was a junior marshal, earned a Student of Character Award as a junior, and is a member of National Honor Society. Kiko has also been a Copy Editor on the Yearbook Staff, and he is a member of our Writing and Curling Clubs.

Outside of school, Kiko enjoys competitive wakeboarding and has worked for three years at Brooklyn South Pizzeria.

Chair of our Math Department, Mrs. Olga Cadilla-Sayres: “He continuously displays a deep and thorough understanding of the concepts covered and uses appropriate strategies to solve problems. Kiko occasionally offers alternative approaches to difficult exercises some of which are better that the ones I use and, gently, will occasionally point out mistakes that I make. Kiko keeps me on my toes!”

Kiko's advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: "
In my time, there have only been a handful of students who could match the consistency, success, and humility of Kiko's academic career. He never has "off-days" and routinely exceeds whatever expectations are set by his teachers. Despite that, I've never heard Kiko say he's content, because he always finds something else to review and improve on, no matter how minuscule or obscure. Kiko made a habit out of leaving me in temporary paralysis by way of asking questions that contained a complexity I haven't considered in some time. He wasn't doing it to stump me or show-off his intellectual prowess to his classmates, but because he'd already spent his time considering the material at a depth that we rarely arrived at during class time. Kiko is the type of student that makes me want to improve as a teacher, so I don't let him down or get in his way. Kiko is the person I want to call in a decade when I need a Doctor or an Attorney. Thanks for making our grade checks so painless over these past four years. And keep in touch because in a decade I may need a few favors from you.” 
 
Kiko will attend Duke University in the fall.
 
Yanyu “YY” Xie enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. She is a transfer student from Singapore and is fluent in Mandarin and English. YY was a junior marshal, earned the underclassman Science Department Award as a junior, and is a member of National Honor Society. 

YY was the Varsity Girls Soccer goalkeeper for all four years and played on the State Championship winning Varsity Girls Basketball team as a senior. She’s also a devoted table tennis player and was the student leader of our Ping Pong Club.

Outside of school, YY is the owner of BTSwag Online Store and worked as a line chef at LongJie Restaurant in China.

YY’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “YY spent four years of advisory meetings listening to announcements and reminders for tasks she'd already completed, so she rarely needed me as an advisor. I understand why she might be tired of hearing my voice, but she would never tell me that though. I haven't heard YY say anything mean or critical in the entirety of our four years together… If you weren't aware, she's a competitive table tennis player without any real competition around the school. I like to think that I was the closest thing to competition because one Friday after school in her sophomore year we played for several hours. She beat me 9 times that day even though she used her weak hand the whole time, but for the record, I did win once. That's a memory that'll be sticking with me for a long time.” 

YY will attend Georgia Tech in the fall, the first in her family to attend college in the United States.
 
AJ Saks enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. AJ is a member of National Honor Society and participated on the AFAR Spain Project last summer. He is also a member of both our Math Club and our Science Club and a three-year goalkeeper for the Varsity Boys Soccer team.

Outside of school, AJ is very active in his community. He is a Bowling Team Captain at Victory Lanes Bowling Alley, a Group Leader at Winshape Camp through his Church, and Appointment Timer at Saks Orthodontics. He has also played rugby for two years.

AJ’s Advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “
When I think about AJ, the word that comes to mind is consistency.  If there has ever been a student that I could trust with my life, it would be AJ.  He is genuinely compassionate and thoughtful, and never once have I seen his ‘feathers ruffled.’  He doesn't get caught up in the latest fads or follow along with the crowd.  He's his own person, knows exactly what's important to him, and is content with that.  I know that I can speak on behalf of all of his teachers that they appreciate his outstanding contributions to their classroom as an exceptional student."
College Counseling Associate, Mrs. Caitlin Barndt: “A simple guy at heart, AJ is quite content with his world, not wanting much, and enjoying mostly simple things (gaming, chess, puzzles, disc golf, bowling, soccer, rugby, etc.). I actually envy this quality in AJ. In a world where students are running the ‘race to nowhere’, AJ has managed to stay off that cluttered road while also finding success in the classroom and through the activities he enjoys participating in at school, church, and his community.”
Tyra Rubin enrolled at our school as a 9th grader. She is a dual citizen, born in South Africa. Tyra was dedicated to both the arts and athletics at Davidson Day. Not only did she perform as an actor in multiple mainstage productions, she was a member of the Varsity Cheer team for two years, the manager of the Varsity Girls Soccer team,and a four-year Varsity Freestyle Swimmer. Plus, Tyra has earned multiple awards over her four years working in Yearbook and serves as Editor-in-Chief her senior year.

Outside of school, Tyra volunteers with She’s the First and Davidson Life Line.

Mrs. Tiffani Thomas: “Tyra is THAT person. As her yearbook adviser throughout her upper school experience, I have watched as Tyra continually offered more… more than was required, more than was asked, more than others.”

Advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan: “Tyra is very talented actor, and she has done amazing work with the yearbook. She is from South Africa and moved to the US when she was 10 years old. She is vegan ,a talented photographer, and gives everything she does 100%. Best of all, Tyra is the most kind-hearted and genuine student around.” 

Tyra will attend University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall, the first in her family to attend college in the United States.
 
Isabella Mascorro enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. Isabella is a unique student who pursues both the arts and athletics diligently. She has spent all four years on the Cheerleading and Volleyball teams, and three years on the Basketball team as well. On top of that, Isabella has been a vital member of every mainstage Theatre production since she enrolled, and she taught herself to play the guitar and the drums for our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble class.  

Outside of school, Isabella volunteered significant time in her hometown of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. She helped unload trailers of food, water, and supplies and offered support to her family and friends who experienced tremendous loss.

Isabella’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “I remember Bella coming to me during the first week of 9th grade, wanting more information about Mr. Freidline's Contemporary Ensemble because she had an interest in music.  What I didn't know at the time was that this girl could absolutely tear up a song on the drums!  We've all enjoyed 4 years of her outstanding performances on the drums and the guitar, as well her entertaining roles in theatrical roles like Marcia in 'The Bardy Bunch' and Sherry in 'Rock of Ages'.  I will miss the pure joy that radiates from Bella when she shares her talents on stage."

Isabella will attend Baylor University in the fall.
 
Isabella Malick began at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. She is a member of National Honor Society. Isabella is also a co-founder and co-president of our Outdoor Club, a vice president and four-year member of the Key Club, and a three-year member of our Debate Club. She was a member of the Varsity Golf team for all four years, and she served as captain her senior year. Isabella also found the time to pursue one year of Varsity Track and one year of Varsity Soccer. Outside of school, she  enjoys photography and traveled to Alaska with National Geographic to take photos.
 
Advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan: “Isabella is unbelievably determined. When she sets her mind to something there is no stopping her. She ran the Chicago Marathon this fall at just 17 years old, to raise money for multiple sclerosis and the National Diabetes Association.  Here’s a little known fact about her that VERY few people know….she is a very talented violinist and has played for four years in the Lake Norman Orchestra.”

Isabella will attend University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall.
Cierra Huntley enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. Cierra is an outstanding volleyball player, and she played on the Varsity Volleyball team all four years.
 
Coach Catherine Fulton: “Cierra came to Davidson Day as a freshman and made an impact right away, helping lead her team to a state championship her freshman year. During her time as a Patriot, Cierra has won 92 matches, only dropping 9 in 4 years! She is a 4 time All-State Award Winner, earned a 1,000 kills as a Junior, named Foothill Conference Player of the Year, was nominated twice for the Observer's Athlete of the Week, and led her team to 4 straight playoff births and 2 state titles. I can remember watching you play as a little, skinny 13 year old girl, motivated to play hard for skittles! You are going to make a huge impact next year at Virginia Tech, and I can't wait to see you soar!”
 
Cierra’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “I remember having the privilege of presenting the Student of Character Award to Cierra during her sophomore year. I compared her then to ‘sunshine’, and nothing could describe her better! She always lights up the room with her brilliant smile, and her genuine warmth draws people in. I also appreciate the fact that CeCe is ‘teachable’- she is not afraid to ask for help or advice, and it is evident that she incorporates that guidance toward making herself a stronger student and overall wonderful human being.”
 
Cierra will play volleyball at Virginia Polytechnic University in the fall.
CJ Huntley started at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. CJ is an excellent basketball player, and he played on the Varsity Boys Basketball team all four years.
 
Coach Ron Johnson: “CJ has certainly earned each and every basketball honor that he’s received during his high school career. His commitment to improving could never be questioned as he consistently showed up for 5:30 a.m. workouts in the summer. CJ’s work ethic, humility, and his team-first attitude will undoubtedly lead to continued success in the future.”
 
CJ’s advisor, Dr. Mark Ehlers: “CJ is a determined young man who always gives his best both in the classroom and on the court. I’ll miss seeing him towering head and shoulders over everyone else in the school!”
 
CJ will play basketball at Appalachian State University in the fall.
Nathan Hughes enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader, and like his sister, Emily, he has pursued almost every enriching experience that we have to offer. Nathan has been involved in Theatre for all four years, including our audition-based Performance Ensemble class. Nathan was a member of the Varsity Cross Country team as a 9th grader and has played Varsity Tennis for three years. He is a devoted writer, serving as co-creator and co-editor for our Literary Magazine. He has pursued Yearbook for three years, and he also attended the AFAR Portugal Project.

Nathan’s advisor, Mr. Mike Thomas: “I will miss Nathan’s kind and gentle presence contrasted with his eccentric and outrageous theatrical performances. I have also appreciated his willingness to be a friend for anyone who needs him. Nathan’s substantial contribution to our yearbook program will leave us all with something to appreciate for years to come.”

Nathan will attend the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for Film.
 
Emily Hughes enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader, and she has pursued almost every enriching experience that we have to offer. Emily was a member of the Varsity Cross Country team for all four years, and she served as captain her senior year. She also played Varsity Girls Soccer for two years. Emily plays the guitar for our audition-based Contemporary Ensemble class, acted in Bonnie & Clyde and Sister Act, and ran tech for Amelie. She is vice president of the Debate Club and participated for three years, and she wrote for our Literary Magazine for three years. She also attended the AFAR Projects in Greece and Portugal and presented findings at an international archaeology conference in Calgary, Canada.
 
Emily's advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan: “I’ve loved watching Emily grow over the last four years.  She has always been one of the bright parts of my day.  Watching her run at the Cross Country State Championship this year was truly a proud moment for me.  She is probably one of the most humble people I have ever met.  Emily is a talented artist.”
 
Emily will attend Emerson College in Massachusetts in the fall.
 
Hailey Higbea started at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. Hailey is a member of National Honor Society, a four-year member of the Key Club, and has been a member of the Varsity Track team and the Varsity Cross Country team. She participated in two AFAR Projects, in Greece and in Belize. 

Outside of school, Hailey was a dedicated gymnast for almost 11 years. In 8th grade, Hailey decided to give up gymnastics to do competitive cheerleading with Cheer Athletics. She has competed year-round with Cheer Athletics for four years now.

Hailey is also devoted to community service. She is a three-year member of the Youth Leadership Council for the Pinky Swear Foundation, and she has volunteered with the KennedyStrong Foundation. 

Hailey’s advisor, Mr. Rob Simpson: “Hailey is as genuine as anyone who's passed through our doors. Without her, I don't know who will let me know when my jokes aren't funny. Hailey is loyal and thoughtful and caring, and I'll say it even if it embarrasses her in the process. I know I haven't said it enough, but I'm super proud of how hard Hailey's worked these past four years. Now it's time to relax and show the world that quick-wit intelligence of yours.

Hailey will be attending her parents’ alma mater in the fall, Florida State University.
 
Cole Hansen enrolled at Davidson Day as a 9th grader. He has played Varsity Soccer for all four years, as well as Varsity Golf for three years.
 
His advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “Cole has amazed me with the way he takes on challenges academically. As his advisor, I would try to steer him to take classes that fit his strengths. But instead, he would want to take courses in which he knew he was going to have to work harder. Although I lost a lot of sleep and gained more gray hair worrying that he made the wrong decision, he never let me or himself down.”
 
Soccer Coach, Mr. Brad Laatsch: “My first game coaching was a was a 4-1 loss to a team full of future college players. While it’s definitely not the result I was looking for, I will always remember that Cole scored my first goal! He played fearlessly that day, his first game of his high school career. That set the tone for what he gave me for four years; he was a competitor, versatile and passionate. He didn’t care about personal accolades or where he played; it mattered most to him how the team did. Cole also thought it would be a good idea to recognize players that worked hard in practice but didn’t get many minutes in games, so he donated his starting spot. Team was always greater than self for Cole.”
 
Cole will attend Appalachian State University in the fall.
Annie Carr joined Davidson Day as a 9th grader. She has been a member of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse Team for all four years, and she served as captain her senior year. Annie has also been a Photo Editor on the Yearbook Staff for three years. Outside of school, Annie is a member of the Youth Leadership Council for the Pinky Swear Foundation, and she volunteers with She’s the First and Davidson Life Line.
 
Lacrosse Coach, Mrs. Caitlin Barndt: “Annie is beautiful inside and out. Her smile is contagious and warms the hearts of all those around her. Whether it be on the lacrosse field or in the hallway, Annie is the kind of student you can count on to be a leader and positive role model for others.”
 
Annie will attend Auburn University in the fall.
Hadley Zucker started at Davidson Day as a sophomore, shortly after injuring her ACL and meniscus at a pole-vaulting training session. “Tearing my ACL was the best—but worst—thing that could happen to me,” says Zucker. “I was at my peak, and it cut me off completely, but it allowed me to figure out what I was missing in the rest of my life.”

College Counseling Associate, Mrs. Caitlin Barndt: “Hadley is a naturally smart, talented, and hard-working young lady, but prior to her injury, academics always took a backseat to vaulting. During recovery, Hadley renewed her focus on academics, and in the spring of her sophomore year, she joined Davidson Day’s Varsity Track and Field team. She has seen the value in building relationships on and off the track as her coaches at Davidson Day also challenge her on a daily basis in the classroom, creating a bond that she foresees lasting a lifetime.”  

Hadley will attend Bucknell University in the fall and will compete with their Track and Field team as a pole vaulter.
 
Sara Motto enrolled at Davidson Day as a sophomore. She founded the Spirit Club and created a successful Valentine’s fundraiser that gives all its proceeds to fund the Prom. Sara served as the manager for the Varsity Boys Basketball team as a junior and senior. She spent last summer on the AFAR Greece Project.

Sara’s advisor, Ms. Kelly Milligan: “When I think of the word "selfless," Sara Motto immediately comes to mind. She is the type of person who is nice to everyone she meets, and that is a truly rare quality. Sara will volunteer to help anyone and expect nothing in return. She operates first and foremost out of the goodness of her heart. On top of that, Sara is focused, determined, and hardworking. I will miss Sara tremendously, as she embodies the highest level of character that we guide students to develop at Davidson Day School.”  

Sara will attend UNC Greensboro in the fall.
 
Grace Meister started at Davidson Day as a sophomore. She has been dedicated to Varsity Girls Lacrosse, playing for the Patriots all three years. She played Varsity Volleyball as a sophomore and attended the AFAR Belize Project after her sophomore year. Grace also played Varsity Tennis as a junior and senior.

Lacrosse Coach Caitlin Barndt: "Grace is sweet yet spicy, humorous and intense, kind but also fierce. She was a leader and role model to the younger players. I could tell the underclassmen looked up to her for everything, and she willingly and openly embraced each of them. I will greatly miss her honest feedback and seeing her on a daily basis whether in my office or on the field next year."

Grace’s advisor, Mrs. Kim Guffey: “Grace has truly blossomed during her time at Davidson Day!  In the classroom, I have seen her confidence grow by leaps and bounds!  But I also appreciate the fact that she is always full of advice- like best coffee on the go (Clutch) and best slushie (Circle K).  I will greatly miss her smile and positive attitude next year!”

Grace will attend the College of Charleston in the fall.
 
Tom Li transferred to Davidson Day as a sophomore. Tom is a dedicated soccer player. He has played club soccer for Charlotte Independence for four years and as goalkeeper for the Patriots for three year. Tom also enjoys musicals; he performed in “Amelie” and “Rock of Ages.” Most interestingly, Tom is an accomplished violin player and member of Contemporary Ensemble.

Tom’s advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan: “My favorite memory of Tom is when I found out he played the violin, and I asked him to play for our advisory group. Little did he know I arranged for Mr. Noel Freidline to listen in. Tom said hadn’t played in years, but Mr. Freidline saw his potential, as he had Tom playing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” a few months later. Tom is an amazingly talented young man who has always shown great appreciation for those who have helped him on his journey as an international student in the U.S. From the soccer field to the stage, I have enjoyed watching Tom excel!”
 
Tom will attend The George Washington University in the fall.
 
Andre True enrolled at Davidson Day in the fall of his sophomore year. He is a kind soul, deep thinker, and talented photographer.* 
 
Our Photography teacher, Mrs. Laura Woods: “I’ve had Andre in my photography classes for three years. From the start, he caught the attention of others. Andre is able to take any given assignment, make it his own, and create a set of images that I would attribute to a professional. He has the gift of being able to tell stories with images. His talent pairs well with his kindness. I will always remember Andre as a student who says ‘thank you’ at the end of each class. I will miss him next year!”
 
His advisor, Dr. Mark Ehlers:  “I'm truly going to miss Andre's cheerful attitude and quiet, 'can-do' spirit in both advisory and in class.  He is passionate about his education and gives his best to whatever he tries. He will do great things with whatever life throws him.”
 
Andre will attend his first-choice college, Liberty University, in the fall.
 
*The top image in the collage is a self-portrait photoshop project of Andre's.
Jackson Threadgill has been a much-admired addition to the Class of 2020 since he joined Davidson Day in the second semester of his sophomore year.

As upper school history teacher, Mr. Rob Simpson explained when Jackson was nominated as a student of character as a junior, Jackson’s reputation as an exceptional basketball player sometimes steals the spotlight from the fact that he is a very diligent student with a positive attitude and polite demeanor.

Coach Ron Johnson: "Jackson's incredible focus, work ethic, and constant desire to give his best in whatever he does made him an absolute joy to coach. In my thirty plus years of coaching basketball, Jackson will most assuredly go down as one of the very best players. In addition to his skill level, Jackson's leadership ability played a major role in our winning the state championship this year."

Jackson will play basketball at UNC Charlotte next year.
 
Adam Brazil joined Davidson Day as a junior. He serves as Student Government Association President, and his advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan calls him “Mr. School Spirit!” Adam has the gift of generating energy and excitement among his peers and the faculty at our school, which is genuinely appreciated and much applauded.
 
Outside of his spirit-rallying personality, Adam is a dedicated athlete. He served as Varsity Basketball Captain for his junior and senior years, and he excelled in Cross Country as an all state runner this past fall. Adam will play basketball at Hampden-Sydney next year.
 
Coach Ron Johnson: "It's been such a pleasure to watch Adam blossom into an inspirational leader in our school community. He was not only a leader on the Cross Country and Boys Basketball teams, but his enthusiasm and school spirit impacted all aspects of Davidson Day School student life."
 
 
 
Catherine ‘Cat’ Bodick has played club volleyball since 5th grade. She played varsity volleyball at South Iredell and transferred to Davidson Day as a junior. She helped the Patriots reach state runner-up in 11th grade and win the state championship in 12th grade. Cat is funny, confident, and sincere, and she has a way of bringing out the best in others.

Coach Catherine Fulton: “Cat has grown into a mature young adult during her time at Davidson Day School. I have been blown away with Cat’s focus, determination, and dedication to becoming a better volleyball player and getting into shape for the next level. Cat has had her eyes set on playing at the next level since middle school, and her focus during these past two years has secured her a spot at USC Aiken. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for Cat!” 
 
Luke Robinson joined Davidson Day as a junior. He served as Student Government Association Vice President, was elected to Honor Council, and is a member of National Honor Society. Luke has played four years of Varsity Basketball, two of them for the Patriots; he also played for our Varsity Lacrosse team as a junior, and our Varsity Golf team as a senior. Luke attended the AFAR Portugal Project and presented findings at an international archaeology conference in Calgary, Canada.

Luke’s advisor, Mrs. Kelly Milligan: “At the start of Luke’s junior year, I was putting treats into my advisees’ lockers. Luke let me know immediately that he didn’t like Reese’s Pieces and asked could I make sure not to give him Reese Pieces again. This was the very FIRST time I met Luke! It led me to wonder whether he was going to be a little high maintenance, but the opposite couldn’t have been more true. Luke is an amazingly kind, respectful and polite gentleman. He is a determined and motivated individual that I feel very lucky to have met.”
Jason Kreger is our most recent member of the Class of 2020. He learned about our school from his neighbor, our Head of Lower School, Mary Steensma. Jason played Varsity Soccer at Bandy’s and as a senior at Davidson Day, in addition to playing club soccer. He also referees for soccer games at Sherrills Ford Optimist Park. Outside of his passion for soccer, Jason loves to wakeboard and has participated in competitions.
 
Head of Upper School, Michael Smith: “Jason Kreger joined the upper school this year as a one-year senior, and it is a testament to both Jason and his classmates that he was so seamlessly welcomed as a member of the Class of 2020. The epitome of the scholar-athlete, Jason has taken an admirable load of challenging classes while helping our soccer team to a historically successful season. We are thrilled to soon count him as a Davidson Day School alumnus.”
 
Jason will attend UNC Charlotte in the fall.
 

School Information

750 Jetton Street
Davidson, NC 28036
[P] 704-237-5200   [F] 704-896-5535
DAVIDSON DAY SCHOOL
An Independent Day School educating students 2 years old through 12th grade
COLLABORATION  |  CREATIVITY  |  CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT