Carrabassett Valley Academy graduates the Class of 2023

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CARRABASSETT VALLEY – On June 3rd 2023, sixteen student-athletes graduated from Carrabassett Valley Academy, receiving their diplomas at the Richard Bell Chapel, at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Congratulations to the 41st graduating class at CVA – the Class of 2023!


Front row, left to right: Africa Arango, Sasha Jansujwicz, Summer Saifee, Josie Alexander. Second row, left to right: Dory Michaud, Ruby Poland, Nya Wolfe. Third row, left to right: Grace Schad, Dahlia Saifee, Elli Andrus, Althea Noyes. Fourth row, left to right: Kai Glidden, Jackson Knobloch, Baran Tatlidede. Back row, left to right: Kiernan Mann, François Meloni


Head of School Kate Webber Punderson ’89 remarked during the ceremony “Together, you have traveled the world, endured a global pandemic, survived van rides in questionable weather, taken on physical testing, studied for exams, supported one another through disappointments, celebrated each other’s successes, and begun your plans for the next step in your journey. You have shown courage, tenacity, fortitude, kindness, and gratitude. I want to thank each member of the Class of 2023 for your contributions to the CVA community. Individually, you have each accomplished a great deal. Collectively, you have shaped CVA in ways that will forever impact this community. You all will forever belong to this family, and you will always be welcome home.”

The Valedictorian, Dahlia Saifee, and Salutatorian, Summer Saifee, addressed the class during the ceremony, along with Senior Class Choice speaker, Ruby Poland, and Faculty Choice speaker, Althea Noyes. Dory Michaud performed an original composition, entitled “The People Made Me Go” that brought tears to the eyes of students, families, and staff alike.

Commencement speaker, Doug Lewis, inspired the students with personal stories from throughout his career as a World Cup athlete, Olympic athlete, Hall of Fame inductee, 100 mile Ultramarathon athlete, NBC Olympic and World Cup Ski Racing Commentator, and owner and head coach of ELITEAM athlete development camps.

Five awards were handed out during commencement to student-athletes that best exemplified the criteria for each award. Award recipients were:

Dahlia Saifee received the John Ritzo Headmaster’s Award, for her leadership qualities and her notable contributions to the betterment of the school and the local community.

François Meloni received the David Holmes Most Improved Student Award, for showing the most growth over the course of his time at CVA.

Sasha Jansujwicz received the Benjamin Weisbein Academic Scholarship Award for best exemplifying the qualities that Ben had – superb athleticism, a tireless work ethic, and high academic standing. Drew, like Ben, truly represents the “CVA way” through her outstanding athletics, serious scholarship, continued personal development, and strength of character.

Charlie Koenig received the CVA Alumni Association Award, for exhibiting a strong and steady character, reliability, a consistently positive attitude, and respect for others. Josie is committed to “doing her best” academically, athletically, and in the school community.

Amy Latendresse received the J. Keith Penninger Memorial Fund Award for representing CVA in terms of leadership and commitment to the CVA mission and community.

The H. King Cummings Service Award, given in memory of King Cummings, was presented to the Town of Carrabassett Valley. In the words of Board of Trustees Chair, Lindy MacKinnon Gruen, “The Town has certainly made, and continues to make, outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Carrabassett Valley Academy. The town is a significant part of every CVA student’s experience. The character and support of Carrabassett Valley play a critical role in making sure that CVA delivers on its mission for the student-athletes of today and tomorrow. It’s a perfect partnership, in the perfect setting.”

After the ceremony, students, families, and friends gathered to celebrate the graduates. It was truly a beautiful, and memorable day. Congratulations, CVA Class of 2023!



Carrabassett Valley Academy Class of 2023:

Josie Alexander, Boyne Falls, Michigan
Elli Andrus, Camden, Maine
Africa Arango, Madrid, Spain
Kai Glidden, Kennebunk, Maine
Sasha Jansujwicz, Bangor, Maine *
Jackson Knobloch, Wells, Maine
Kiernan Mann, Georgetown, Maine
François Meloni, Luxembourg, Belgium
Dory Michaud, Carrabassett Valley & Falmouth, Maine *
Althea Noyes, Falmouth, Maine *
Ruby Poland, Bristol, Maine *
Dahlia Saifee, Chevy Chase, Maryland *++
Summer Saifee, Chevy Chase, Maryland *+
Grace Schad, Rapid City, South Dakota
Baran Tatlidede, Adana, Turkey
Nya Wolfe, Carrabassett Valley, Maine

*National Honor Society Member

About Carrabassett Valley Academy – Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) is a private middle and high school located in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. Situated at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, CVA offers a unique balance of college preparatory academics, world-class competitive ski and snowboard training, and responsible community living.

CVA student-athletes have direct access to world-class training venues including:

· FIS certified downhill course
· USSS Freestyle Moguls course
· Olympian-designed Cross Course
· 6 Terrain Parks
· 650 acres of backcountry-style glades
· Largest vertical drop East of the Rockies

To learn more about CVA, visit www.gocva.com.

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