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Annual Award in Honor of Holocaust Survivor

Anna Moskov
Each year The Derryfield School chooses a member of the senior class to receive the Simeon Kass Award, in honor of Simeon Kass, who survived the Holocaust as a young boy. The Boelig Family, who had two children graduate from Derryfield, were friends with Kass late in his life. They created the award in 2007 to honor him, his life experiences, and his passions. “Uncle Sim,” as he was known to the Boelig children, was a Jewish Parisian whose mother and two young brothers all died at Auschwitz. The 2022 recipient, announced on October 25 during the school’s weekly Community Meeting, is Cea Armstrong.  Armstrong’s essay, entitled “Then Shall I Know,” explores the complexity of her relationship with her faith. 

The Simeon Kass Award for Writing and Humanistic Inquiry is given to a student who demonstrates an interest to learn beyond what surfaces in day-to-day life. The recipient must demonstrate outstanding writing skills, an appreciation of other cultures, a burning inquisitiveness, and the disposition to take a position and challenge opinions.

According to the Boeligs, Kass carried around a notebook everywhere he went, taking notes and writing down phrases - he was always learning, and was always inquisitive. Although he lost much of his family, what the Boeligs remember are his resilience and love of life. Kass honored the power of education to push back the darkness of prejudice, fear and brutality.  He believed that knowledge, when combined with a burning curiosity and compassion, illuminates the most beautiful things in this world.  So too did the founders of Derryfield.

Read Cea’s essay here.

The Derryfield School

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