Young Alumni

Emily “Max” Bogan '16

An accomplished student-athlete, Emily “Max” Bogan received numerous awards and distinctions at Portsmouth Abbey School.  She was named a Finalist in the 2016 National Merit® Scholarship Program, one of just 15,000 students nationwide to be so recognized from an initial 1.4 million students entered in the nationwide scholarship competition.  At this past year’s Prize Day, Max’s sustained academic excellence was recognized with induction into Portsmouth Abbey’s Cum Laude Society.  She also received the School’s Scholar-Athlete Award, the Portsmouth Abbey Athletic Association Award, and the Rhode Island School of Design Award for her talents in visual arts.  

Max’s most noteworthy athletics achievements were in track and field, where she won the New England Javelin Championship in three consecutive years.  In the process, she set a new School record three times, breaking her own record twice. Her most recent record was a throw of 112-5.

Max, of Norman, Oklahoma, is currently in her freshman year at Stanford University.

Jon Campau '16

A perennial hard worker and stellar School citizen, Jon, of East Lansing, Michigan, earned the distinction of being the top student in the Class of 2016.  He garnered nine awards and honors on Prize Day last May, for academic, athletics and service achievements, including the Excellence in Scholarship Award, for having the highest cumulative academic average in his Fifth and Sixth Form years, and the William Barry McCoy ’67 Memorial Award, for his influence upon his classmates through his Christian attitude and leadership. 

An EIL All-League selection in boys’ cross-country, Jon also won the cross-country and track awards; was elected into the Portsmouth Abbey Cum Laude Society; received the Scholar-Athlete Award, for earning three varsity letters in his Sixth Form year while maintaining the highest academic levels, and the Portsmouth Abbey Athletic Association award, for ability, sportsmanship, leadership and effort; was the School’s Level III Prose and Level IV Poetry Winner in the National Latin Exam; won the Classical Studies Book Prize; and was recognized for his service as an altar server during his time at the Abbey.  

Jon also was a member of Schola, the singing group that provides sacred music for church services, and was a volunteer on a School-sponsored pilgrimage to Lourdes, where he cared for the infirm.  His leadership positions including being captain of the boys’ cross-country and track teams, and he was also selected as a prefect in one of the boys’ residential houses.

Jon was chosen last spring to be among Southeastern New England’s “2016 Best of Class,” which honors the top students from each high school in the region.

He received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he is currently a freshman. 

Claire Davidson '16

Claire, of Newport, Rhode Island, was the School’s top female squash player during her career at Portsmouth Abbey School.  While at the Abbey, Claire played in 36 U.S. squash tournaments and three international tournaments (in New Zealand). Some of her standout performances include:  first place at the Massachusetts state U19 regional finals; second place at the North Island Championship in New Zealand; place winner at the 2015 U.S. Open U19 (after seven matches in a draw of 128); undefeated at the High School Team Nationals during her Fourth and Sixth Form years; third place at the New England “B” Tournament, during her Fifth Form year; and fourth place at the N.E. “B” Tournament in her final year at the Abbey. Claire earned All-League status in the Eastern Independent League (EIL) all four years of her career and was a Providence Journal Independent All-Star for three years in a row. She was also named “Junior Player of the Year” by the R.I. Squash Association. Claire was nationally ranked as high as 36 during her career at the Abbey, and her overall record here was 64-15.

Claire was honored by her classmates by being selected the female Class of 2016 Speaker for this past year’s commencement. She was also recognized at Prize Day for her leadership and service to others in the School community.

She is currently attending Tufts University and is a critical member on their squash team.

Kevin Ellicks '16

Kevin Ellicks earned several football distinctions fall of his Sixth Form year after helping to lead the Ravens’ football team to second place in the Evergreen League, a high school football league for independent schools in the six New England states.  An offensive tackle and linebacker with 39 solo tackles and two interceptions to his credit in 2015, Kevin was named All-New England, Class C in the New England Prep School Athletics Council (NEPSAC) and was selected Lineman of the Year in the Evergreen League. The six-foot, four-inch, 225-pounder from Acton, Mass., was the team’s leading blocker for Abbey running back Chris Weiss, himself named NEPSAC All-New England.

“Kevin was an important part of our team’s success,” said Al Brown, Ravens’ head football coach and athletics director. “He has been a true leader on and off the field.”  The football field was not the only place where Kevin saw success and leadership. He was a Red Key tour guide head and a prefect for the Third Form boys during his Sixth Form year.  Kevin was also a phenomenal student, making the Dean’s List consistently during his time at Portsmouth Abbey.

He is currently attending Middlebury College and is playing on the football team there.

Jessica McJones '16

Jessica McJones, of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, distinguished herself last year as one of the Abbey’s top sailors.  She was among the top 36 singlehanded high school sailors from around the country who competed for The Cressy Trophy, the National High School Singlehanded Championship, at the Old Dominion University, in late September.  She earned a spot at the nationals by qualifying at the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA) regional championship regatta during the summer of 2015 and finished 10th out of 18 in a highly competitive Laser fleet, despite having little time while at school to practice.

Last spring, Jessica played a key role in helping the Ravens’ girls’ sailing team capture the Rebecca Herreshoff Trophy, also known as the New England High School Women’s Championship. The Abbey girls bested 15 other teams from around the region at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  Jessica and her crew, Kelly Shea ‘16, earned second place in the A fleet with three second-place finishes and two third places among their eight races.  She was also at the helm when the Portsmouth Abbey Sailing Team won the New England Scholastic Sailing Association’s (NESSA) Terk Trophy in Team Racing last May at MIT, placing first among eight teams. 

Jessica is currently a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy, where she is a member of its sailing team.

Chris Weiss '16

Chris distinguished himself at Portsmouth Abbey during his three years here – he joined the community as a Fourth Former in 2014 – as a talented, tough and fair competitor in athletics.  He excelled in both football and wrestling, and also lettered in lacrosse.  

Wrestling in the 132-lb. weight class, Chris, from Rockland, Maine, was the dominant force in the Eastern Independent League (EIL), a three-time league MVP, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the EIL Champion in his weight class in each of those years. Chris was selected All-New England in 2015 and 2016 and was a Providence Journal Independent All-Star for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  He qualified for the Prep School Nationals at Lehigh University each of those three years as well.  Chris was selected captain of the wrestling team in 2014, 2015 and 2016, a testament to his outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, positive attitude and commitment to the team.  

In football, Chris was a three-year starter at running back and captain of the 2015 squad. He tied the School record that season, with 27 touchdowns, and rushed for 1601 yards. Chris was named 2014 and 2015 Evergreen All-League in 2014 and 2015, was a 2015 Providence Journal Independent All-Star at running back, and was also selected Prep School All-New England in 2015.   

Chris’s attributes were not solely athletic in nature. He was honored with the distinguished Matthew Penney ’07 Perseverance Award at this year’s Prize Day, which recognized in him the same determined perseverance, excellent character and kindness throughout his Abbey career as seen in the late Matthew Penney. He also received the Portsmouth Abbey Athletics Association award, which recognized his ability, leadership, sportsmanship and dedication to his teams.

Chris currently attends Mercyhurst University, where he is on the wrestling team. 

Sydney Welch '16

As the Head Girl for the 2015-16 school year, Sydney was a demonstrated leader of the student body, helping to create a number of creative and engaging all-school activities for this year’s students. One she helped orchestrate was a nationwide school spirit contest, sponsored by global clothing manufacturer Hollister Co. on Instagram, that won first place from among some 1,4000 entries from around the country. 

Sydney’s talents extended to the visual arts, where she garnered several national and regional awards this year for her outstanding photography. Sydney, of Robesonia, Pennsylvania, was awarded a Silver Key in Photography in the 2016 National Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition. She had qualified for the national competition by winning a Gold Key in the Rhode Island Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards, held earlier in the school year. Sydney was the only photography entry from Rhode Island to be selected as a National Medalist in the Photography category and bested a talented group of dozens of other photography entries from around the country. Her winning entry was titled, “Diffusion of Light.”  In the 2016 Rhode Island Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Sydney was awarded a second Gold Key for her photograph entitled, “Feet.” 

Sydney was recognized at Prize Day for her exceptional photography, and she received The Dom Luke Childs '57 Memorial Medal, "awarded to that member of the graduating class who best exemplifies those qualities of citizenship which were so prized by Dom Luke: intelligence, virtue, and concern for others."

Sydney was a photographer for the Gregorian, the School yearbook, and was an intern in the Office of Communication, where she assisted with photography and videography projects. She is currently a freshman at Arcadia University where she is majoring in art history and minoring in arts entrepreneurship and curatorial studies. 

Jenny Yates '16

Jenny excelled both in and outside of the classroom while at the Abbey.  She was a co-captain of the girls’ varsity soccer and the track and field teams, where she was a four-year letter winner; was editor of Edifice, the School’s academic journal, and a staff writer for the School newspaper, The Beacon; was a peer tutor in several subjects; volunteered with two student-run organizations on campus, Teens Leading Children and Students Against Destructive Decisions; and was a Red Key tour guide for the admissions office.  She was a Dean’s List student all fours years at the Abbey.

Of Jenny’s accomplishments, perhaps the most noteworthy is a project she undertook on behalf of an impoverished community in South Africa. A resident of Portsmouth, RI, Jenny researched and created a design for an outdoor classroom, community gardens and recreational space for elementary school children in a local township. Through the non-profit organization Universal Promise, she raised funds for the project, and then spent 10 days in South Africa last summer directing and participating in the project, which was done manually. In June 2016, Jenny received the Rhode Island Veterans of Foreign Service Americanism Award for her work in South Africa.

In addition to the Girls’ Soccer Trophy, Jenny received an award on Prize Day for Excellence in French and another, the St. Gregory Award, for her service to others.    

Called “…a wonderful example of the all-around Portsmouth Abbey student” by Headmaster Dan McDonough, Jenny is currently attending Georgetown University, where she is studying business.  

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