CA honors Postgraduate Class of 2020

May 15, 2020

On May 13, a total of 14 postgraduate students were honored during Cheshire Academy’s annual Postgraduate Ceremony. While the event was held remotely this year, the messages and words of encouragement from CA faculty and alumnus James Kallinich ’06 will be kept close to the graduates forever.


Head of School Julie Anderson P’19, ’23, spoke first by recognizing that, for most students who are concluding their final year of high school, pursuing a postgraduate year is not the “natural choice.” At Cheshire Academy, however, the Postgraduate Program can meet a variety of needs, all of which were realized by the Class of 2020.


“We each have our own journey, and for every one of us, it looks different,” Anderson said. “Some of you came to Cheshire Academy to experience high school in the United States. Some of you came to improve your academic record; others to improve an SAT or ACT score. Many of you came with dreams of playing collegiate athletics.”


Anderson added that the Class of 2020 faced difficulties unlike recent graduates, with having to respond to a global health crisis and pandemic. When campus closed in mid-March, the postgraduates were tasked with concluding their academic year remotely. Despite the challenges they faced, Anderson said the students displayed strength, courage, optimism, and acceptance of things that they cannot change.


Kallinich, corporate activation manager with the Boston Celtics organization, reflected on his postgraduate year at CA. As a graduate of Platt High School (Meriden, Connecticut), Kallinich did not know anyone when he arrived on campus, but knew he needed another year of football, weightlifting, and academics to land a spot at his best-fit college—Endicott.


Not only did Kallinich form friendships and relationships he still holds dear today, he also learned life lessons he continues to use in his professional career—especially when he transitioned from the MLB to the NBA.


“Making a switch like that, and such a big jump from the MLB to the NBA, is something I can contribute back to what I learned at Cheshire,” Kallinich explained. “Just being able to adapt to different cultures, different people, different perspectives, different leagues, and adjust quickly and learn how to connect with people, and learn how to adjust my way so that I can make an impact in the best way that I can.”


As part of the annual Postgraduate Ceremony, one postgraduate is awarded the prestigious Armando Simosa ’08 Award. The recipient—Nicole Matimu—embraced the values of Cheshire Academy exemplified by the Eight Pillars of Bowden, displayed significant academic growth, and participated enthusiastically in the extracurricular life of the school, earning the recognition and admiration of her peers.


The full list of postgraduates is as follows: Nicholas Button, Trey Everson, Cameron Maddox, Nicole Matimu, Kent Oliver, Chiwendu Onwuakpa, Cristian Perez, Jesse Polansky, Giovanni Rubino, Ryan Stefanik, Gino Tartamella, Oluwatimisola Toluogunkoya, Kenneth Wilburn, and Logothetis Zervos.