Springside Chestnut Hill Academy senior Juan Castellanos (left) and board chair Dick Hayne (right) were recognized at the school’s 2019 Commencement ceremony with a special new award named for the iconic shield that is part of the official school seal: The Shield Award.

In addition to a Commencement ceremony celebrating the 114 members of the Class of 2019, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy celebrated the service of trustee board chair Dick Hayne with a new award given in his name. The award was given in honor of Hayne’s two decades of stewardship of the school as he steps down as chair of the Board of Trustees at the end of June.

The SCH Shield Award – the highest honor bestowed on an SCH senior – “recognizes that student who has expanded their full academic and personal potential while leading a life characterized by thoughtfulness, integrity and a quest to effect positive change.” Juan Castellanos, a “lifer” from Mt. Airy, was the inaugural recipient of the Shield Award. During his years at the school, Castellanos exemplified the school’s values of integrity, courage, thoughtfulness, resilience and diversity, and distinguished himself in the eyes of his teachers for his genuine intellectual curiosity and inclusivity.

Castellanos is a signature SCH student, one with many passions and wholly engaged in the life of the school. He sings in the a cappella ensemble and is a member of the Current Events club and Community Council with oversight of our Student Facilitators’ training and the production of two major annual diversity conferences.

Faculty on the selection committee cited Castellanos’ genuine interest in learning and the depth of his knowledge and his verbal and written expression; they mentioned the empathy with which he approaches his work with peers; and they noted his compassionate and strong leadership.

Universally, they shared, “Juan is respected by everyone in the community, and has made the school a better place by his presence and involvement.”

In addition to being a well-rounded SCH student, Castellanos is a nationally recognized ballet dancer and a graduate of the Metropolitan Ballet Academy where has performed in countless Met Company performances. He danced the part of Fritz in “The Nutcracker” with Pennsylvania Ballet for three years, performed with the Kirov Ballet, and most recently the Juneau Ballet. He will study on full scholarship at the Charlotte Ballet this summer and then join its professional dancers’ trainee program in the fall.