“After my first year working here, I realized the school had no way of recognizing seniors who had been here all the way through,” Liz Holt said when asked why she created the Fat Pencil Award for seniors. The thought behind calling the award Fat Pencil was that when students start at North Cross, they learn to write with a special fat pencil. The award became a way to honor students who attended North Cross for 12 years, and the youngest students in the school are the ones who present the award to the seniors. The award is slightly different from the Ellis Cup, which is given to seniors with at least 12 consecutive years of attendance at North Cross.
Deborah Jessee, Director of the Lower School, believes the award represents an important awakening for recipients. “It is a big moment of maturity. At the point of leaving our campus, the students realize the significance of the foundation and caring they have received as they head off in the direction they choose,” she said. “Students recall the little moments that impacted them, like a well-timed hug or a moment of correction from a teacher. The award is an ‘ah-ha’ moment for them.”