GPS Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude

Fifteen receive the school's highest honor
As senior year winds down for the Class of 2022, we recognize and install our newest members into Cum Laude Society. Fifteen seniors join the company of their high-achieving sisters before them with words of affirmation and praise from their chosen mentors read in front of invited guests and the entire school community in Frierson Theatre. A reception was held at Founder’s House following the installation for the inductees and their invited guests.

Physics teacher and President of the Cum Laude Committee Bryant Haynes welcomed those in attendance and explained the importance of the day. “Today, we honor our school, we honor the efforts of our full community, by honoring the excellence of 15 students who have fulfilled our mission in exemplary ways,” he said. “Induction into the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic honor that GPS bestows upon its students.” 

In honor of the inductees, Haynes said, “Each girl honored today created her own path toward academic excellence—areté—by pushing herself to achieve her potential. Each girl elected to challenge herself, taking up difficult course work, persisting through trying times, persevering in the face of difficulties, balancing many other responsibilities in her life—diké. And as each achieved a large measure of academic success, she was aided in her quest by a family who cheered her on, and by teachers who nurtured her steps. Our Cum Laude inductees have nurtured the fire kindled in them by their studies. Each has worked very hard during her time here at GPS—timé. ”

To induct each student into Cum Laude, Haynes and fellow committee member and Chair of the Spanish Department Dr. Erin Montero-Ragno read thoughtful quotes written by each girl’s chosen mentor.

Mary Catherine Clelland
Dr. Ralph Covino wrote:
“Once upon a time, Clelland was the curious and smiling face of GPS, greeting visitors on the webpage. Since then, she has developed into an iconic GPS archetype, the triple threat; excelling in the humanities and sciences and the arts. Indeed, she once merged all three into her group’s daring performance of “The Radium Dance” for National History Day. A valued team member who lifts those around her up, sometimes literally in Terpsichord, Clelland shares her gifts freely, confident in the knowledge that her best is very great indeed.”
Alyse Lillian Coakley
Ms. Katelyn Dix wrote: 
“Alyse approaches the world with wit, curiosity, and a sense of awe and wonder. Her love of art and self-expression shine in the way that she engages with peers, teachers, texts, projects, and problems with both care and delight. Everyone who knows her remarks on her sense of humor and the joy that she finds in the little things; her versatility and intellect are evident in the flexibility of thought she applies to her passions, from environmental stewardship to cat videos to decorating her closet walls.”
Frances Jean Crowe
Mrs. Erin Davis Sizemore ’98 wrote: 
“Frances is a leader with a servant heart. In the past four years, her numerous talents have exploded in the classroom, on stage, and in the important role of Honor Council President. She is empathetic and willingly works both when it's easy and difficult. Wise beyond her years, Frances is fully present in all that she does, and her efforts and enthusiasm are apparent to all. Her teachers, guest artists, and fellow classmates all applaud her dedication, trust, and passion. It has been my pleasure to work and learn from Frances Crowe.”
Hannah Kathleen Eftink
Dr. Andrea Becksvoort wrote:
“Working with Kate is a joy. In AP Research, Kate proposed comparing the figurative language of people in solitary confinement with those in the general population. Kate encountered several unexpected challenges, including the complete removal of the poetry archive that her research depended on. A true researcher, she simply changed course, followed up, and solved the problem. Kate consistently advocates for herself in thoughtful and balanced ways; she shows a self-reliance and professionalism beyond her years.”
Isabella Kathryn Fivas
Dr. Derek Gromadzki wrote:
“When Ellie’s name comes up in conversation with colleagues, not once does someone fail to commend her inveterate curiosity and inexhaustible inner resources. Because of the former, she has starred in and co-directed plays, skippered Kaleidoscope, learned French, and explored 5,000 years of art history. On account of the latter, she has not once flagged; she has run roughshod through a gamut of advanced coursework that would leave the faint of heart gasping in tachycardic rictus.”
Emma Grace Hamilton
Ms. Jenise Gordon wrote: 
“Emma may be small, but she is mighty. An ambitious thinker and problem-solver, she isn’t afraid to tackle challenges. A confident leader with an ability to combine a growth mindset, fierce work ethic, and keen analytical skills, her accomplishments abound. She is as brilliant in the classroom as she is in front of a courtroom. In an often too-divided climate of echo chambers that rewards the loud and viral, Emma listens intently, thinking about how she can be clear and healing. She is a most refreshing ‘old-soul.’”
Willa Grace Mirmelstein
Ms. Katy Berotti wrote: 
“I first saw Willa's wisdom and kindness on our Yosemite Winterim, evident as she listened carefully to rangers, strangers, and peers, and then chose to hike beside the slowest in the group (me). These generous qualities also shone in the AP English classroom. Whether discussing our justice system or an author's complex language, she offered not only deep insights and empathy but also, to my delight, a playful dexterity with language, allowing me to jot in her margin one of my favorite comments: ‘Ha ha.’”
Aarushi Chandresh Modi
Mr. Mark Krawczyk wrote: 
“Aarushi first crossed my path when auditioning for Much Ado About Nothing. She impressed me not only with her intelligent understanding of character and capable handling of Shakespeare’s language, but also by standing up for her own artistic choices … and refusing to say one of The Bard's swear words. These qualities earned her the role of Hero, which is an appropriate title for the quality of her character and the devotion she showed to that production, her artistry, her academics, and her circle of many, many friends.”
Chloe Margrethe Newman
Dr. Steve Harrison wrote:
“When sorting AP Euro into Harry Potter houses, I was told that Chloe should be Slytherin. It's understandable; several teachers expect her to take over a small country. (Netherlands, I hope you’re listening.) In Model UN, she so dominated her committee that some delegates were afraid to engage with her. In AP Gov, she is my proxy teacher for gerrymandering; she understands it better than I do. Some underestimate Chloe at first glance, but only the foolish do it twice. So, Chloe, good luck in Maastricht, but really, good luck to Maastricht.”
Chloe Magdalena Nicola
Mr. Chris Zeller wrote:
“Chloe pursues her endeavors with genuine passion and relentless effort, achieving a high level of success. On the tennis court and in the classroom, she exhibits a zeal that is clear to all. When faced with disappointment, Chloe has been able to persist through her grit, innate abilities, and focus. Her amazingly positive attitude assists her forward progress and also benefits those around her. This mentality will be essential for her success at Georgia Tech, where she will further delve into the study of mathematics.”
Abbey Katelyn Pettus
Mr. Bryant Haynes wrote:
“Abbey Katelyn's intelligence is matched by her delightful enthusiasm. During our bullseye lab on projectile motion, in which we predict where a marble rolling off a table will hit a target, Abbey Katelyn led the group in aligning the equipment. She videoed their 'Moon Shot,' and as the ball successfully landed, much hugging and shouting ensued. She leads the class in technical conversation when solving problems, and her peers look to her for leadership. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be getting one of our best!”
Emelia Foerster Richey
Dr. Brandon Noel wrote:
“Emmy Richey should go into politics. She is not only a candidate I would vote for, but one I would campaign for. Emmy possesses the intellect, confidence, and energy to lead. She is driven by her desire to advocate for those who are less empowered. The narrative of Emmy's tenure at GPS is quite clear: She has excelled in the classroom, in the pool, on the trails, and with her peers and teachers. Now, she needs to hurry and graduate from college, so that we can vote for someone who will truly make a tremendous difference in the world!”
Minah Jane Sadrabadi
Ms. Callie Hamilton wrote: 
“Minah is a modern-day mix of Lewis and Clark with the drive to go long distances, whether in cross country or academics, where her goal is not a grade but understanding. From APUSH to Social Justice, Minah explores the terrain, growing ever more adept as she pushes herself to navigate the challenges specific to each subject. But where Jefferson’s explorers did finally reach the Pacific, Minah has no fixed destination; her passion for learning, for self-improvement, will make her life a journey of perpetual discovery.”
Ellen Eades Taliaferro
Mrs. Diane Walker wrote:
“Ellie's participation in class varies between insightful and brilliant to bizarre and hilarious. I am consistently delighted and inspired by her positive energy and her enthusiasm. Her work ethic, moreover, is beyond reproach. The same quick intellect, steady work ethic, and exuberance for learning show her formidable competitive nature, and I often find myself trying to reel it in while still inspiring that championship attitude that she possesses. High-caliber work and high-voltage energy have always been her hallmarks.”
Lauren Elizabeth Thacker
Dr. Brandon Guernsey wrote:
“A dedicated scholar across many disciplines, Lauren has a particular affinity for all things French. From playing a controversial politician in a mock campaign, to researching social implications of religious differences, to creating a promotional tourism video, she embraces her francophile tendencies. Her respect for others and interest in international affairs extend to her commitments to Mock Trial and JSA, and role as the Director General for Model United Nations. A model global citizen, Lauren stands to accomplish great things for our  world.”


Following each new member’s introduction, Haynes offered the following charge: “The distinguished record you have made here at the Girls Preparatory School has won for you membership in the Cum Laude Society. This Society is a fellowship of scholars whose purpose is to recognize excellence in academic work. As you pursue your education, it is our hope that you will accept the honor of membership in this Society as a responsibility to make some contribution to the ongoing search for greater understanding of the world in which we live.” 

The singing of “The Alma Mater,” the GPS school song, closed the event. 

The Cum Laude Selection Committee
Mr. Haynes, president
Ms. Berotti · Ms. Gordon · Ms. Hamilton · Mrs. Walker · Dr. Montero Rangno 

The Cum Laude Motto
Areté · Excellence
Diké · Justice
Timé · Honor

To view more photos from the event, visit our SmugMug page.