GPS Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude

Eighteen receive the school's highest honor
As senior year winds down for the Class of 2023, we recognize and install our newest members into Cum Laude Society. Eighteen 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, mentors, and their family members.

History teacher and President of the GPS Cum Laude Committee, Callie Hamilton, welcomed those in attendance saying, “Excellence, justice, and honor comprise the Cum Laude’s Society motto, and these values echo our own school’s commitment to inspire girls to find their own purpose through intellectual engagement, by finding and building community with others, and through cultivation of their passions, strengths, and sense of self-worth.”

In honor of the inductees, Hamilton said, “Today we celebrate these 18 girls’ long record of exceptional scholarship and welcome them into this national society of scholars.”

During the induction, Cum Laude committee members Dr. Brandon Noel and Jill Pala Pieritz ’97 read thoughtful quotes written by each girl’s chosen mentor.

Meghan Boehm
Ms. Callie Hamilton wrote:
“Meghan makes beautiful music, whether she is playing the violin or crafting prose. She composes the melodies and harmonies of her own learning and practices that music with heart, mind, and hard work. In history classes, Meghan prepared for tests by drafting giant timelines on my boards that showed all the intricacy and connectivity of the score for a baroque concerto. She faces challenges in any forum with ferocious determination and unyielding optimism. Her grace and kindness invite others to learn alongside her. Meghan is not ‘bar-oque,’ so don’t fix her! She is sufficiently and quite independently con moto.”
Margaret Cover
Mr. Joe Lyons wrote:
“Margaret not only excels in academics and extracurricular activities but also embodies kindness and compassion. As a physics student, she has demonstrated a strong aptitude for science and is known for her love of learning. On the athletic field of play, she is a fierce competitor, yet always displays sportsmanship. Margaret also has a passion for watching movies and willingly shares her passion with others. Beyond her accomplishments, Margaret's kind and caring nature sets her apart. Margaret's well-rounded achievements and compassionate character make her an admirable role model for others and are going to carry her far in life.”
Sophie Cover
Dr. Steve Harrison wrote:
“Sophie brings a vibrant energy to anything she does. And she does a lot. Be it in the classroom, singing, on the field, or on the squash court, Sophie does everything with enthusiasm and excellence. She always has a smile and makes her classmates and teammates happier when she’s near. Even when she was younger, no matter how hard she fell while playing, she would always bounce back up smiling and say ‘I'm OK.’ You can almost hear her singing ‘Don’t rain on my parade,’ not that anyone could. She brings her own sunshine, and we're all better off for it.”
Erin Ensign
Mrs. Augusta Glendenning Webb ’99 wrote:
“Erin is the fifth of the Ensign sisters—a grand finale, perhaps? The heart of a school is the character and kindness of its people. Kindness and character: that’s Erin. She’s an excellent student and tennis player, but her heart has the greatest impact on GPS. Erin builds others up and listens well, making space for others to speak and lead alongside her. Passionate about a peaceful world, she was instrumental in creating our Peaceful Place. Moving forward, she plans to combine medicine and her Spanish skills to serve others. Whatever she does, Erin will lead and serve with grace.”
Rowan Espy
Mrs. Laurel Moore Zahrobsky ’90 wrote:
“Rowan attacks academics with vigor, integrity, and tenacity. She sets goals and consistently works hard to meet them. Her most recent goal of producing a dance concert that included several dance companies didn't directly benefit her but provided funds to help people she may never meet. Her greatest passion lies within the walls of the dance studio, where she found a home and a sisterhood. For seven years, Rowan has achieved her goals in the studio and the classroom all while saving time to help others in need. Rowan, may you always ‘dance in the storm, in your best dress, fearless.’”
Meghan Gardner
Mr. Chris Zeller wrote:
“Meghan is truly a math pioneer at GPS, having taken post-AP courses created specifically for her and a fellow Cum Laude cohort. Her brilliant mind, partnered with her insatiable curiosity and deep thinking, has enabled her to thrive in an academic environment that challenges her at every turn. Rather than shying away from challenges, she embraces them wholeheartedly, diving deep into complex concepts and seeking out innovative solutions many others cannot fathom. Meghan’s dedication and hard work have earned her recognition in all fields of academia, and we should strive to emulate these virtues given the success witnessed by students and faculty alike.”
Lauren Hammontree
Mrs. Erin Davis Sizemore ’98 wrote:
“Lauren has always been curious, contemplative, and wise beyond her years. Her academic maturity and talent were, in fact, so advanced that she skipped an entire grade and will graduate from GPS and begin college at the age of 17. Lauren has faced challenges with a positive attitude and unparalleled sense of determination and grit. Whether engaging in the classroom, working with precision and accuracy in the lab setting, negotiating mock trials in the courtroom, or conversing with delegates through Model United Nations, Lauren is collaborative, yet, dare I say, competitive. Lauren, keep working hard, dreaming big, and following your heart.”
Mary Chapman Hayes
Mr. Patrick Winecoff wrote:
“Mary Chapman Hayes is a true scholar-athlete and a beloved member of the GPS community. Her passion for learning is evident in the way she engages with her peers and teachers, while also excelling on the soccer field as a key contributor on a state championship team. She leads by example and inspires others to give their best. Mary's kindness and warmth have endeared her to all her friends. She is a model of what it means to be a dedicated academic achiever and a successful athlete.”
Soree Kim
Mr. Keith Sanders wrote:
“When Soree enters, everything brightens. Perhaps it is the sheer power of her intellect, determination, and curiosity, illuminating concepts and ideas with her answers and, more importantly, her questions. Perhaps it is the music that is not simply a refined talent, but a part of who she is … an aura that precedes her. Perhaps it is her smile and laughter that project the joy and exuberance with which she approaches everything she does. Or maybe it is simply the love and affection held for her by anyone already in the room. Honestly, it’s just Soree.”
Hannah Grace Kornberg
Dr. Steve Harrison wrote:
“Hannah Grace brings a quiet excellence to anything she does. It could be winning Best Attorney in Mock Trial or Best Delegate in Model UN. Or it could be cruising in the Constitution Bowl. Or being a leader on the rowing team. Everything she does, she does quietly and with excellence. If I were this talented, I would be tooting my own horn constantly, but HG only does that in pep band. She doesn't ask for or need the praise of others, but I'll give it to her anyway. Hannah Grace is an all-around awesome person.”
Evelyn Lytle
Ms. Callie Hamilton wrote:
“When it comes to solving puzzles, Evelyn Lytle puts Sherlock Holmes to shame. Sudoku whiz that she is, she pieces together historical facts to yield nuanced interpretations; mathematical and scientific mysteries can’t stump her analytical mind. Scaling the heights of climbing walls or calculus problems, Evelyn finds paths through complexity by making astute connections. She does so with glee, taking delight in unraveling concepts to find their core. Parsing a line of code or of poetry, Evelyn’s curiosity propels her to find answers, and those academic understandings frame her views of the larger world, where there are plenty of puzzles to solve.”
Abigail Mann
Dr. Ralph Covino wrote:
“Mann possesses an unusual empathy matched with an unparalleled zeal to set things right. She truly feels for others and stands up for her beliefs. Her remarkable inner wellspring of confidence ensures that she does not back down. Pushing back against awkward poems from the Latin authors, fighting for good on social justice matters, or just duking it out with her sister, Abigail puts formidable argumentative skills to work loudly, often, and effectively. She will continue to be propelled by sheer force of will, built on a solid bedrock of talent and ability. California may not be adequately prepared.”
Sophie McGee
Ms. Katelyn Dix wrote:
“Sophie lives deeply and deliberately. She approaches the world with an open mind, an empathetic heart, and a dedication to serving and enriching the lives of others. Sophie possesses a genuine and profound curiosity and an intellect like a steady, eternal flame. In the classroom, in clubs, with her teammates, with her friends and family, Sophie contributes the grace, stability, and authenticity that are the foundation of true community and solidarity. The adults in her life all agree: It is a joy and a comfort to know that the world of tomorrow will be built by people like Sophie McGee.”
Claire Mitchell
Ms. Katy Berotti wrote:
“Claire Mitchell has questions. Not skeptical, bitter questions, but questions that emerge from open, forthright curiosity. She is a generous peer editor and organized collaborator, and a phenomenally hard worker. In fact, she wrote a persuasive essay on the subject. Acknowledging with empathy the draw of diversions and the COVID ennui, she wrote about the need to stop associating work with stress and sadness and see exertion as a source of power. Steadfast in her commitments, Claire not only asks thoughtful questions, she diligently works to offer productive answers.”
Anya Parambath
Ms. Amanda Byars ’99 wrote:
“Anya is a name we’ve heard many times on this stage, from winning science fairs to Mock Trial competitions to being voted onto the May Court by her peers. She is driven by a hunger to learn and an earnest desire to make an impact. I see this in her growth in the studio, on stage, and as a leader. In addition to her many achievements, Anya continually chooses happiness even when life throws the unexpected at her—making Anya an integral part of the joy on this campus. It will be our joy to watch her as she advances our world.”
Anisha Phade
Dr. Ralph Covino wrote:
“Phade’s academic success onslaught is well-known. We stand, awestruck, by her potential for creativity and discovery and her use of her talents for self-improvement. While one can occasionally see remnants of the early brute-force memorization study method, which often resulted in her firing vocabulary terms from the veritable fact machine gun that is her brain, now before you is a bold, confident scholar, unafraid to tackle the biggest challenges—whose dogged pursuit of the superlative nevertheless pauses to revel in the process of learning and the joy in discovery. She is our best; we rejoice in her achievements.”
Morgan Summerlin
Mr. Chris Zeller wrote:
“Morgan is a remarkable student who embodies the qualities of a true STEM enthusiast. Her thirst for knowledge coupled with her genuine nature has set her apart as a leader and is one classmates look to for guidance. Morgan’s zeal and genuine passion for learning has led her to pursue STEM opportunities outside the classroom as she pursues environments to deepen understanding, stretch herself, and apply her curiosity. The path that Morgan has blazed at GPS is an inspiration to her peers and teachers alike. She has shown that with hard work, persistence, and academic curiosity, anything is possible.”
Anabel Wilson
Ms. Katy Berotti wrote:
“Whether backpacking, writing critical analyses, or leaning into clubs, Anabel gives her best and looks for the best in others. As a repeatedly elected class officer, she has impressed peers and faculty as a deep thinker, organized doer, and compassionate listener. In discussion, Anabel engages respectfully, often with self-deprecating humor and always with attention to her own impact. Intuitive and intentional, she acts as a bridge between cliques—connecting swimmers, student leaders, drama kids, and kids with drama. More than just our favorite doorstop, she is a highly perceptive student of the human condition, and a pretty good human, herself.”

Following the introduction of the new members, Hamilton offered the following charge: “As you pursue your education, we challenge you to also accept the responsibility to make purposeful, positive contributions to the world we live in. We are confident you will.” 

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

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

The Cum Laude Selection Committee
Ms. Callie Hamilton, president
Dr. Erin Montero Rangno · Dr. Brandon Noel · Mrs. Jill Pala Pieritz ’97 · Ms. Beth Creswell Wilson ’96

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