GPS Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude Society

Seventeen receive the school's highest honor
As we near the end of the 2023-24 school year, we recognize and install our newest members into Cum Laude Society. Seventeen seniors, each of whom has flourished throughout her years at GPS, were welcomed with written words of affirmation and praise from their chosen mentors. Friends, family, faculty and staff, and peers gathered in Frierson Theatre for the ceremony. 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, “This organization was founded almost a hundred years ago to celebrate excellence in scholarship, and the young women onstage have clearly shown their commitment to developing their capacity for ethical, empathetic inquiry and innovative problem-solving.  They’ve shaped their minds into tools, their tools, for building a better future.”

In honor of the inductees, Callie said, “These girls onstage have ventured out on to the sea of knowledge. With passion they’ve pursued the secrets of the soul in literature, the intricate harmonies of mathematics and science; they’ve unlocked new worlds through language acquisition, weighed the continuities and contingencies of history. ” She continued by recognizing the guidance of their teachers, coaches, and mentors as well as the unwavering love and pride of their families. 

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.

Hoda Alameddine
Ms. Berotti wrote:
"Hoda balances a deep commitment to family, an investment in service, and high academic goals. She moves positively toward challenges with the humility to seek assistance and the strength to buckle down and work. And, even at her busiest, she exudes a sense of humor and compassion. Whether writing a literary paper, arguing about social issues, or exhorting her brother to stop believing he’s a cat, she expresses herself with kindness and conviction, working with and through the two highly fluent tracks of language in her head. Knowing both her ‘twoness’ and her own singular character, Hoda makes us better. Hoda Alameddine, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Noor Ali
Ms. Berotti wrote:
“Noor knows how to ‘do school,’ but she doesn’t merely attend class. She gets excited, makes connections, and takes charge. Introduced to Toni Morrison, Noor then embraced Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Assata Shakur. Noor is thoughtful, especially about issues related to identity, and in conversation, she often holds back and then drops a comment that gives everyone pause. Once, she commented that she prefers to listen first because ‘there is often more to learn from others than from just myself,’ adding that this makes her own writing ‘stronger and multifaceted.’ Multifaceted, Noor is built for more than superficial success. Noor Ali, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Caroline Barnes 
Dr. Harrison wrote:
“Caroline Barnes is a born leader, in both word and deed. We’ve seen her on Student Council, known for being easy to approach and getting things done. It is even more evident in rowing, where she helped establish the team’s core values and then lived them. But it is most evident in the classroom, where she leads in discussion and class activity, cutting through the most difficult concepts and boiling them down to their core issues. She helps her classmates, as she does her teammates, through the difficult patches so they can succeed together in the end. Caroline Barnes, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Holly Beale
Dr. Harrison wrote:
“Holly Beale is the definition of a girl boss. As a child, she bossed around friends’ siblings to do their chores. Now she goes into ‘CLC Mode’ and takes control whenever she sees a need. That could be in a class discussion or when she tackled a midnight cabin crisis on class retreat. Or it could be when she was on the swim or cross-country teams, always the first to practice and then encouraging her teammates on. Holly is always there when people need her. We should all be so lucky as to have a Holly Beale in our lives. Holly Beale, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Caroline Breazeale
Mrs. Zahrobsky wrote:
“When you hear the name Caroline Breazeale, you immediately feel a warm blanket wrapping around your heart. You feel calm, peaceful and that everything going wrong will right itself. Her commitment to academic excellence challenges you but isn’t intimidating because of her humbleness. Whether she is acing an AP test, physically and emotionally lifting another dancer, or assisting at her family camp the goal is the same; to be the best Caroline she can possibly be so that others can be seen, heard and applauded. It’s never about Caroline. But fortunately today it is, and this recognition is so deserved. Caroline Breazeale, welcome to Cum Laude!”

Gigi Breazeale
Mrs. Webb wrote:
“Gigi embodies authenticity, joy, and humility, making her a quietly influential leader. Growing up at her family's Alpine Camp, she learned the value of genuine connections and loyalty. Unassuming and unpretentious, Gigi's sincerity shines through in every interaction. She doesn't seek attention but effortlessly earns admiration through her genuine demeanor. Her quiet strength and unwavering loyalty surprise those around her, revealing a heart as genuine as it is steadfast. Inspired by the children's book Roxaboxen, she embodies resilience and imagination, always finding beauty in simplicity. Gigi's loyalty, uniqueness, and unwavering authenticity make her a truly deserving recipient of this honor. Gigi Breazeale, welcome to Cum Laude!”
Zoe Byers
Mrs. Pieritz wrote:
“Zoe Byers embodies humility, openness, and curiosity. She learns with eagerness, questioning and exploring every avenue with a sense of wonder and a keen eye for detail. Zoe’s humility shows up in her willingness to listen, to learn from others, never expecting to land in the spotlight. But Zoe, today we celebrate YOU and all that you have accomplished here at GPS. From skillfully managing pixel art competitions to programming solutions to AP problems, you’ve embraced challenges with enthusiasm and lifted others up along the way. Your journey testifies to your dedication, integrity, and unwavering passion for discovery. Zoe Byers, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Abigail Carpenter 
Mr. Zeller wrote:
“Abigail Carpenter is a genuine renaissance woman who meets her pursuits with the utmost excellence. One who encapsulates this jack-of-all-trades classification is often perceived negatively, but Abby breaks down such barriers. Her accolades go vastly beyond the world of academia, but as a mathematician she is one of the best GPS has ever had walk our halls. Outside of attaining the highest successes, she is a humble class leader who others gravitate to for caring insight and wisdom as they tackle challenging concepts that were once foreign. Abigail truly masters her endeavors, and is someone who I respect and admire. Abigail Carpenter, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Ash Day
Ms. Hamilton wrote:
“With a twinkle in her eye and a droll wit, Ash pokes holes in hypocrisies and hyperbole. What’s going on beneath the surface in literature, in history? Ask Ash. An incomprehensible line of code? Ash will puzzle it out; she’s smart, hardworking, and tenacious. With an incisive mind and strong ethical center, she seeks and finds truth. Ash’s heart is as gentle as her intellect is sharp.  Looking for empathy, acceptance for who you really are? Go find Ash. In class, with friends, backstage and onstage, Ash is a bright light – DAYlight. Mathematician, linguist, historian, pirate, friend, advocate: Ash Day, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Lucie DeGaetano
Mr. Lyons wrote:
“Like the rocket Lucie built for Physics, Lucie is sure to soar on a path straight and true to the highest of heights. Lucie has a spring in her step and a can-do attitude which are the reasons she excels, both in the classroom and on the field. In addition to her strong work ethic and incredible intellect, Lucie has an insatiable love of learning, and can often be heard exclaiming ‘this is so cool!’ when she learns something new. However, Lucie’s most amazing characteristic is her compassion for others demonstrated by her willingness to always help her classmates. Lucie DeGaetano, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Maddie Frierson
Mr. Reich wrote:
“A dedicated scholar across all disciplines, but with a particular affinity for the social sciences, Maddie Frierson is poised for immense success as a scholar as she moves forward. Her deft writing ability, combined with curiosity and an innate interest in bettering the world, have helped cultivate a young lady with broad interests and a well-developed ability to communicate her passions. Engaged with her community, inspired to grow intellectually, and keenly self-aware, Maddie is fully present in conversation, compassionate, rational, empathetic, and kind. She is a force to be reckoned with and is someone I am truly in awe of. Maddie Frierson, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Ella Harris
Ms. Dix wrote:
“Ella Harris embodies the GPS ideals of integrity and purpose. She’s an intellectual powerhouse and is an individual who is her own person. The depth of her understanding of herself and her values empowers Ella to advocate and stand up for others; although she is unfailingly gracious and understanding, she does not back down when fighting for what is right. She teaches others what it looks like to approach challenges with composure as well as empathy. Her capacities for abstract thinking, collaborative creation, and thoughtful inquiry are legendary; the mark she has left on our community is indelible. Ella Harris, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Arysa Kayasit
Dr. Guernsey wrote:
“Whether proposing solutions to global challenges in French, mastering concepts in physics, or rowing toward the finish line stroke by stroke, Arysa is a highly adaptable and diligent individual who consistently exceeds expectations in all that she sets out to do. A thoughtful student mature beyond her years, she does not hesitate to ask questions, take risks, and dig deep to hone her skills and understanding. Determination has been a key factor to her success, and a quality that has carried her through a variety of challenges. Even when things get tough, she pushes forward to achieve her goals. Arysa Kayasit, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Lavender Kring
Mr. Lyons wrote:
“Lavender is warm, friendly, optimistic, and extremely hardworking. She impressed me with the effort she put in to succeed in Physics, and is a joy in my advisory. No matter the activity, she will put forth her best effort and that is why she is so successful not only in academics, but also in her extracurricular activities. She also has a great sense of humor which all around her enjoy. And like the character she dressed up as last year, Vector, she has both magnitude and direction. Lavender has a magnitude of talents and a clear direction for her future. Lavender Kring, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Isabel Ponce
Mrs. Durham wrote:
“Outside the physics classroom, paper targets are posted. The students are asked to calculate where to place the paper on the floor so that a launched metal ball hits the center. One target has 0.16% error written on it – not 16 or even 1.6 but 0.16%. It is Isabel Ponce’s target. This illustrates Isabel’s intellect, dedication, and work ethic. She is on target in her academic studies and in rowing. Not many can boast such a low error when attempting the challenges of honors and AP courses along with participating in a year-round sport. Isabel easily can. Isabel Ponce, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Claire Scotchie
Dr. Noel wrote:
“Your May Queen is not only respected, admired, and giving of her time and talent, but one who stands for the highest ideals and represents all that is GPS. Claire Scotchie first dazzled me in ninth grade as she will not only change the world, but inspire positive change in all. She is a natural born leader who possesses an inquisitive mind, an impressive ability to build harmonious relationships, and a genuine pursuit to live a life of integrity and purpose. Claire exemplifies the Cum Laude motto of Areté (excellence), Diké (justice) and Timé (Honor) with humility and grace. Claire Scotchie, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Teagan Tobias
Mr. Zeller wrote:
“Teagan Tobias manifests a love for STEM, always finding ways to stretch herself academically and experientially. She exhibits zeal making connections that most others cannot fathom. Teagan’s thirst for knowledge and genuine passion for learning have been evident in her proactive approach to education pursuing STEM opportunities that go beyond the standard curriculum and subsequently deepen understanding, challenge her limits, and apply her curiosity. This approach not only enhances her academic knowledge but fosters critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and a real-world understanding of this challenging field that I am confident Teagan will continue to blaze through in her future pursuits. Teagan Tobias, welcome to Cum Laude.”
Following the introduction of the new members, Hamilton offered the following charge: “As you venture beyond GPS, we challenge you not only to explore, but to use what you discover for the benefit of all. You’ll do well; do good also. We know you will.” 

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

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