Twenty Byram Hills High School seniors were honored for their academic achievement as they were inducted into the Cum Laude Society during a ceremony in late October. Byram Hills High School Principal, Christopher Walsh, pointed out the importance of the event for three main reasons. He said, “First, it allows us to focus on and celebrate these students whose GPA are within the top 10% of their class. Next, we get to honor faculty members who are being inducted into Cum Laude and gain inspiration from their remarks. Finally, inductees have invited teachers who have had a positive impact on their learning and this tradition represents the best of Byram Hills.”
Walsh continued by sharing that the class of 2020 was special to him because they were incoming freshmen the year he started as Byram Hills High School principal. The first time he met with them that year, he asked them to write down on index cards something special about themselves. Walsh salvaged the inductees’ index cards and read their responses to the audience. Along with their academic growth over the years, the cards demonstrated tremendous growth in the inductees’ character, personalities, and identities.
The faculty addresses were given by high school math teacher, Chris Lewick and Social Studies Chairperson, Jen Laden, who were inducted into the Cum Laude Society during last year’s ceremony. Lewick delivered his address in the form of an audience participation song with an impactful message: Create your own opportunities, never set limits and enlist all the people you can in your life. Laden offered the following advice, “My wish for the honorees is that you can experience learning opportunities that help you to develop empathy and that you never lose the desire to engage with others.”
Dr. Sandra Abt, Chapter President of the Byram Hills Cum Laude Society, said, “Perspective will help you become happier, more successful and more self-fulfilled. Try new things and don’t judge in advance.” Dr. Abt closed by saying, “Your future lies before you–make the most of it.”
The two 2019 staff inductees were English teacher, Lisa Squadron and Byram Hills Superintendent, Dr. Jen Lamia. The students inducted into Cum Laude were: Samuel Aberman, Christina Ferrari, Victoria Ganeles, Benjamin Hammond, Madison Higgins, Kallie Hoffman, Sarah Ilany, Spencer Karp, Caroline Kelly, Alison Lehman, Elena Lowe, Ella Manners, Meredith Mayers, Isabelle Nelson, Dominic Picca, Arielle Ragals, Bryan Roden, Allison Stillman, Reese Tateo and Michael Vaquero.
The Cum Laude Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1907 to recognize scholastic achievement in secondary schools. Today it has over 350 chapters throughout the country. – Courtesy of Byram Hills Media Center
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BYRAM HILLS MEDIA CENTER