KO celebrates seniors at the annual Cum Laude dinner


On Tuesday, April 26, KO formally inducted 20 members of the senior class into the Cum Laude Society and hosted the annual Cum Laude dinner. The night serves not only to induct the students, but to celebrate their academic achievements as well.

The following seniors were inducted: William Berckemeyer, Caroline Boardman, Mackenzie Caruso, Zeno Chen, Edward Crowther, Macy Isenberg, Minseo Kim, Emma Levinbook, Megan Murphy, Shrinaath Narasimhan, Amrita Natarajan, Olivia Reynolds, Justin Rios, Stella Risinger, Aliza Sadiq, Patrick Schwab, David Shi, Marrich Somridhivej, Nathaniel Welsh, and Qiaorui “Charles” Zhao. 

Cum Laude members are chosen by virtue of the students’ weighted GPAs from their combined junior year and the first semester of their senior year. These calculations award those students who challenge themselves with the honors and AP classes available to them; however, this honor is not achieved solely by taking higher-level classes. 

According to the President of the KO Cum Laude Chapter and English teacher Ron Monroe, induction into Cum Laude means sustained academic excellence and a practiced work ethic. “It is not just one class or one paper; it is sustained over a period of time,” he said. “Quite frankly, even though we do just go over the GPA from the junior and senior years, those good habits and sound habits of mind and approach to schoolwork are formulated before that. Any kind of academic program that a student takes in their junior or senior year is predicated on what they do in their freshman and sophomore years.”

The induction ceremony took place in the library, where the 20 members received their certificates and pins, joined by their parents and teachers in attendance. Afterward, they moved to the cafeteria for a celebratory dinner, provided by Sage Dining. The night included speeches from several members of the faculty including Mr. Monroe, as well as Cum Laude member and KO alumna Bridie Clark Leverro ‘95. Mrs. Leverro reflected on the high standards she set that did not pan out and the lessons they taught her. She shared how these failures helped her focus on how to move forward and improve, rather than letting herself be dragged down with disappointment. 

Caroline greatly enjoyed the night and was excited to be a part of the society. “I know I do well in school, and I do a lot of extracurricular activities, but it’s always a nice kind of validation, like ‘Yay somebody noticed!’” she said. “It was nice to have everyone together to celebrate, and just have fun.”

Director of Academic Skills and mother of senior Cum Laude inductee Macy Isenberg, Jackie Rubin, reflected on the night with mixed emotions. “It was both happy and sad,” she said. “The event felt very special, and these students were really a select group. She [her daughter, Macy] is ready [for the future] and off to more great experiences; I will miss her terribly, but I’m very proud of her.”

Mr. Monroe hopes that students will come away from this experience with more than a certificate and a high GPA. “I understand that there are so many extrinsic reasons for learning (college, grades, and such), but I also hope that somewhere along the way the students come to know learning for its own sake,” he said. “It’s good to learn new things, it’s good to learn in areas that you weren’t even sure you were interested in and you realize you are, or areas that you didn’t think you were good at but you find out you are. Those ideas and aspects of learning for its own sake are important as well.”

As Mr. Monroe’s final year at KO comes to a close, so too does his involvement with the KO Cum Laude chapter, leaving the position to be filled by KO alum, Cum Laude member, and French teacher Ryan Brodeur. 

Congratulations to all of the seniors who were inducted Cum Laude this year!