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Cate School Inducts 15 Seniors Into Cum Laude Society

Cate School’s 2014 inductees into the Cum Laude Society include the following seniors: from top left, Nick Burns, Mo Batal, Anna Lueck, Ethan Barretto, Howon Byun; from middle left, Shirin Vetry, Monica Wang, Sydney Luca-Lion, Erika Noble, Matthew Rodman; from bottom left, Christiana Choi, Jean Shen, Madeline Barney, Rachel Pak and Summerlee Allen.

Cate School’s 2014 inductees into the Cum Laude Society include the following seniors: from top left, Nick Burns, Mo Batal, Anna Lueck, Ethan Barretto, Howon Byun; from middle left, Shirin Vetry, Monica Wang, Sydney Luca-Lion, Erika Noble, Matthew Rodman; from bottom left, Christiana Choi, Jean Shen, Madeline Barney, Rachel Pak and Summerlee Allen.  (Cate School photo)

By Sarah Kidwell for Cate School |

Cate School inducted 15 members of the Class of 2014 into the Cum Laude Society during an evening ceremony in their honor on Wednesday.

Founded in 1906, the society recognizes scholastic achievement in secondary schools. Students are chosen for induction based on the quality of their academic work, as well as for demonstrating integrity and good character in all aspects of school life. This year's inductees represent 20 percent of the senior class.

Director of studies Lisa Holmes told those gathered for the ceremony that the selected students have taken advantage of their gifts, actively pursuing their interests and achieving across disciplines. She expressed optimism about what the inductees would offer to the world beyond Cate's campus.

"In little more than a week, we will send these students off into a broader and more complicated and challenging world," Holmes said. "Because of the excellence and integrity they have shown here at Cate, the sense of justice and honor, we send them off in the hope, in the expectation, in the confidence, that they will make the world a better place for all of us."

Headmaster Ben Williams introduced Dr. Helen Moore, an accomplished scholar and researcher in mathematics, who was the honored speaker. Moore was married to the late Colin Day, a member of Cate's mathematics faculty from 2010 until his death from cancer in 2012 at age 51. In her address, she told the inductees and members of the Cate community that though she is "in no danger of forgetting her sadness," she has been able to focus on her path to finding joy.

"I care very much about goals and optimizing our chances of attaining them," she offered. "That's the mathematician in me — my specialty is optimization, which originated from the word optimism, and refers to making the most of something. If one's goals include attaining depth and meaning in our lives, I would consider openness and joy paths to that depth of meaning."

Wednesday's ceremony marked the 61st annual initiation of the Cate School chapter of the Cum Laude Society.

The following students were inducted:

Summerlee Allen
Madeline Barney
Ethan Barretto
Mo Batal
Nick Burns
Howon Byun
Christiana Choi
Sydney Luca-Lion
Anna Lueck
Erika Noble
Rachel Pak
Matthew Rodman
Jean Shen
Shirin Vetry
Monica Wang

— Sarah Kidwell represents Cate School.




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