News

23 Students Inducted Into Cum Laude Society

Cum Laude Society Inductees 2021

Twenty-three Shady Side Academy seniors were recognized for academic excellence by being inducted into the SSA Chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Monday, May 3, 2021. The induction ceremony was held in the Richard E. Rauh Theater of the Hillman Center for Performing Arts, with only inductees, their families, select faculty members and administrators, and the guest speaker attending in person due to COVID-19 gathering limits. The ceremony was livestreamed to the rest of the Senior School student body and faculty, who watched it virtually in advisory groups.

The major objective of the Cum Laude Society is to recognize student academic excellence. Each chapter may elect those members of the senior class who have had an honor record up to the time of election and who stand in the first fifth of their class. The individual chapter certifies honor record, academic honesty and class standing.

The 2020-2021 Cum Laude Society inductees are:

Cum Laude seal
  • Ishika Arora
  • Gabriella Bernier
  • Luke Brennan
  • Joshua Castro
  • Caesar Curran-Blakely
  • Annabel Everett
  • Caroline Green
  • Tyler Hart
  • Gabriela Jegasothy
  • Will Karet
  • Andrew Liu
  • Zhuoxin Ma
  • Eve Mango
  • Bennett Marsh
  • Charlotte McDaniel
  • Bridget Onest
  • Julia Roupe
  • Paige Shea
  • Jack Thornton
  • Jason Vasko
  • Xinran Wang
  • Zewei Wu
  • Raymond Zheng

(Note: Three of the inductees who are live remote learners attended the ceremony virtually and are not pictured above.)

SSA President Bart Griffith '93 gave opening remarks, Cum Laude Chapter Secretary Dr. Kelly VandenBosche read the Cum Laude charter, and Senior School Head Trixie Sabundayo read the inductees' names as they received their Cum Laude certificates and pins. Then, Senior School math teacher Betsy Vuchinich '12 introduced her classmate, alumnus Rashaad Phillips '12, who gave the Cum Laude address in person. An outdoor reception was held after the ceremony on the tented Mary Hillman Jennings Plaza.

Alum Rashaad Phillips '12

Phillips is the junior high dean of students at the Lab School of Washington in Washington D.C. Previously, he taught humanities at the Dalton School in New York City and St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H. He earned his M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focused on expressing racial identity in the humanities classroom, and his bachelor's degree from Davidson College, where he majored in sociology, minored in Hispanic studies and was an active leader in the Black Student Coalition and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Phillips also has studied and taught abroad in Ghana, Cambodia and Chile. As an educator, one of his priorities is to create an inclusive environment for students of marginalized communities, not only in the classroom but also through affinity groups, culture clubs and curriculum development.

Congratulations to all 23 Cum Laude inductees!


To submit an idea for a website news story, please email jroupe@shadysideacademy.org.