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Upper School Honors Convocation Celebrates Students’ Accomplishments

Ravenscroft Upper School celebrated student accomplishments during the annual Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 30. School leadership, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and friends all gathered to recognize students for their distinguished academic, character, service, athletic, arts and spirit-related achievements.

In addition to having 24 members inducted into the Cum Laude Society, the Class of 2019 received nearly 500 offers of admission to 163 colleges, located in 36 states (including Washington, D.C.) and five countries. Seniors received scholarship offers totaling $7.3M and numerous honors and academic program invitations. The class has six National Merit Scholarship finalists, 47 AP Scholars, a Governor's School attendee and several top finishers in the North Carolina Science Olympiad. Congratulations, seniors!

A replay of the 2019 Honors Convocation is available on Livestream and photos are available on Ravenscroft’s Flickr page here.  

The Clarke Worthington Award, one of Ravenscroft’s most distinguished awards given to students, was presented to Kemmia Ghodrat ’19. The Clarke Worthington Award honors the senior whose character, integrity and treatment of other people exemplify leadership by example. The award was presented by Kemmia’s advisor, Associate Head of Upper School Aaron Sundstrom, who shared the following remarks:

I want to pause for a moment to consider the key words of this award: character, integrity, and leadership.  To help me ponder these words, I’ve used the most reliable source available: Google.

The first key word in the description is character. Google tells me that character is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Indeed, this year’s recipient is exemplary in this regard, particularly in her strong moral compass. She knows what she believes to be right and wrong, yet she invites others into dialogue to make connections and to build her own understanding.

Integrity is the next word, and Google includes, among other things, “the quality of being honest.” This year’s recipient is respectfully and unapologetically honest, with her teachers, her peers and with herself. It is another trait that distinguishes her and has earned the respect of all who interact with her.

The last key word is leadership. Google’s first definition is “the action of leading a group of people." Think about that: it is the action of leading others, not necessarily a title or position. At Ravenscroft, we have defined leadership through our Lead From Here framework with the underlying belief that every individual can be a leader in a variety of ways. And this year’s recipient is always leading with her presence, her genuine curiosity of others, the gracious sharing of her perspective and the invitation for others to do the same. Add to that the countless hours she has dedicated to Ravenscroft activities and events including being a member of Culture Observers, serving as emcee for the International Festival and serving as the chair of the State Thespian Officers of the North Carolina Thespians organization.

This last area is the one in which she has perhaps been most visible. This year’s award winner has been an integral member of our drama program, yet she’s not the one on the stage; rather, she’s the one wearing all black, sporting her signature fanny pack and supporting every aspect of each production from backstage.

She’s also the one working behind the scenes developing, polishing and promoting our student-led diversity and inclusion program called SPEAK which stands for Students Pursuing Equity and Kindness.

And all of this speaks to the last two words of the definition of the Clarke Worthington award, “by example.”  This year’s recipient is a leader by example: she leads from behind the scenes, she leads alongside her peers and she stands in front of them and calls on them to expand their horizons.

Below is a partial list of 2019 award winners. Please view the Honors Convocation program for the entire list of scholarship announcements, honors and award winners.

SCHOLAR AWARDS honor one student at each grade level who is considered by the faculty to be the most scholarly student. In addition to grade-point average, the awards recognize creativity, love of learning and ability to reason and be analytical and objective. The Scholar Award takes precedence over all other awards. Scholar Award recipients are:

Grade 9 Lindsey Carter ’22  

Grade 10 Jane Atkeson ’21  

Grade 11 Eleanor Campbell ’20

Grade 12 Erin Pugh ’19

HONOR AWARDS recognize outstanding students across a variety of disciplines and requirements.

Valedictorian, Class of 2019, is the senior with the highest cumulative GPA calculated after exams in May and based on at least four full semesters at Ravenscroft. This year’s valedictorian is Erin Pugh ’19.

Class Speaker, Class of 2019, is a senior who combines the qualities of high scholarship, character and extracurricular involvement and is elected by the members of the class of 2019. This year’s class speaker is Isaac Lamb ’19.

Robert P. Holding Memorial Scholarships honor two sophomores who have demonstrated the qualities of academic excellence, outstanding character and leadership. Recipients must have a cumulative GPA higher than 3.9, participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities and demonstrate outstanding character. This year’s recipients are Thomas Barker ’21 and Caitlyn Hankins ’21.

Rensselaer Medal, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Excellence in Math and Science is awarded to a junior who is a promising student and has distinguished themselves in mathematics and science. The recipient of this award is guaranteed a scholarship worth a minimum $25,000 per year for four years if they are accepted to and enroll in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This year’s recipient is Mark Li ’20.

Johns Hopkins Book Award is presented to the junior who best exhibits the qualities and characteristics that form the core of the Johns Hopkins ethic, including a demonstrated desire for intellectual and moral growth; an uncommon interest in, and capacity for, independent and original scholarship; and the strength of character necessary to employ the results of their scholarship for the betterment of society. The recipient this year is Lauren Carter ’20.

Wellesley College Book Award honors a young woman in the junior class whose academic record and character are exceptional and who has made significant personal contributions to her school and/or community. This year’s recipient is Skylar Wiseman ’20.

Randolph College Classics Book Award is presented to an outstanding junior for their achievements in Classics. The book is Gildersleeve’s Latin Grammar, a reference book used by Classicists since 1895. The recipient of this award will receive a renewable merit scholarship of up to $80,000 if they are accepted to and enroll at Randolph College. This year’s recipient is Grace Vande Berg ’20.

Cliosophic Society Book Award is given by the members of the Ravenscroft Upper School History Department to the exceptional senior or junior who displays singular excellence in the pursuit of historical understanding through scholarship and independent inquiry. The award winner is also recognized by the National History Club as the school’s History Student of the Year. This year’s winner is Erin Pugh ’19.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARDS honor two students at each grade level who have maintained a high scholastic average and have been actively involved in school activities. These students will not receive an academic achievement award or a service award because the Outstanding Student Award encompasses superior achievement in every discipline. Outstanding Student Award recipients are:

Grade 9 Davis Anderson ’22

Grade 9 Delaney Washington ’22

Grade 10 Talia Granick '’1

Grade 10 Nick Fay ’21

Grade 11 Shaurik Deshpande ’20

Grade 11 Elle Schantz ’20

Grade 11 Charlotte Tannenbaum ’20

Grade 12 Quenton Blache ’19

Grade 12 Simone Provencher ’19

Grade 12 Mia Russo ’19

Please join us in congratulating these remarkable students for their accomplishments.