Four members of the Class of 2021 were inducted into the Cum Laude Society on Thursday, February 25, joining three others who were named previously.
Seniors Jonathan Citron, Thomas Fouts, Noah Levi, and Joshua Paul joined classmates William Berkley, Ali Hindy, and Jack Michalik in Cum Laude at a virtual assembly in Baker Theater.
Academic Dean John Booth presented the awards, and Dana Montanez, chair of the science department, gave the keynote address.
Montanez’ remarks began with the age-old question: When will you know what you want to be when you grow up?
Montanez — who has been full of observation, wonder, and scientific inquiry since she was a little girl — admitted that she didn’t know where her life would take her until after she graduated from college, when a chance encounter landed her a job teaching science at a summer camp.
That’s when “a bomb went off” inside of her — and she discovered she could study and explore until she burst, while at the same time helping others do the same. She could strive to inspire wonder and push her students to ask profound questions that she couldn’t answer herself.
And so, as Montanez concluded, young high-school students don’t need to know what they want to be when they grow up — and they don’t need to have a comprehensive plan in place to help them do it.
“Discovering what you want to do with your life is perfectly enveloped in the old adage: ‘Life is about the journey, not the destination.’ We are each only a collection of our experiences, and it is therefore up to us to make sure those experiences are vast and unique, and that we appreciate them in the moment or later upon reflection," Montanez said.
“Our passion is built on the foundation of having cast a wide net of inquiry, leading to the discovery of what we wanted to be when we grew up.”