APA Cum Laude Society: A unique honor
APA Cum Laude inductees were, front row, from left, Tonya McLawhorn, Cambria Duke, Blythe Brantley, Emily Piwowarski, William McPhaul and Ben Hart; back row, Rachel Alexander-Lee, Simal Omer, Reagan Perry, Emily Angel, Allison Christiano and Natalie Christiano. Submitted photo
Arendell Parrott Academy celebrated academic success recently.
“We’re excited that you’re here to help us honor 11 Parrott Academy student scholars and one adult faculty scholar,” Headmaster Bert Bright told an audience of parents and Cum Laude Society members on April 3.
The small group had gathered in the school library for APA’s spring Cum Laude Society induction ceremony.
In 2013 , Parrott was accepted to host one of 382 Cum Laude Society chapters worldwide. It is one of only 11 schools throughout the state to have a CLS chapter, and the only school in Eastern North Carolina to offer membership in the honorary organization that is like Phi Beta Kappa for high school students.
Many other organizations honor students’ leadership, service activities or grades. Cum Laude recognizes not just GPA but a desire to learn. It also inducts outstanding faculty, as well as students.
As senior Wrenn McCrae Whitfield puts it, “This Society is a fellowship of scholars.”
Nationally, the Society sponsors a Cum Laude Paper essay competition. In 2015, Parrott graduate Hawes Collier was one of eight winners and received a $500 award for his essay on Shakespeare and Elizabethan culture.
At the recent induction, senior Cum Laude members Brianne Cregan, Grace Newhall, Sam Okonkwo, Hannah Steinberg and Wrenn McCrae Whitfield spoke about the values of the Society to the new CLS students.
Parrott has six faculty Cum Laude members, and this year, math teacher Tonya McLawhorn was also inducted.
“These highly motivated and intelligent young people inspire me every day to teach in a more meaningful way,” she said. “I’m extremely honored to walk beside them as a CLS inductee.”