13 Students Inducted into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude

oak knoll cum laude societyIn a joint online and in-person ceremony in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts, seven Oak Knoll School seniors and six juniors were recognized for their academic excellence and were inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Thursday, March 18, 2021. 

Students were inducted into Cum Laude — a society that recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence, justice and honor — during a ceremony that took place over a live Zoom meeting due to COVID-19 along with family, classmates, faculty and staff. 

Students inducted into the society represent the top 10 percent of their class.

Seniors who were inducted are: Keely Comizio ’21 of Basking Ridge, Cara Minter ’21 of Morristown, Heather O’Hern ’21 of Westfield, Christine Senich ‘21 of Franklin Lakes, Greta Criqui ’21 of Essex Fells, Maeve Olson 21 of Ridgewood and Christina Sutton ’21 of Madison.

The seniors were joined in person by their classmates inducted last year as juniors including Teresa Pollard ’21 of South Orange, Caroline Maher ’21 of Westfield, Leticia Sefia ’21 of Irvington, Bryana Slough ’21 of Madison, Jodie De Jesus ’21 of Summit, Ava Longarzo ’21 of Morristown and Emma Gamboa ’21 of Landing.

Juniors inducted into the Society include Gabrielle Delano ’22 of Summit, Janet Pearce ’22 of Morristown, Samantha Petrucco ’22 of Short Hills, Teagan Kocaj ’22 of Westfield, Caroline Nestor ’22 of Madison and Sophie Wilkinson ’22 of Randolph.

Oak Knoll alumna Alex Lorditch ’10, who was scheduled to be the in-person Cum Laude keynote speaker in March 2020 before the pandemic hit, addressed the new inductees this year online. 

“Endless credit goes to you students for continuing to push through when you’ve been thrown more obstacles than anyone should have at your age,” said Lorditch. “You’re the first students in the history of the world to experience learning this way – you pushed through and I hope you can recognize what an incredible accomplishment this is.”

Jennifer Peterson, Upper School Dean of Teaching and Learning, is president of Oak Knoll’s Cum Laude chapter. Additional Oak Knoll faculty members now serving three-year terms include Kathleen Skiff, Director of College Counseling; Margaret Widder, Upper School math teacher; and Dr. Sylvia McTague, Upper School English teacher, who will serve as secretary.

“We are so incredibly proud of our students who have academically persevered through an unprecedented year,” said Peterson. “It’s wonderful to be able to recognize these young women for all that they have accomplished in their time here at Oak Knoll and all they still have to offer in years to come.”

Oak Knoll formally became part of the Cum Laude Society 35 years ago. The Cum Laude Society originated in Maryland in 1906 to ensure that scholastic achievement be accorded as much recognition as that given to other accomplishments.

Oak Knoll School’s Computer Science Department Chair, Talia Nochumson, Ed.D.