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May 08, 2017

Ranney School Student and Faculty Scholars Inducted into Cum Laude Society

Sixteen seniors and two faculty members were inducted into Ranney School’s Cum Laude Society, the school’s highest scholastic group honor, on April 12. Inductees included the school’s English Department chair Mr. Doug Felter, eighth grade English teacher Dr. Carol Palermo, and the Class of 2017’s Grant Barthelmes and Ashley and Alexa Biswal of Millstone Township, Max Chalnick* of Marlboro, Victor Chu* of Colts Neck, Olivia Castello of Wall, Charles Fabricant of West Allenhurst, Liam Fitzmaurice* of Spring Lake, Danielle Goldwert of Ocean, Nathaniel Kraut of Freehold, Rebekah Lo of Ocean, Joseph Mahoney of Colts Neck, Anjali Mann* and Gregory Marx of Marlboro, Jillian Ross* of Rumson, and Jared Rush of Forked River. (*Denotes students who have attended the school for 10 or more years).

The Cum Laude Society is a national scholastic honor society that recognizes outstanding academic achievement in high school juniors and seniors, inducting only the top 20% of a graduating senior class each year. There are more than 650 chapters in public and private schools across the United States.

As part of the student inductions, senior Anjali Mann addressed the audience of Upper School faculty, students, family, and friends, saying, “When we talk about learning, we are usually focused on the academic aspect of it. However, one of the most important parts of the whole process is allowing ourselves to become comfortable with the emotional aspects of scholarship, such as connecting with people who live different realities, and realizing that we share many things in common.”

Mr. Doug Felter and Dr. Carol Palermo, Ranney Faculty Inductees

Ranney’s Cum Laude Chapter, which also inducts one to two faculty members nominated by their peers each year, is led by Visual Arts Department chair Ms. Kate Greenberg and Upper School English teacher Dr. Nicole Martone. Upon being inducted, Mr. Felter, who holds an M.A. from the Tisch School of the Arts, asked the students to “take the time to thank someone you know who steadfastly questions the ‘truth’ instead of simply accepting the conventional wisdom.”

Mr. Felter received the Outstanding Educator Award from the University of Chicago in 2016. He has served on a state panel for writing standards and one of his publications was selected as a model national standard for the English Language Arts. Prior to joining Ranney, he spent more than 30 years in public school education; 17 of them in administration, including as Director of Curriculum & Instruction for the Clark Public Schools.

In her faculty reflection, Dr. Palermo talked about the difference between looking at the world, and truly seeing the world. “When you truly see things, they stay with you, and they change you,” she said. Dr. Palermo, who earned her doctorate from Fordham and her M.A. from Columbia’s Teachers College, has been at Ranney for six of her 22 years of teaching. She founded Ranney’s award-winning Middle School Debate Team and serves as its coach. She previously taught middle and high school in the New York City public schools and served as the Director of Education at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

Ranney senior Rebekah Lo provided the ceremony’s closing reflection by congratulating the inductees on their hard work and persistence. She encouraged the students to maintain their resolve to be true scholars and advised underclassman, “Enjoy your journey at Ranney, have an open mind, follow your curiosity, and never stop learning.”