Head of Harvard-Westlake School Jeanne Huybrechts led the ceremony to induct 57 seniors with grade point averages in the top 20 percent of their class into the National Cum Laude Society on Monday. The grade point average needed to be inducted was a 4.4, the highest it has ever been.
Huybrechts kicked off the ceremony with a reading of Jacqueline Woodson’s “Birch Tree Poem.”
“My poetry reading today pays homage to poets and teachers,” Huybrechts said. “To poets, whose poems continue to speak to readers long after they have been written and to teachers, who transcend the temporal by introducing their students to truth and beauty, to calculus and poetry.”
History Teacher and Cum Laude Chapter President Ken Neisser spoke as well, dedicating his speech to Huybrechts to honor her last year at the school. He spoke on truth and its imperfections, advising students to find their own truth.
“With my moral code secure and my learning curve ever rising, I can and I will pursue my truth and although I might not catch it, I will know that my direction is true and my journey the right one,” Neisser said. “So yes, truth, imperfect, multifaceted, and elusive as it may be, at the end of the day does matter if it’s a life well lived that we seek.”