Student Prizes Awarded, Cum Laude Inductions Announced

Penn Charter recognized Upper School students on May 26 with end-of-year awards honoring their contributions in areas such as leadership, academics, technology and the school’s service learning program. The presentations were made, during a video conference, by Erin Hughes, director of Upper School, and members of the Upper School faculty. Head of School Darryl J. Ford announced this year's Commencement speakers.

Also during the virtual ceremony that included students and their families, Penn Charter's chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted members of the junior and senior classes. A national honor society established in 1908, Cum Laude celebrates Areté, Diké and Timé – Excellence, Justice and Honor. Math teacher Jen Ketler, secretary of Penn Charter's chapter, and Erin Hughes presented and introduced each inductee.


CHERYL IRVING DIVERSITY AWARD - Given to a member of the Senior Class who has made significant contributions to the work of equity and justice and has participated and led in the organization of discussions, workshops and activities to further making Penn Charter an inclusive environment. 

Jalynn Johnson


SERVICE LEARNING AWARD - To the student(s) who has most closely fulfilled the ideals of service to the community through active participation in the school’s Service Learning program.

Theodore Cavanagh

Sekia Phillips

Sophie Stevens


ASSOCIATION FOR COMPUTING MACHINERY AWARD FOR BEST TECHNOLOGY PROJECT - recognizes the student(s) making the best use of technology to complete a major academic assignment. This award is sponsored by the Dining Philosophers, the University of Pennsylvania's student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Sydney Wood


D.J. WILLIAMS AWARD - To a student who has made a significant contribution to journalism at Penn Charter in memory of D.J. Williams OPC ’77.

Theodore Cavanagh



Matthew Clarke (9)

Harrison Signorello (9)

Amanda Ehrenhalt (10)

Gabrielle Polite (10)

Daniel Bach (11)

Margaret Turner (11)

Leah Sax (12)


MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE - To a member of the Junior Class who has demonstrated the highest level of motivation, commitment and achievement in science and math classes.

Sydney Wood


AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY AWARD - For excellence in Chemistry.

Gabrielle Polite


THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICS TEACHERS’ AWARD - To the outstanding student in the first year physics course.

Margaret Turner


THE ROBERT D. TORREY AWARD - Honors an Upper School student who has shown dedication and achievement during his or her years in the science program.

Ethan Wills


THE ROBERT F. CHAPMAN OPC ’36 FUND FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PRIZE – To a member of the Junior class whose talents in the sciences and passion for nature recall Robert F. Chapman’s lifelong application of scientific understanding to environmental issues.

Lily Aparin-Buck

Kailei Makhija


J.P. HARLAND PRIZE - To that member of the Junior Class or Senior Class who has been the best student in Latin during his/her years at Penn Charter.

Blake Tran


SPANISH PRIZE - To a student(s) that has clearly demonstrated a true commitment to understanding the culture of Spanish speakers as well as to mastering the Spanish language.

Madeleine Riley


CHINESE PRIZE – To the student who has most clearly demonstrated a commitment to mastering the Chinese language, understanding the culture and using what they learn to communicate with others.

Anastasia Lewis


S. WEIR LEWIS, 3rd MEMORIAL PRIZE - To an outstanding member or members of the Junior Class, in English and French, as a tribute to Clifton Lisle and to Oliver P. Hodge who were his teachers in these subjects.

Margaret Turner (English)

Diane Marrow (French)


RELIGIOUS STUDIES and PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT AWARD - This award is given to a member of the student body who has shown significant scholarly interest and pursuit in the field of religious studies and philosophy in their time at Penn Charter.

Matthew McGlinchey

Troi Rutherford


HISTORY PRIZE - To the Senior who has demonstrated general excellence throughout the U.S. History course during their Junior year.

Sabrina Shaffer

Sophie Stevens


LAWRENCE W. KUNKLE AWARD – To a senior who best exemplifies the qualities of creative ability, diligence and service that Lawrence Kunkle exhibited as a teacher at Penn Charter.

Liliana Gartanutti


LOUIS SAVINO CHORAL AWARD – given to an upper school student who has distinguished him/herself through an extraordinary commitment to Penn Charter’s choral musical program.

Anastasia Lewis


MUSIC AWARD - To a member of the Upper School who has made an outstanding contribution to the music program through both talent and leadership.

Aaron Reisman (Instrumental)

Jameson Ford (Choral)


LOUIS ARMSTRONG JAZZ AWARD - given to a student in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of jazz, as demonstrated through superior musicianship character, and individual creativity. 

Anthony Ciarrocchi


JOHN PHILIP SOUSA BAND AWARD - given to a student in recognition of outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, for singular merit in loyalty and cooperation, and for displaying those high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music requires.

Anastasia Lewis


DRAMA PRIZE - Awarded to an Upper School student who has made an outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts at Penn Charter.

Ethan Wills


PETER KISHINCHAND MEMORIAL PRIZE - Awarded in memory of Peter Kishinchand OPC’91, to a student who has made a major contribution to the arts programs at Penn Charter through dedication to the technical aspects of artistic productions.

Justin Wilson


WILLIAM C. SHIELDS, 3rd MEMORIAL PRIZE - To a student who has completed Ninth Grade with an outstanding record in character, scholarship and sportsmanship.

David Comitale

Jack Frank

Merrill Gadsden


THE ROBERT C. PORTER BOWDOIN PRIZE - To a member of the Sophomore Class who has demonstrated leadership in academics and who has made a significant contribution to school life.

Henry Davis

Gabrielle Polite


HENRY A. DRESSER MEMORIAL PRIZE - To an outstanding member of the Tenth Grade.

Robert “Will” Betts Cope

Madison Brooks

Lauren Martz


CLASS OF 1897 PRIZE - To a member of the Junior Class who has combined high scholarship with character and leadership in school activities.

Cornelius “Kees” Lynch

Peyton Parker


THE COLBY COLLEGE BOOK PRIZE IN HONOR OF ANDREW PEFF OPC ’07 – To a member of the Junior Class who has shown outstanding academic achievement and has made substantial contributions to the school and local community.

Zora Johnson


RICHARD S. CROSS JEFFERSON SCHOLAR AWARD - To an outstanding Junior Class student in academics and extracurricular activities given by the University of Virginia Club. Note: Per instructions from the award sponsor please select one student only.

Janae Stewart


WILLIAMS COLLEGE AWARD - To a member of the Junior Class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school. Note: Per instructions from the award sponsor, please select one student only.

Olivia Schwartz


HARVARD CLUB AWARD - To that member of the Junior Class who is deemed the most worthy by reason of his/her scholarship, character, school spirit, influence upon his/her fellows, and general ability. Note: Per instructions from the award sponsor please select one student only.

Liam La Barge


CLASS OF 1980 AWARD - To a senior who does the most to promote unity within the class.

Jalynn Johnson

Gabriela Mancini


JONATHAN HOLMAN SMULLENS AWARD - Awarded in memory of Jonathan Smullens, Class of ‘79, to a senior who has made particularly significant progress during his/her senior year.

Jameson Ford


SERVICE AWARD - To any member of the student body who has given continuous service to Penn Charter over a period of years.

Madeleine Riley


KENNETH A. GERBER AWARD for OUTSTANDING INTELLECTUAL ACHIEVEMENT – To the student who achieves the type of broad based intellectual accomplishment that characterized Ken Gerber, OPC’85.

Anastasia Lewis




Akeel Blake  (virtual)

Noah Evans  (virtual)

Vanessa Ewing  (virtual)


Jalynn Johnson  (in person)

William Lewis  (in person)


During the virtual ceremony, these students were inducted as the newest members of the Cum Laude Society.


Catriona Calvo-Studdy

Ryan Cohen

Noah Evans

Trevor Harbison

Sebastian Lee

Anastasia Lewis

Miranda Listman

Sam Nadol 

Leah Sax

Julia Steinhouse

Blake Tran

Ethan Wills



Daniel I. Bach

Michael A. Comisky

Evelyn C. Eisenstein

Patrick Isztwan

Liam Vandegrift La Barge

Peyton Alissa Parker

Daniel Andes Rodriguez

Olivia Rose Schwartz

Jacob Daniel Siani

Margaret Turner

Daniel Will

Jessica Sloan Wolfe

Sydney C. Wood


Seniors inducted last year and officially recognized this year:

Guthrie Ogden Buehler

Theodore Cavanagh

Vanessa Ewing

Anne H. Flemming

Sarah Greenberg

Olivia T. Harbison

Gabriella Lopez-Ona

Aaron Reisman

Madeleine Elizabeth Riley

Sabrina A. Shaffer

Sara Shipon


And finally, Head of School Darryl J. Ford announced the yearbook dedication on behalf of Class Record editor Lauren Cubbin:

"The Class of 2020 dedicates our Class Record to the Penn Charter security, maintenance, housekeeping, grounds and transportation staff."

Congratulations to all!

2020 Class Record dedication page