Charter Oak ceremony
Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors alike were recognized at the Charter Oak Awards Ceremony on April 26 for their academic achievements and strong work ethic during the 2017-2018 school year.
Students were chosen by their teachers to receive Academic Excellence or Merit Awards for one or more of their classes. Recipients gathered with family and friends in the theater on Wednesday night to celebrate their achievements.
“The Charter Oak is our main academic awards program, so it’s intended to recognize students who have performed exceptionally well in the classroom,” Northwood principal Leslie Roach said. “These students are major contributors to the learning environment on campus.”
The ceremony kicked off with a performance by Northwood Jazz Band and an introductory speech by Roach.
Northwood Jazz Band kicked off the ceremony, followed later by Northwood’s a capella group, Unaccompanied Minors. Students were then called to the stage and recognized in order of discipline. Awards for a total of nine disciplines—including World Languages, Visual/Performing Arts, Mathematics, Physical Education and Health, Career Technical Education, Science, 9th and 10th Humanities, Social Science and English—were announced.
“Receiving these awards was extremely gratifying, as it emphasized how hard work really does pay off,” freshman Catherine Hu said. “I couldn’t have been happier standing next to all those accomplished Timberwolves onstage.”
Northwood teachers also joined families and students in honoring Charter Oak Award recipients Wednesday night.
“I think the Charter Oak Ceremony is a celebration of more than just academic achievement,” Northwood English teacher Philemon Roh said. “It’s the manifestation of our school’s core values above and beyond academic excellence, which I think on one level, is a given for Charter Oak recipients. What gets lost is that core value piece, which is incredibly important and what I think distinguishes our campus.”
At the night’s close, National Merit, Renaissance, Medallion and Charter Oak recipients were recognized. National Merit students distinguished themselves through their stellar PSAT results, while Medallion recipients represented the top 1% of their disciplines. Renaissance Award winners senior Carolyn Hu and junior Julia Gonik were chosen based on consistent academic excellence and Medallions in multiple subjects. Meanwhile, seniors Shilpa Rajagopal, Serena Kim, Rebecca Chen, Claire Ko and Kevin Zhou were selected for the Charter Oak Award, which, according to Roach, recognizes those whose academic and extracurricular influence has shaped Northwood culture.
“I can’t express how grateful I am to have received the Charter Oak Award,” Zhou said. “I have had one of the most fortunate and eventful journeys at Northwood and I would have never made it this far without everyone around me. Today is another reminder of just how blessed I am to be part of this community.”
Although Wednesday’s Charter Oaks were the last for senior Timberwolves like Zhou, current freshmen, sophomores and juniors can look forward to the 2018 Charter Oak Awards Ceremony celebrating yet another year of excellence and merit across campus.