HEBRON – The Hebron Academy community celebrated academic achievement at its annual Cum Laude Society induction on April 30. Sixteen students were honored at the ceremony, which included the induction of 12 new members and an address by guest speaker Margaret T. McFadden, assistant professor of American studies at Colby College.

McFadden focussed on the pervasive nature of popular culture today and urged the audience to think critically about the messages contained in television, movies, popular music, magazines, video games, the Internet and advertising.

She argued that popular culture is important to analyze because the world is saturated in it and reality is increasingly defined by it. She did not advocate censorship, but stressed the importance of questioning, thinking critically and analyzing the messages presented in almost all forms of media today.

Newly inducted into the society this year were: Devin J. Blais 04 of Damariscotta; Taylor A. Lalemand 04 of Auburn; Cindy S. Lebel 04 of Greenville; Chelsea L. Lipham 04 of Buckfield; Derek N. Miller 04 of Auburn; Shauna K. Neary 04 of Antigonish, Nova Scotia; John W. Slattery 04 of Minot; Kate A. Turner 04 of Harrison; Helen Unger-Clark 04 of Rindge, N.H.; Elizabeth M. Cole 05 of New Gloucester; Eri Miyauchi 05 of Ehime, Japan; and Jodie M. Simms 05 of Auburn.

The new members join four seniors inducted last year: Carolyn A. Curtis of Hebron, Laura E. Fleck of Auburn, A. James Quinlan of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Jason E. Staats of Knoxville, Tenn.

Modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, the Cum Laude Society was founded in 1906 to recognize academic achievement in secondary schools. Cum Laude now consists of nearly 350 chapters, primarily in independent schools in the United States. Membership in the Cum Laude Society is Hebron Academy’s highest academic honor.

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