Nine GPS students—Maya Bhutwala '19, Mary Sue Cooper '20, Talley Lyons '21, Laura Peele '21, Mary Beth Propes '20, Emma Protsko '20, Carson Thatcher '19, Priyanka Sud '21, and Emily Wu '19—are the first members of the school’s French Honor Society, also known as La Société Honoraire de Français.
"It is really exciting to add this to our program here at GPS,” says French teacher and SHF sponsor, Dr. Cindy Lepore.
Opening the ceremony, Dr. Lepore greeted the students and recited the criteria for being a member of SHF. Among the requirements are a student’s demonstration of interest, participation, and leadership in French activities, current enrollment in a Level II French class or higher, and ability to maintain an A minus average or higher in French throughout their academic career while also maintaining a B minus average or higher in all other subjects prior to selection.
Dr. Lepore shared with the members the significance of the French language: “It’s more than just academic; it is a social tool. It is a way to communicate with the world. By engaging in French, you spark a lifelong learner … you can hang on to language forever.”
Ms. Bhutwala and Ms. Thatcher, SHF president and vice president, read La Course du Flambeau—“the passing of the torch"—and recognized new members with a ceremonial pinning in which each inductee was given a certificate and accessorized with the FHS pin.
Following the pinning was the La Course du Flambeau, in which all members formed a circle and passed a lit candle while reciting the SHF motto: “Celui qui sait deux langues en vaut deux,” or “A man who knows two languages is worth two men.”
The ceremony concluded with the French national anthem, and students enjoyed a festive breakfast, with croissants, Nutella, bananas, and more.
Along with Ms. Bhutwala and Mr. Thatcher, GPS’s SHF officers include Ms. Protsko (secretary) and Ms. Sud (ambassador).