The upper school's annual induction of new Williams Scholars took place on Wednesday afternoon in the Gelston Athletic Center. Named for longtime headmaster Jack Williams '38, the designation of Williams Scholar is one of Boys' Latin's highest academic honors. In order to qualify, students must maintain a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.95 while taking at least three Honors or AP level courses each year and be in good standing with regard to the School's core values and honor code.
Upper school head Amy Westloski began proceedings with a description of the Williams Scholarship, and a congratulations to new inductees. "Becoming a Williams Scholar is a great honor," she said, "We hope the stories you hear today will provide some extra motivation to strive for academic excellence, and we are excited to celebrate the achievements of our newest members."
As has become tradition at the induction ceremony, the featured speakers were a current Williams Scholar and a faculty member. This year's student speaker was junior Jack Anecharico '25, who used scholarship funding to attend Hurricane Academy, a summer program at the University of Miami. The program focused on the science of weather, which Jack identified as a longtime passion of his. Jack spent more than a week on the campus, attending meteorology classes taught by Miami professors and using the university's cutting-edge weather technology.
"As I look ahead to my future and what I might like to pursue in college, it was eye-opening to see that the weather profession is so much more than just your local television forecaster," said Jack.
Next, upper school faculty member Dr. A.J. Kohlhepp took to the podium to talk about the ups and downs of his academic journey. "Believe it or not, I was not a dedicated scholar at your age. Like many of you, I was more interested in athletic and social achievement than in academic excellence," he said.
From those unpromising beginnings, Dr. Kohlhepp followed a circuitous path that would finally take him to the University of Texas (Austin) where he studied the work of the Earl of Rochester, a seventeenth century poet, en route to earning his doctorate in English.
"Be curious, ask questions, and see where the answers lead you," he urged students in attendance, "You may end up surprising yourself, and you'll definitely keep learning along the way."
Headmaster Post capped the ceremony with words of praise for the new inductees and encouragement for all students. "Find something that fascinates you, something that makes your heart skip, that totally and completely fills you up," he advised students, "Find out what you love and pursue it as fully and completely as you can."
Click here to watch the 2023-2024 Williams Scholars Ceremony.