Freshmen (L-R) Grant Bailey, Lance Franklin, Savannah Hendricks, Katherine Hamilton and Trey Bumgardner sign the honor code on stage at the auditorium. (PHOTO BY CARLY WANNA.)
By DEEP PATEL
Gazebo Staff Writer
J.R. Gumarin, a first-year junior at Stratford, encountered an unusual, trembling feeling in his hands on the morning of August 21.
It wasn’t because he had a science project due that day. Or a pop quiz or even a strenuous morning.
The reason for his nervousness was because he was about to participate in the annual Honor Code signing in the Henry Tift Fine Arts auditorium, with his classmates in the audience.
A total of 78 freshmen and 13 new upper classmen pledged to uphold the school’s 24-word honor code. Students promise not to lie, steal, cheat or plagiarize.
Despite his nerve-wracking feeling, Gumarin said he felt embraced by the school. He said he was pleased to be embodied in a community that holds values to a high standard.
“When I signed my name next to other names on the list, I felt as if I was a part of something important,’’ he said.
Gumarin attended Stratford in middle school and returned as a student this year. He said he was anxious to join an intelligent and diverse academic community and is excited to fulfill that opportunity.
Senior Felton Hatcher, chair of the honor committee, remembers when he was in Gumarin’s shoes three years ago.
“As a freshman, it was a little different for me than most of my classmates,’’ said Hatcher. “I was on the honor council then, as well, so I was already nervous standing on stage. In addition, I was more nervous because I was in front of the whole school. But, hey, at least I spelled my name right.”
Welcoming new students is only one of the traits about Stratford. The mission statement defines the school community as one that upholds rigor, integrity, service, and leadership.
Hatcher said signing the pledge meant more to him than simply being honest.
“It’s a way to behave as a community,’’ he said. “The easiest way to illustrate this is by looking at Stratford lockers. There are no locks. Signing the honor code meant becoming a part of that trusting community at Stratford.”
“Sticking to the honor code is accomplished mentally and the signing [was] just a reminder of our expectations,’’ said Dr. Bob Veto, head of school.
The following is a list of students who signed the honor code:
Ninth Grade — Megan Lee Aivalotis, Rachel Carter Atkinson, Samantha Rose Atkinson, Grant Austin Bailey, Harrison Walker Bailey, Matthew G. Begyn, Preston Douglas Brewer, Lucas Dakota Brewer, Alexander Joseph Buehler, Donald Alan Bumgardner III, Devin Ahmad Butts, Will Reeves Chambless, Morris Sammons Clark, Josephine Alexandria Coleman, Caroline Pannell Cole, Clinton Charles Cross, Layne Elizabeth Davis, Carson Fredrick Dorsey, Anna Catherine Durso, Reese Kennedy Ellis, Siemoran Dellazor Farrar, Noah Radley Fenimore, Ellanzo Drale Franklin II, Margaret Lee Fuchs, Charles Thomas Giles, Kendall Ta’Mar Green, Molly Gail Griffin, Molly Maribel Groves, Stephen Edward Grubb, Katherine Alexandra Hamilton, Luke Matthew Haney, Guinevere Elise Heath, Charley J.G. Hellis, Maimee Jane Henderson, Savannah Nicole Hendricks, Betsy Tharpe Hill, Caroline Turner Horn, Ashlin Breann Jackson, Karen Mason Jarrard, Benjamin Kent Jorgensen, Autumn Noel Land, John Morgan Manley, Griffin Edward Matson, Robert Augustus McCord V, Margaret Colleen McCullough, Cole Howard McDaniel, Isabel Katheryne McSwain, Olivia Drake Miscall, Andrew Stark Moring, Makenzie Jordyn Muenzer, Hadley Michele Neal, Kaitlyn Marie Neel, Lilly N. Nguyen, Bradley Michael Nichols, Regan Leigh Oliver, Nickolas Easton O’Neal, James Patrick O’Quinn, Sai Nivedita Pagadala, Anna Kathryn Parel, Rushabh Dipesh Patel, Chandani A. Patel, Bhavin Patel, Don Hughes Pinson Jr., McKay Louise Powers, Dylan Cole Reynolds, Holland Elisabeth Schell, Zuna Aamer Shabbir, Jonathan Bennett Siegel, Austin Lowe Slocumb, Alexandra Ann Stefanis, Jayce Austin Stephens, Marta Elizabeth Stevenson, Emory Grace Sutherland, Mary Lynes Sutton, William McKinley Thompson, Anaya Desiree Thomas, Li-An Tsai, Joseph Hayes Webb.
10th grade — Sydnie Rouleau, Cal Whitworth, Haven Thibodeaux, Carolynn Dromsky, George Iakovidis.
11th Grade — JR Gumarin, Shijing Gong, Hannah Rae Griffin, Alyssa Orona, Wade Snow.
12th Grade — Sim Patrick, Vivi Iakovidou, Sierra McWhirter.
Students wait to take part in the signing as members the Honor Committee look on. (PHOTO BY CARLY WANNA.)