Have Your 'PIE' and Pledge It Too

Greenwich High students focus on academic integrity—no cheating allowed.


Greenwich High School Student Government President Jonathan Mulhrad spun his own headline last week:

“Student led campaign at Greenwich High School shows school’s commitment to academic integrity”

According to Muhlrad, "the GHS student body's efforts to promote academic integrity began last year, when members of Student Government wrote up an Honor Code that all Greenwich High School students were required to sign at the beginning of the school year."

Following that step, a sophomore, Peter Russell, approached GHS Headmaster Chris Winters and Mulhrad, a senior, about identifying a way for the students to practice what they preach and "put this honor code into practice."

The trio met in September and Winters agreed with the concern voiced over academic integrity. Certainly not simply a local issue, but one that has been a plagued educational institutions nationwide for years.

Born out of that meeting, an “academic integrity campaign” began to take shape, explained Mulhrad. The initiative was then delegated to Eric Aaron, Vice President of Student Concerns, and a committee of 50 students who have contributed to the effort of "PIE" (Promoting Integrity in Education), which includes the production of videos starring Administrators, teachers and students themselves.

Mulhrad stated that the intent of the initiative is to promote academic integrity and discourage cheating. The videos are “funny, entertaining” and offer an “inspirational message,” he promised. See the Patch video link to the the first PIE video or click here.

"If You Come Into GHS and See Our Pies..."

said Mulhrad, “you will be impressed.”

While the school does have an Honor Code (see attached), this anti-cheating campaign, “is actually coming from students.” A proud Mulhrad held a Pledge Pie, which were signed by over 1,050 students. The pies, which "pledge to take academic integrity seriously" during the 2013 mid-terms and finals, were displayed in the Student Center starting last week. Mid-term testing began at the school on Friday and will conclude on Wednesday.

“We can take pride in our own school,” affirmed Muhlrad citing that what the “GHS students are doing in cooperation with teachers is really something amazing and something we should be proud of.”

Mulhrad pointed to the banner hanging off the Board of Education's table and called the action of the students "an example of setting excellence in public education."

Winters praised the students. "The completely student-led initiative is a drive to promote ethical decision making. It's a powerful message and campaign to combat the unethical decisions some of our students feel pressured to make or make as a perceived shortcut to success."

During his monthly Superintendent's Report at the Jan. 24 Board of Education meeting, McKersie also was clearly impressed with the students proactive approach to cheating. He called the initiative a "headline to be written and a story to be told." Consider it done.

Additional Impressive Accomplishments

As the perfect precursor and examples to academic integrity, the beginning of the board meeting started with two significant student recognitions:

Bonnie O'Regan, ALP Facilitator, presented the following students who achieved Outstanding Achievement in the Johns Hopkins Talent Search conducted by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth:

William Chen
Benjamin Cooper
Artemis Shung
Emma Olmsted
Matias Carballo
Cameron Delcristo
Ajax Shung
Madison Arnold
Oscar Shen
Kai Sherwin
Brandon Delcristo

O'Regan credited the "young scholars" with "distinguishing themselves" by performing in the "top 25-30% of more than 50,000 students" who have particpated in the talent search. The 'test' which was administered is the same SAT test that high school Juniors and Seniors take, except that these young students have sored 700-800 on the SAT reading or math portions of the test all before the age of 13.

Following O'Regan, Greenwich 2012 Teacher of the Year, Andrew Bramante, presented two of his independent research science students as 2013 Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) Semi-finalists: Stephen LeBreton for In Vivo Regeneration of Tooth Enamel using an Innovative Hydrophilic Polymer-Coated Retainer and Annie Zhang for Graphene Oxide as a Novel Biosensor in Targeted Delivery of Chemotherapy Drugs.

LeBreton also has been named one of 40 finalists in the competition; see his story here.


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