Students Exemplify Strengths of CPS Initiatives
Swede Moorman III has proven himself the crème de la crème, a leader among exceptional students at Walnut Hills High School, a nationally-ranked school where the motto is sursum ad summum, Latin for “rise to the highest.”
For Swede, the ascent started with finding the right mountain.
He’d gone to The Seven Hills School, a private college prep school, for the duration of his education. It was a difficult decision for Swede and his mom, Felicia Bell, to leave a place where they felt like family, in part to gain access to Walnut’s vast AP course catalog. But now Swede says, he “wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
He credits teachers and coaches with helping him feel at home, and a friend who had started earlier for introducing him to peers. Swede loves the sense of community within the honors program, where he’s worked hard to succeed.
Though other students had started Latin a year earlier, Swede sought out and received tutoring from his Latin teacher during the summer so that he could move from Latin I in eighth grade to Latin III with the rest of his peers in ninth. “Mrs. Tara Ligon has been the most influential teacher I’ve had,” he says. “Usually the students who do really well in Latin are the students who do really well at Walnut, too.”
As a junior, Swede has already completed the most advanced Latin placement Walnut offers, passed its AP exam and serves as co-consul, a leadership role, in Walnut’s chapter of the National Junior Classical League. He also studies Spanish and received a gold medal for scoring at or above the 95th percentile in the National Spanish Exam.
“There are so many things you can get involved with and people who will help you shape your own experience at Walnut,” says Swede. “I went to Guatemala this summer with our Spanish program and it exposed those of us who went to a whole different side of life. These are the type of opportunities that can set you up for success.”
He encourages other students to “look at the bigger picture past all the work, past all the stress, past the late nights. Look for the benefits. Remember how far this education has taken so many people.”