Du Bois Award Winners: Meet Our Remarkable Students

The Du Bois Award is one of the highest honors at Boston Prep, awarded each week to one deserving student in front of the entire school community.  Named after W. E. B. Du Bois, the award recognizes a student who embodies the core virtues of Boston Prep -- courage, compassion, integrity, perseverance, and respect.  The award is an opportunity to highlight students who have shown high levels of academic achievement or growth along with a high level of character development.  In essence, Du Bois Award winners are students who embody the mission of Boston Prep.

Every Boston Prep teacher has the privilege of presenting the Du Bois Award one time each year.  As such, the selection of a student to honor is not taken lightly. Meet our recent Du Bois winners through excerpts of the speeches teachers gave while honoring them in front of the school community.

Justice McPherson, Grade 12 - Honored by Mr. Berkley & Mr. Paulsen
"Over the years, this student has climbed from reading well below grade-level, from completing almost no schoolwork, to passing all classes, to completing all assignments, to achieving high marks in courses that require critical thinking and production of essays that examine abstract concepts, to demonstrating awareness of personal weaknesses, and to putting in the effort needed to turn struggles into strengths."

Melissa Nunez, Grade 12 - Honored by Mr. Canto & Mr. Morales
"As this student's college counselor, I have had the opportunity to have several conversations with her about her goals and aspirations. Like many students in this building, today's Du Bois recipient juggles multiple priorities - schoolwork, extracurricular activities, 30-hour workweeks at her job, and the responsibility to pay rent and support her family. Despite these challenges, she is more determined than ever to graduate and continue her education. She is sincere, straightforward, and understands the value of putting others before self."


Samarjenee Maruose, Grade 8 - Honored by Ms. Callahan & Mr. Tabb
"This student is invested in her learning.  She is  honest about her areas of growth and constantly working hard to improve upon them. She takes the initiative to stay after school weekly with teachers to fully understand what is happening in the class. Completing homework is not enough.  She needs to know how and why a problem is solved in a certain way and often asks for extra problems to practice on her own, completing those on top of all the homework assigned. She has no qualms redoing problems over and over if it means that she can master key concepts.

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Luis Ortiz, Grade 11 - Honored by Mr. Springer
"My first interaction with this student was last June. I had come to visit Boston Prep and deliver a sample lesson with hopes of being hired as a history teacher here. In my sample lesson on globalization, I quickly learned that this was a student to be reckoned with. Critical. Clever. Curious. He posed questions and made arguments without prompting. Quick witted and insightful. I knew that this was a student I wanted to teach.

Marcus Sammy, Grade 10 - Honored by Mr. VanderZanden & Ms. Moxness
"This student has shown the courage to take control of his own life. He is calm, focused, sociable, and actively engaged in his own life. He doesn’t just let things happen to him; he is proactive. He has, since the beginning of the year, made the choice to be a good student and a good person. It is visible to his peers and teachers. He is growing into a man."

Isaiah Wright, Grade 11 - Honored by Dr. Wolff & Ms. Kurtz
"Early on in his second year of 9th grade, when it looked like things would go the same way they had in the first year, he came in one day and said to several teachers, ‘OK. I guess I’ll try.’ He had found his courage! He didn’t manage a complete turnaround in one day or one week, but ever since that day, there has been a continuous commitment to getting better. Month after month, there have been steady improvements in GPA, in attitude, and most importantly, in smiles per day."

Jenniflore Beaubrun, Grade 11 - Honored by Mr. Vermette & Ms. Braymiller
f this student wants to succeed in her Latin class, she has no choice but to show an exceptional level of perseverance each day. She takes Latin as an independent study.. Without a teacher consistently overseeing her progress, she could choose to work with less urgency, complete fewer assignments, and challenge herself less frequently. However, she is always engaged with the material, focused, and diligent. She takes on every challenge, and can always be trusted to ask for help and self-initiate the process of getting more help when she needs it."