Newark Academy Announces 2020 Ad Lumen Awards

The prestigious Ad Lumen Award is presented annually to seniors who, in the eyes of their peers and of the faculty, best represent the ideals expressed in the Newark Academy mission statement. While the award recipients typically excels in the classroom, what truly distinguishes them is their commitment to enriching the NA community. In often modest yet purposeful ways, these students are the ones who shape and fuel the remarkable achievements of student organizations, sports teams, arts ensembles, and academic classes. They pursue their passions with energy and focus, giving the best of themselves and bringing out the best in others. Congratulations to the Ad Lumen Award recipients from the Class of 2020: Brian Dion, Sophia Ludtke, Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell, and Warren Sunada-Wong. Honored at the all-school morning meeting, below is what Head of School Don Austin said about each recipient:
Brian Dion
"The cover of this year’s Student and Parent Handbook features a large picture of a student’s beaming smile. That student — Brian Dion — has shared his smile generously during his tenure at Newark Academy. Equal parts EQ and IQ, right and left brain, Brian moves with remarkable fluidity from the soccer field to the stage, from calculus to ceramics, and from Spanish to Mandarin. His teachers extol his focused discipline, intellectual risk-taking, authentic engagement, and appreciation for the beauty of ideas. His peers appreciate his loyalty, respect, and dry wit. In sum, Brian’s joy in learning, performing, competing, and helping others has enriched our community. His smile has made us all smile, and we are delighted to recognize his contributions to the Ad Lumen Award."

Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell
"In the laboratory and classroom, on the field hockey pitch, and in clubs and activities, Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell has accomplished more in her years at Newark Academy than what appears to fit on a calendar. Her nearly flawless academic record and substantial summer academic experiences evidence her passion for learning. Additionally, as a member of the Equity and Inclusion Team and Community Service Council, Ruqaiyyah has served our community wholeheartedly. After attending the National Student Diversity Leadership Conference, she sought to create a similar program here. Thanks to her herculean efforts, Newark Academy now hosts an annual diversity conference for independent school students throughout the state. Ruqaiyyah has left a lasting impact on our community, and we are proud to honor her with the Ad Lumen Award."

Sophia Ludtke
"Confident yet soft-spoken, highly accomplished yet incredibly modest, fabulously well-rounded and yet fantastically talented in many areas, Sophia Ludtke has been a deeply engaged scholar and leader at Newark Academy. Whether in the laboratory or at the Harkness table, Sophia is driven by a remarkable curiosity and pursuit of excellence. Her teachers have called her work “profound” and noted that her classmates “are in awe of her originality and her fresh insights.” They listen when she speaks. As School Council President and Co-President of the Green & Blue Committee, Sophia has also devoted herself to bettering our community. Her legacy at Newark Academy is extensive and meaningful, and although she often shies away from the spotlight, we are delighted to shine it on her with the Ad Lumen Award."

Warren Sunada-Wong
"A fierce intellectual, remarkably hard worker, and young man of impeccable character, Warren Sunada-Wong is universally respected and often revered. One of his teachers describes him as “intimidatingly brilliant but not intimidating.” As a scholar, Warren has incredible breadth and depth. His thirst for knowledge has led him to exhaust course offerings at Newark Academy, pursue advanced studies on weekends and during summers, and earn top honors in national mathematics, computer science, and robotics competitions. Warren is also a generous peer. On the Honor Council, he brings fairness and understanding to each case. As a Cross-Country and Spring Track Co-Captain, he champions his teammates’ accolades even as he racks up his own. A remarkable leader by example, Warren is a most deserving recipient of the Ad Lumen Award."