Only one college senior in one hundred, nationwide, is invited to join the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and graduates of The Rumson Country Day School have been far more successful than this 1% award average. Therefore, RCDS dedicates the Tuesday after Presidents’ Day to honor the achievements of its alumni inducted to the prestigious honor society. This year, RCDS recognizes Caitlin Luby '12, one of the most recent alumna known to have earned the distinction.
Caitlin graduated from Duke University, magna cum laude, with a degree in Psychology, minor in Education, and certificate in Markets and Management.
“When I learned that I would be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa I was flattered,” said Caitlin. “It was a moment that made me feel like my hard work and all those hours in the library were being recognized.”
Caitlin recalls work ethic being ingrained in her at an early age. An “RCDS lifer” (a student who attends RCDS from Beginners through 8th grade), she felt the academic rigor of the school set high but attainable expectations that encouraged commitment and strong study habits.
“The teachers of RCDS want you to succeed,” she said. “The relationships I had with them and the confidence that they had in me inspired me to do my best. There was this mutual level of respect. As a result, I cared so deeply about my work.”
Caitlin’s conscientiousness steered her from RCDS to RFH, to Duke University, and then to a medical communications agency in NYC where she continued to put her all into her work. However, something was lacking. Since volunteering with the Horizons Program at RCDS, Caitlin discovered her passion for working with children. And like many working from home during the pandemic, she found herself falling into a sedentary routine. An athlete since childhood, Caitlin yearned for a more active and rewarding lifestyle. She swapped her cramped at-home office in the city for the mountain air in Colorado to explore a new career path – youth ski instruction.
“I love working with children,” she gushed, “I always enjoyed volunteering with the Horizons Program and I minored in Education in college. Ski instruction is the perfect job for me right now because it incorporates all the fun parts of teaching and the active lifestyle I was seeking. I watch my kids develop resilience and skills. Seeing their growth is very rewarding.”
Caitlin credits RCDS’s emphasis on life skills for preparing her to make a significant life change like moving to a new city and pivoting her career path to follow a passion. “Traditions like family-style lunch forced us to step outside of our comfort zones and meet new people,” she said. “Morning greeting taught us people skills like shaking hands and looking someone in the eye. No-cut sports teams encouraged us to try new things.”
RCDS graduates are regularly recognized for their outstanding interpersonal skills, earning them leadership roles in addition to academic accolades like the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
“I think by dedicating a day to PBK alumni, RCDS is encouraging an aspirational goal for its current students. They can make that connection like ‘these people went to my school and walked through these same halls and they accomplished this.' To see that kind of potential in themselves is important.”
To date, RCDS knows of over 60 alumni who have been selected for Phi Beta Kappa membership and suspects that there are more. If you know of any other alumni who are members of PBK please contact Cheryl Podmajersky at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 732-842-0527 ext. 1142.
- Alumni in the News