Recently, Highland High School (HHS) celebrated the induction of 29 students into HHS’s Terralta Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS), including 23 sophomores, four juniors and two seniors. The 2012 inductees joined the current membership of 48 students, comprised of 27 juniors and 21 seniors.
The National Honor Society was established in 1921 to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, as Superintendent Deborah Haab observed, the student organization admits students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the NHS organization since its beginnings, and they also translate into criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.
“It is encouraging and uplifting to see so many of the young men and women of Highland High School being recognized tonight — to watch as you are inducted into a society that honors character as one of its cornerstones,” remarked Superintendent Haab. “A leader and a scholar without character cannot provide genuine service to his or her community.”
In order to be inducted in the National Honor Society, a student must have a GPA of 90% or more. Students can be considered for induction at the end of their sophomore year. Inductees must also have demonstrated some sort of leadership role, good character standing and service to the community. A faculty council reviews all activity sheets as well as grades as a determination of membership.
Reflecting on the community service activities of NHS members, co-advisor Maureen Pesano, who has advised the group for two years, noted that the students have been involved in assisting with parent/teacher conferences, make a difference day, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) craft fair and the Memorial Day parade. “Our students are also involved in a variety of community service activities from Snoopy soccer to volunteering at Valley Vista,” said Pesano.
The induction ceremonies, senior recognition and related speeches were coordinated, presented and introduced by the current NHS officers themselves, including co-presidents Xiangying Shuai and Nikhil Tikoo, as well as officers Laura Arrubla, Lauren Fleming, Melannie Orton and Amanda Rhodes. The event also featured remarks by Highland Central School District school board president Vincent Rizzi, principal Peter Harris and PTSA representative Courtney Bodendorf.
“I am always amazed at the poise, organization and eloquence of the students on induction night,” remarked chapter co-advisor Lisa Paradies, who has worked with the group for four years. “We, as advisors, provide an outline for the ceremony, but it truly is run by the students, and without fail they do a wonderful job each year.”
In concluding her remarks to the large group of Highland NHS inductees and their family members, Superintendent Haab offered these final words, “Congratulations again to current members of the National Honor Society — to those of you being inducted tonight, to all of the people in your life that support you and to those that also challenge you. We are all very proud of you.” ++