Saugerties holds in-person National Honor Society induction ceremony

Saugerties Junior Espia Dunkley proudly displays her National Honor Society certificate at the conclusion of the in-person Induction Ceremony held outside along the Saugerties track. (Photos by Kristine Conte/Ulster BOCES)

Sixty-five Saugerties High School juniors and seven seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) on Thursday, April 22 during an in-person ceremony. The outside event marked the 78th annual induction ceremony for Saugerties High School.

Every year, students eagerly look forward to this prestigious event, said NHS advisor Debra Cacchillo. “Students work very hard to become members of the NHS, and they truly enjoy the recognition they receive for those efforts,” Cacchillo explained. She should know, because she has been organizing this event for the last 37 years.

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Saugerties Junior Ginger Defino proudly receives her National Honor Society certificate during an in-person Induction Ceremony held outside along the Saugerties track.

Students are eligible for NHS membership during their junior or senior year and are selected based on their grade-point average, hours of service to the community, character and leadership involvement in extracurricular activities, including athletics, student council and clubs. These characteristics reflect the four pillars of the National Honor Society.

Under normal circumstances, maintaining a grade-point average above 90 percent is a huge accomplishment. Throw in a worldwide pandemic, remote learning and family situations and it becomes something extraordinary.

Saugerties Junior Benjamin Fox recieves his National Honor Society certificate during an in-person Induction Ceremony held outside along the Saugerties track.

“It’s incredible how resilient these kids are,” said high school principal Tim Reid. “They worked extremely hard through these challenging times, and because of that, they will make great leaders in the future.”

Because last year’s members were unable to receive their certificates due to COVID restrictions, 47 seniors were also recognized during the ceremony.

Saugerties National Honor Society president Clinton Stutzman (center) tries to light the candles prior to the outside National Honor Society Induction ceremony held on the Saugerties track, while NHS advisor Debra Cacchilo (Left) and NHS vice president Simon Baker look on.