National Honor Society Inducts New Members

Hailin Zhang, Managing Editor

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  • The National Honor Society officers give a speech at the end of the induction, congratulating all the inductees.

  • Kyra Kornfeld ’18 smiles as she receives her chord.

  • Haley Groff ’17 gets her chord for being inducted into NHS.

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National Honor Society (NHS) held their induction ceremony in the cafetorium on Thursday, Nov. 10 to welcome its new members. The ceremony included two encouraging speeches from English teacher Ms. Meg Freeland and principal Mr. Mario Acosta about what being a part of NHS means and what traits members should aspire to achieve.

The members were arranged in alphabetical order, with an aisle in the middle of the columns for inducted members to walk through and take a quick photo of themselves with their certificate of membership.

“I was really happy that I could share this special moment with one of my parents,” Kathleen Zhang ‘18 said.

Each of the officers, all seniors, then introduced themselves. Ramya Yedatore is president, Leah Wu is vice president, Ethan Twining is secretary, Kristi Downs is treasurer, Varsha Puliyadi is parliamentarian, Rubina Singh is historian, Belle Gresh is the Student Council representative, Natasha Paul is the tutoring coordinator, Maxson Chu is the Thirst Project director, and Pia Cadar is the Westwood High School (WHS) food bank director.

The ROTC officially began the ceremony with a presentation of colors, with Cadet 1st Lieutenant Neikole Nelson ‘18 (American Guard), Cadet Captain Nick Short ‘17 (American Flag), Cadet Captain Natalia Martinez ‘17 (Texas Flag), and Cadet Technical Sergeant Jack Hemphill ‘19 (Texas Guard). After the pledges, choir students, all juniors, Martha Beaty, Osric Nagle, and Christian Smith sang the Star Spangled Banner.

“It was interesting to hear a different arrangement [of the National Anthem] than the one the band plays at football games,” Zhang said.

Yedatore spoke a little more about NHS before Chu explained his role in the Thirst Project, in which money is raised to help build wells in Africa. All members are required to attend Warrior Fest in May of next year, volunteering, since this is the biggest fundraiser for the Thirst Project.

“I think the Thirst Project is a really good opportunity to give back,” Audrey Lu ‘18 said. “We are very privileged.”

Puliyadi, Gresh, Paul, and Downs then clarified what scholarship, service, leadership, and character meant to NHS before participating in a quick Candle Lighting ceremony. Following this, Wu explained the induction procedures. Both the parent and student should stop at the top step of the stairs, wait for the student’s name to be called, and while the parent walks up to the first officer to retrieve a cord, the student should claim their certificate. The parent should then place the cord around their child’s neck before the two walk toward the center of the stage to have a quick photo taken.

“The induction ceremony was meaningful to me,” Heyji Ro ‘18 said. “It made me proud of myself, since I actually had my own time to celebrate on the stage.”

After all the members were inducted, Twining led them in reciting the pledge, in which students promised to uphold the high purposes, to be true to the principles, to be loyal to their school, and to maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

“[The pledge] means to have pride in everything you do and expect the best of yourself,” Ann Marie Huttenhower ‘18 said. “It also means to help others do their best, as well.”

Yedatore concluded the ceremony with a couple of closing remarks, and the newly-inducted members were all eager to get photos with their friends and parents. As membership into the organization is carefully considered, everyone deserved to be recognized and to celebrate their acceptance.

“It was really nice to see everyone that I’m going to be spending the next two years with, and we had a lot of fun,” Harshitha Balla ‘18 said.