National Honor Society Inducts New Members

Srilekha Cherukuvada, Dreamcatcher Editor in Chief

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  • Leyton Fu ’20 speaks about his role as the NHS food bank director. Fu also introduced other NHS speakers to the stage during the ceremony.

  • Sruthi Ramaswamy ’20 speaks to the new inductees while Vice President Anish Maddipotti ’20 looks on. Ramaswamy serves as the historian for the society.

  • Olympic swimmer Ricky Berens speaks about one of the National Honor Society’s pillars, ‘honor’. Berens is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and former world champion.

  • Ajit Ramamohan ’20 lights one of the four candles representing the four pillars of the National Honor Society. Ramamohan serves as the NHS tutoring coordinator.

  • Yashvi Reddy ’20 lights the third candle, ‘speaking’.

  • After the conclusion of the ceremony, the new inductees stand and recite the National Honor Society pledge.

  • Ava Fahrenholz ’21 poses alongside her mom to celebrate her new induction into the National Honor Society. Being a member of the National Honor Society is a privilege upheld by the most exemplary students.

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Juniors, seniors, and parents packed the cafeteria on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:00 p.m. to attend the annual Induction Ceremony to become a part of the National Honor Society (NHS) organization. The ceremony took one and a half hours, commencing with several speakers and ending with the 322 students called onto the stage one at a time to recognize their achievements.

“Every year, the NHS induction ceremony is an event that inspires me. So much comes together to make it work, and the speeches and symbolic candle lighting make me feel empowered somehow,” NHS secretary April Gao ‘20 said. “NHS has a long legacy of excellence and I suppose the ceremony reminds me of the standards we are held to and the impact we’re expected to make. It’s pretty cool to see three hundred students bonded together through commitment to being the best examples that they can.”

After the procedural presentation of colors by Boy Scouts Troop 162 and the Star Spangled Banner by a string ensemble comprised of seniors Brian Lee, Sonya Swami, Polaron Posadas, and Suhaas Patil ‘23. NHS president, Shea Sturdevant ‘20 gave a short opening and welcome speech, followed by a few other guest speakers. Principal Dr. Mario Acosta and Ms. Rebecca Donald, the Area Superintendent for the Westwood Learning Community, and chemistry teacher Ms. Natalie Wieland all spoke at the ceremony, discussing the importance of the students’ achievements.

“I enjoyed listening to all of the speeches and I liked how [the speakers] took the time to make it a special experience for everyone,” inductee Esha Krishna ‘21

A keynote address by Mr. Ricky Berens, a gold medalist swimmer at the 2012 Olympics, was also given. After Mr. Berens’ encapsulating speech on honor, the candle lighting ceremony was performed. Seniors Christian Robinson, Audrey Lemen, Ajit Ramamohan, and Yashvi Reddy all read short speeches representing the four pillars of NHS- scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

“It was really interesting learning about Mr. Ricky Berens’ perspective on what honor is. His anecdotal references to each point added a much stronger effect in general,” inductee Advika Rajesh ‘21 said. “I personally loved his story about overcoming failure. The light ceremony was also very unique in that it better expressed the four [pillars] or main themes of NHS. It added much more emphasis on those points.”

Finally, for the last 40 minutes of the ceremony, officers called up the new inductees one by one with one of their parents to honor them for their hard work. After receiving their certificate and cord, they proceeded to get their picture taken and then headed back to their seats. Once all of the names were called, students recited the NHS pledge, officially confirming them as NHS members.

“It was an honor to be inducted into the society today,” inductee Anika Chokhavatia ‘21 said. “It was really humbling to hear all of the names getting called, and I was incredibly proud of all of my friends when I saw them go up on stage to receive certificates. The pledge at the end of the ceremony was like the ignition to our futures as leaders, and I’m so excited to start my personal journey to uphold the pillars of the National Honor Society.”

There will be a mandatory general meeting held for all members on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in the great room at 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., in which new inductees will need to pay their $20 dues. At the meeting, new inductees will receive important information regarding NHS procedures throughout the year, and learn more about service opportunities through NHS. For more information, visit the NHS website here.