The evening program began with an address by National Honor Society (NHS) Officer Joe Kester ’18, who welcomed the audience of proud family members, faculty, and school leadership. After a brief history of the Robert Fulton chapter the additional Officers of Kyle Enabulele ’18, Kevin McDonough ’18, Joseph Meschino ’18, Justin Rich ’18, and Nathanial Stewart ’18 spoke about the pillars of excellence and the qualities of inducted students.
The ceremony’s guest speaker was English teacher Mrs. Elizabeth O’Donnell. Her speech wove the topics of perseverance, grit, and passion from not only her life but the lives of colleagues. She congratulated the students on their NHS achievement and recognized the people that love and support them every day on their journey. “Gentlemen, your successes are not yours alone. They belong to those who have helped you every step of the way. Your parents have been your taxis, your tutors, your cooks, your cleaners, counselors, and I know your biggest fans. They have stuck with you, day in, and day out, throughout your journey. They have guided you as Thoreau says, ‘to go confidently in the direction of your dreams’ and are helping you ‘live the life you have imagined.’ Now it is up to you to continue to maintain your grit, live your life passionately, and maybe along the way, inspire that same perseverance and passion in others.”
Lighting and leading the way
One of the traditional parts of the ceremony is for the NHS Officers to light candles that represent the four essential qualities members aspire to achieve: character, leadership, scholarship, and service.
To qualify for membership, students must demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, character, and a commitment to community service. Specifically, students must earn a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average, hold a leadership role in an extra-curricular activity, or have made a significant contribution to that activity, and have strength of character.
Once students become members, they are expected to continue to share their talents and give back to BC High by serving as tutors in the Academic Resource Center, ambassadors for open houses, and other volunteer and leadership roles in the school community.