On Tuesday, October 11th, National Honor Society advisor and Nantucket High School faculty member Nicole Gross, as well as existing members Shae Albertson, Andrew Dawson, Lianna Harrington, Jacob Aloisi, Stefan Silverio, and Fernando Young inducted eight seniors and nine juniors into the Nantucket Chapter, marking 51 years of Nantucket participation in the National Honor Society. The existing members welcomed the new, introducing each inductee with a brief background of what they have contributed to the Nantucket High School community and speaking to the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character that characterize National Honor Society, lighting a candle for each category.
Applicants were initially selected based on their grade point averages. Juniors and seniors who had GPAs over 4.0, or a 90% average or greater for their classes, were invited to apply. The application consisted of detailing the service they had done and the various leadership roles they have taken over their high school career, as well as a personal essay. Final decisions were made by the Nantucket Honor Society Faculty Committee, which consisted this year of spanish teacher Kate Hickson, physics teacher Yu Yan Hayford, history teacher John McGuinness, english teacher James Kuratek, and music teacher Erin MacIver.
At the ceremony, NHS english teacher Anne Phaneuf and principal Dr. John Buckey welcomed the new members. Phaneuf was personally selected by Honor Society president and vice president Fernando Young and Stefan Silverio, a choice Gross commended, noting that Phaneuf knew the group well and was able to eloquently offer her wisdom to them as they faced new challenges in high school, college, and beyond.
“Membership in the National Honor Society is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a high school graduate,” the acceptance letter, written by Gross, proclaimed, “NHS has worked hard to bring the accomplishments of our outstanding students to the attention of parents, teachers, peers, and the community. Chapters in more than 12,500 high schools across the nation strive to give practical meaning to the Society’s goals.”
But membership in the National Honor Society means more than having one’s achievements recognized; members participate in numerous community service activities throughout the year, contributing to the betterment of the Nantucket community and beyond.
“Since I started [being the Honor Society advisor], I’ve really tried to refine our focus so we have a direct impact on school community, such as offering tutoring in the library,” said Gross. “I am also working with the president and vice president to reach out to freshmen interested in becoming members to help them achieve the required grade point average and recommended leadership positions.”
Although Honor Society membership is exclusive, and hard decisions must be made to select the final students, the effects of Honor Society can be felt throughout the school, such as with the library tutors - members of Honor Society who volunteer their time to offer assistance to students seeking help in various subjects.
“Whenever there’s achievement, people will always look at it with an air of elitism,” said Gross. “Hopefully, people will see the good [National Honor Society] does, not just for those on the honors track.”
As National Honor Society moves forward with their new members, they look towards enhancing the work they do in our community.