Last Thursday evening, Calais High School held its annual National Honor Society (NHS) Induction ceremony. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, each NHS member was permitted two family members to attend in person, while others viewed from home, thanks to the event being live streamed on the school’s Facebook page.
NHS President Hannah Gadway welcomed those in attendance, including those being inducted, reminding them of the honor and responsibility that comes with being an NHS member. “We hope this will serve to remind you of the standards of excellence you too are charged with maintaining as members of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious student-recognition program,” she said. “Our chapter is proud to have been inducting new members since 1958, and with today’s ceremony, indicates the continuing emphasis on excellence that we represent for our school and community.”
Superintendent Ron Jenkins gave remarks, congratulating the inductees and those who were inducted at last year’s ceremony. He also spoke of the four pillars of which NHS is built and of which members of the society must uphold: character, scholarship, leadership, and service.
“Calais High School is proud of many things we do, but, I believe, most proud of our academics and the manner in which we are able to build character and leadership in so many of our students,” Jenkins said, adding, “But in order for those characteristics to exist, they cannot exist in a vacuum. They exist because of the help, understanding, wisdom, and dedication that you folks bring to them, the parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, even the next door neighbor. They are why [these students] have been able to develop character.”
Jenkins went on to praise others who have been involved in the students’ lives, helping to have shaped them into students who possess the qualities of the four NHS pillars. He noted the teachers, the bus drivers, the custodians, and the cafeteria workers, among others, before congratulating family members. “Not only do I want to congratulate the inductees, but I wish to congratulate all of you,” he said, addressing those in the audience. “Without you, they would not be here accepting this great honor.”
Keynote speaker for the ceremony was teacher Mrs. Brandi Cline. She reminded the inductees of the four pillars. “Now that you are about to join the Society, your purpose and job to uphold these pillars is far from over. When you become a member of NHS, it is your responsibility to exemplify these pillars for the rest of your life. I hope this brings you a sense of pride and achievement as you light your candle this evening,” she said.
Cline told the students she hopes that when they exemplify the four pillars as they go through life, they do so authentically, and said, “You are all unique...remember, the National Honor Society’s motto noblesse oblige, which means since you have proven yourself by standing out amongst the many, never forget to help others stand up...Never stop being curious, never stop questioning, and never stop believing in yourself.”
Before each inductee was presented with membership certificates, present members of CHS’s NHS performed the candle lighting ceremony with explanations of the four pillars. Simon Bowles, historian, discussed the lamp of knowledge, followed by Madyson Parks, parliamentarian, explaining scholarship, Sophia McVicar, secretary, explaining service, Hannah Gadway, president, explaining leadership, and Haley Ann Way, vice president, explaining character.
Inductees to CHS’s National Honor Society were Katie Bitar, Hailey Calder, Cassidy Carr, Alexis Donahue, Trinity Jones, Jocelyn Manza, Kobe Saunders, Tristan Seavey, and Zachary Wentworth.
It is tradition for the induction ceremony to conclude with a small reception; however, this year, due to COVID-19, each inductee was presented with a small NHS cake to take home and enjoy with family.