Being part of a society holds multiple benefits, including the possibility to make a positive difference in one’s community. For 49 seventh and eighth graders and 149 sophomores and juniors, Tuesday, March 20 brought about the induction into the two academic honor societies: National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and National Honor Society (NHS), respectively.
Before the ceremony at 7:00 p.m., inductees and officers rehearsed during eighth hour for NHS and ninth hour for NJHS in the theater. During the NJHS practice, inductees were lined up alphabetically and assigned a seat. Officers quickly ran through their speeches, and advisor Mrs. Carol Cabrera released students with information of what to wear (formal, professional attire) and what time to arrive at the theater (6:45).
The ceremony began with advisors, club officers and inductees filing into their assigned spots as ceremonial music filled the packed auditorium of standing spectators. High school principal Ms. Elise Blum greeted the families and friends of inductees and introduced Junior High Principal Mrs. Anita LaTorre, who gave a few remarks before welcoming Mrs. Cabrera on stage.
From there, Mrs. Cabrera gave a brief history of NJHS and invited co-presidents freshmen Gauri Kasarla and Rishi Patel, followed by the other officers in attendance, onstage. Kasarla and Patel described club accomplishments as well as the high criteria the inductees were required to meet in order to be accepted into the society. Other officers spoke about the five main tenements of the club: scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship. After each speech, co-historians Hayden Kirkeide and Melina Marin lighted the appropriate candle.
Kasarla and Patel then read the names of the inductees. As the names were called, the respective student walked onstage, received a personalized certificate from either Kirkide or Marin and shook Mrs. Cabrera’s hand. Inductees lined up on the bottom of the stage, giving families the opportunity to photograph them. Once everyone received their certificate and lined up onstage, Kasarla asked the inductees to raise their right hand and proceeded to lead the reading and reciting of the NJHS Pledge.
The NJHS induction was promptly followed by the NHS induction. NHS advisor Mrs. Diana Adams walked up the steps the stage and received a warm welcome of cheering by her officers and students. After speaking about the accomplishments of the club, Mrs. Adams invited NHS president senior Nithya Kasarla and other officers onstage.
Similar to NJHS, the officers spoke about the standards of the honor club (scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship), each speech individually written and entertaining. One speech, presented by junior Amber Bhutta, even quoted the Marvel character Captain America to further the importance of character.
One by one, inductees went on stage and accepted a personalized certificate and lined up. To ensure the quick procesion, Kasarla requested that the audience collectively clap once, much to the amusement of attendees for the first few inductees. Once every inductee stood in their place, the audience clapped proudly.
As Mrs. Adams said, the induction into the honor societies is not the end goal but rather the beginning of a chance for members to make true change in not just the school, but in the community and themselves.