By Amanda Mack, News Editor
On Tuesday, November 10th, 19 new students were inducted into the Nantucket chapter of the National Honor Society. In years past, the induction ceremony has been held in the auditorium. Students, families, teachers, staff, and community members come together to celebrate these remarkable individuals. Due to the ban on large gatherings, this event was not able to be held in the auditorium this year. Instead, the ceremony was held on a Google Meet. Although it was not as memorable for new or returning members and their families, it was still a very special night. The night started off with a warm welcome from National Honor Society advisor, Leslie Brannigan. Brannigan did an amazing job of planning this event, making it feel somewhat normal, despite all of the setbacks. Without her, the event would not be possible. Following her opening remarks, Brannigan turned it over to the hosts, President JohnCarl McGrady, and vice presidents Reese Burns and Waverley Brannigan. These student leaders did a tremendous job of hosting, proving once again that students at NHS are truly dedicated to everything that they are involved in.
Scholarship, leadership, service, and character are the four pillars of the national honor society. Students that are inducted not only need to have a cumulative GPA of 4.1 or higher, they also need to be involved in the school and Nantucket community, take leadership positions, and display a moral character. After the initial introduction, four returning members spoke about each of these pillars. Brian Nolasco-Ramirez spoke about the scholarship, saying that it is “…a commitment to learning.” Lily Whelden spoke about service, saying that it is about “…seeking out and engaging in meaningful service, not simply to fulfill a program requirement…” Ruby Dupont spoke about leadership, saying that a leader is someone who “…has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate.” Maddie Iller spoke about character, quoting Charles Caleb Colton by saying that “the true measure of your character is what you do when nobody is watching.”
Before the new members were officially inducted, NHS principal Mandy Vasil was invited to say a few words. Vasil wanted to tell all of these outstanding students that they should be very proud of themselves for all of their hard work, especially during these difficult times. Although she has not had much time to get to know these students yet, she looks forward to doing so, and knows they have so much to offer their school and the greater community. At this time, the official induction began. Each returning member was assigned a new member. They first formally invited them for membership, and then they read a paragraph about the student and what they are involved in. New members include seniors Kamoy Barnett, Will Harris, Aslyn Ray, and juniors Max Beebee, Evan Belanger, Hector Benitez Landaverde, Macy Crowell, Emma Davis, Sonia Dhar, Emily Dussalt, Cole Evans, Evelyn Fey, Sara Hanlon, Kevin Johnson, Kathryn Kyomitmaitee, James Mack, Angelica Oviedo-Fermin, Maryann Vasquez Cruz, and Maclaine Willett. Returning members include Ruby Dupont, Camie Strojny, Brian Nolasco-Ramirez, Gannon Mooney, Katie Purda, JohnCarl McGrady, Amanda Mack, Maddie Iller, Sydney King, Waverley Brannigan, Caroline Harding, Sophie Gerardi, Katie Genthner, Lily Whelden, Bella Cutone, Isobel Congdon, Maisie Cocker, and Reese Burns.
Once each new member was invited, all new members were instructed to repeat a pledge. Students kept their microphones off, in order to not get any loud feedback from the computers, and recited the pledge from their own homes. This marked the end of the ceremony and gratitude towards all who made this event possible and congratulations to the new members began. Now that this year’s honor society is in place, it is time to get to work. New and returning members will work together with advisor Leslie Brannigan to plan some great ways to assist the Nantucket community.
When asked what she is most excited for as a new member of the national honor society, new member Maclaine Willett expressed that she is “most excited for the volunteer opportunities that I will have access to in our community.” This seems to be the overall consensus among most students. These members already participate in so much community service, but through the National Honor Society, they are able to find new and different ways to give back to their community.
Returning member and co-vice president Waverly Brannigan similarly remarked that her biggest piece of advice to new members is to “take advantage of any opportunity you get to give back to the community and help others.” She believes it is “not only rewarding for yourself, but you are also doing good in helping others.” Speaking from experience, she felt it important to note that you shouldn’t “turn away from those types of opportunities even if you would rather be doing something else because giving back is always worth it in the end.” Overall, this year’s online induction was a huge success and definitely exhibited hard work from Mrs. Brannigan along with former members in order to give a warm welcome to the new members.