NEWARK — Ten Newark High School juniors and five seniors were formally inducted into the NHS chapter of the National Honor Society at an evening ceremony in the school auditorium October 29.
New inductees and their grade levels are: Julia Bailey (11), Yohannes Bekele (12), Keith Bremer (11), Jack Diamond (12), Emily Hauf (11), Meredith Kellogg (11), McKenna Martin (11), Emma Mason (11), Nicholas Mazur (12), Victoria Sapp (11), Mariah Spacher (12), Ian Tulloch (11), Haley Vastbinder (12), Sam Wersinger (11) and Joshua Wilck, Sarah Sharp (11), Jessica Shields (11), Daniel Staples (11), Jenna Taylor (11).
As each student’s name was called by NHS business teacher Kathleen Tanea, advisor of the NHS Chapter of the National Honor Society, he or she came forward, lit a candle and then shook hands with NHS Principal Kevin Roote, NHS Assistant Principal Nick Ganster and Tanea.
New inductees were selected by a five-member faculty council on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership and service.
“All candidates must have a scholastic average of at least 88 to be accepted by the National Council,’’ Tanea explained. “In addition to the scholastic average, the application process is quite rigorous. All new inductees must submit a resume, essay, teacher sponsorship form, character questionnaire and more. This, along with constructive lead in the classroom, ability to place service above self, demonstration of high standards toward honesty, reliability, fairness and tolerance constitute the criteria which has led to each one’s selection.
“Your acceptance is the evidence that you are the leaders of tomorrow that will mold the future and today you should realize that you are on the threshold of these responsibilities,” Tanea continued. “ An honor such as this is a wonderful way for the school and community to recognize and celebrate the choices, and sometimes the sacrifices, you have made. “
Tanea also said acceptance of new Honor Society members “should be considered the beginning of an obligation, not merely the culmination of an effort to achieve recognition and honor.”
Once inducted, new members will assist the chapter by helping to:
• Create enthusiasm for scholarship
• Stimulate a desire to render service
• Promote worthy leadership
• Encourage the development of character in all NHS students
“You have worked hard to earn this distinction. Tonight is an opportunity to relax, reflect on your successes, and feel proud of yourselves and your accomplishments,” Tanea said.
Then 2013-14 National Honor Society officers _ NHS seniors Jessica Shields (president), Sarah Sharp (vice president), Daniel Staples (secretary) and Elizabeth Kline (treasurer) further explained the criteria for membership.
Roote commended the new inductees on their commitment to excellence.
“This evening, you heard about the symbolism associated with the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society logo depicts a cauldron or lamp with a light. The light is the symbol of truth. Across our nation and world, our motivations often focus on the acquisition or personification of a symbol,” he said. “ For example, amateur athletes identify with the five interlocking rings of the Olympics. The symbol of world dominance in soccer comes only after hoisting the World Cup trophy. When speaking of athletic symbolism one must mention the Stanley Cup awarded to North America’s best hockey club. Of course, there is the Emmy statuette awarded to great television actors and there is even a belt awarded to competitive hot dog eaters, most notably Joey Chestnut. “
The principal also invited the new inductees to consider and answer this riddle: “I can be stolen or given away and you will live, yet you cannot live without me.”
“The answer to this riddle is the symbol you carry with you every day and not mentioned tonight — your heart,” he said.
“Poets, novelists and songwriters have described it in countless ways, but at the level of biology, your heart is all about chemicals,” Roote continued. “How fitting that the greatest symbol you carry with you can be simplified all the way down to the atomic level as chemicals. Mixing these chemicals with well-managed stimuli and response in your brain can lead to some very powerful reactions.
“Scientists have studied these reactions carefully and have learned that there are distinct parallels between their physiology the basis of intrinsic motivation. Something you obviously know a lot about.
“Here's how it works: The brain sends signals to the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. They flow through the blood and cause the heart to beat faster and stronger, the heart uses more oxygen, and this leads to activity in the area of the brain that produces the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine and norepinephrine are closely related.
“What dopamine does is it gives you that focused attention, the craving, the euphoria, the energy and the motivation. The work of these chemicals has immeasurable health benefits. You feel optimistic, energetic, focused and motivated.
“When you leave here tonight, know that you were honored by the wonderful lamp and light associated with the National Honor Society but more importantly, know that you have been carrying the most important symbol of your hard work and determination with you every day. Your heart. Congratulations.”
After the ceremony, a reception was held in the school foyer.