Sixteen juniors and four seniors from Newark High School were inducted into the National Honor Society at a recent ceremony in the Auditorium.
The new inductees are juniors Tatum Arnold, Isabella Bailey, Phoebe Bates, Brendan Briggs, McKenna Briggs, Elana Verbridge-Day, Hannah Fisher, Lynzee Havert, Matthew Hutteman, Lauren MacTaggart, Luis Ortiz Jr., Deborah Szarek, Emily Tang, Madeline Tulloch, Emily Well and Kayla Williams, and seniors Caitlin Chopan, Casey Fox, Jordan Navarro and Madeline Wetmore.
As their name was called by NHS chapter adviser Ariel Denny, each student came forward and shook hands with Principal Tom Roote.
The new inductees were selected by a 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,’’ Denny said. “In addition to the scholastic average, the local application process includes a resume, essay, sponsorship from five high school teachers and a character questionnaire. This, along with leadership in the classroom, the 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.
“Students’ achievements in these areas — scholarship, leadership, service and character — were honored by their induction. This is a wonderful way for the school and community to recognize and celebrate the choices, and sometimes the sacrifices, they made.”
Denny said new members should consider their acceptance into NHS as “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 and encourage the development of character in all NHS students.
“Students have worked hard to earn this, and the induction ceremony is an opportunity to reflect on their successes so they can feel proud of themselves and their accomplishments,” Denny said.
Seniors Katherine Paddock, president; Jasmine Bueso, vice president; Emma Correia, secretary; and Nichelle Camp, treasurer, took time at the ceremony to explain the criteria for membership. Then, Roote addressed the inductees:
“Welcome guests, congratulations inductees and thank you for this opportunity to speak,” he said. “This evening, you heard about the symbolism associated with the National Honor Society … [its] logo depicted by a cauldron or lamp with a light. The light is the symbol of truth. Interestingly, our motivations often focus on the acquisition or personification of a symbol. 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.
“I want to focus you on the personification of a symbol for a moment. What does that mean? First, to personify means embodying a quality, concept or thing. Symbol in this case means whatever thing is the subject of the embodiment or concept. In your case, it is the cauldron representing the ideals of NHS. Let’s look at this idea of symbols and personification in a fable I share from time to time with teachers needing a bit of inspiration.
“It starts with a water-bearer in India with two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
“For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one-and-a-half pots full of water to the house. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But, the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
“After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream, ‘I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.’
“‘‘Why?’ asked the bearer. ‘What are you ashamed of?’
“‘I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to the house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don’t get full value from your efforts,’ the pot said.
“The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, ‘As we return to the house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.’
“Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
“The bearer said to the pot, ‘Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.’
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate our new inductees, for you are now our water-bearers. It is your job to spread the qualities of the cauldron that you embody as if they are the seeds and water mentioned in the fable. Congratulations!”
After Roote spoke, Paddock led students in the NHS pledge for new members. A reception followed in the School Foyer for the new inductees and their guests.