The first virtual National Honor Society inductions

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Courtesy of Kaitlyn Mourlas

NHS 2019 President lighting the first candle.

Meghan Bean, Staff Writer

Every year Stephen Decatur High School welcomes new members into the National Honors Society (NHS), which is typically done in the school with a large ceremony including friends and family attending. However, this year it had to be held online via zoom, because of the ongoing pandemic.

In order to be inducted into the NHS students must maintain a 87.5 percent grade point average starting in their ninth grade year to the spring semester in their junior year in all core classes. These students must also have no incomplete BRIDGE projects at the end of first semester junior year and possess  character, leadership, and have participated in at least two clubs within a year of their induction.

If all of the criteria is met and a student is eligible they will be notified, and allowed to fill out an “intent form.” All intent forms are reviewed by a Faculty Council who then decides whether they will be inducted into the NHS.

This year’s virtual induction took place on Sept. 16 which included 87 inductees and a handful of guests in attendance. Some of these guests included Principal Tom Sites and Superintendent Louis Taylor. As well as Chief academic officers Dr. Annette Wallace and Dee Shorts, Chief Safety Officer Dr. Dwayne Abt and Chief Financial Officer Vincent Tolbert. Worcester County Public Schools teacher and Decatur Alum Danielle Jackson (class of ‘06) served as this years guest speaker.

However, the unique circumstances did allow the class of 2020 graduate and outgoing Vice President, Ella Peters to conduct the swearing in from Waco, Texas at Baylor University. A responsibility that would have typically fallen to former President Richard Poist had he not been under restricted circumstances at the United States Naval Academy.

There were some obvious differences between this years ceremony and years past, considering it was virtual. However, NHS member Lydia Woodley stated that “they tried to keep it as much similar as possible” and that “One of the big things was I did not get the whole walking across the stage getting my hand shook kind of experience.” Another NHS member Zach Fuchsluger stated “I feel that having the ceremony online made it lose the personal touch.” Both students agree that much of the recognition for being part of an honor society comes from actually being in the school building, which is something that could not happen this year for safety reasons.

Becoming a member of the NHS is no small accomplishment or responsibility. Mrs. Berquist states “NHS members will immediately begin serving the school by assisting during our first day of welcoming students into the building and tutoring with the After School Academy.” Congratulations to all the new members.