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National Honor Society inducts new members

Northwestern’s National Honor Society inducted 51 new members in a formal ceremony that brought students and their families to the newly refurbished high school auditorium on a crisp November evening.

Each of the officers spoke about the four important pillars of the organization - character, scholarship, leadership and service - setting the tone for the evening.

Character was represented by a green candle.

“Your character is constantly being displayed throughout your lifetime,” President Zach Creighton said. “Your character is truly what goes on in your own mind when no one else is around.”

Treasurer Allyson Hinks spoke about scholarship as represented by a gold candle.

She referred to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who once said “Scholarship is often defined as knowledge, [but it is also] one’s ability to persevere with dedication to obtain knowledge that betters society.”

Vice President Natalie Massetti discussed the cardinal virtue of leadership.

“For some people, it takes a leap of faith,” she said. “[But the inductees] have shown that they are an example for others. It’s a huge responsibility to be a person others will follow.”

Secretary Devon Thomas explained the cardinal virtue of service.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” he said, quoting Ghandi. “National Honor Society members tutor their peers and take part in service, [demonstrating] the right attitude for the betterment of others.”

Inductees took their places on stage as their names were called before they were presented with the National Honor Society black and gold tassel and a candle symbolizing their commitment to the organization.

“We challenge these students to maintain these qualities for the rest of their lives,” said Kelly Bleam, who co-advises the organization with Nichole Zimmerman. “Our world needs leaders. We are so proud of all of you.“

The new members lit their candles, passing on the flame to signify membership in National Honor Society.

They then recited the National Honor Society pledge in unison, promising “to uphold the high purposes of the National Honor Society, striving in every way by word and deed to make these ideals the ideals of my school and my life.”

The new members further pledged, “To hold as fundamental and worthy an unvarnished character, to be a leader and to give myself in service to others.”

Finally, they repeated in unison, “I pledge myself always to seek light and truth [and] hold scholarly habits.”

The National Honor Society also inducted honorary members from the faculty and community.

Spanish teacher Tari Carnahan was the first honorary inductee.

“She is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever met,” said Kelci Knirnschild, who lauded Carnahan for “her hard work and dedication.”

“It felt pretty awesome to be honored,” Carnahan said. “National Honor Society is one of the few organizations that honors students for academic achievements along with service.

“It counterbalances, a bit, the heavy focus on athletics in our public schools.

“While many of the students in the NHS are also athletes, there are many who are not, so this public acknowledgment of what they have to offer is very important.”

Cross-country Coach Chris Stitzel was the second honorary inductee.

“It’s an honor that they recognize me for my coaching. It’s just an honor,” he said.

Recognition comes on the heels of a memorable season for Stitzel, whose cross-country girls team advanced to state championships at Hershey, where they placed third in the state.

“It’s nice to finally honor students who are involved in the community and have good scholastic achievements,” Creighton said after the ceremony.

“They’re a great group, a very easy group to induct,” Bleam said at a reception where refreshments were served.

National Honor Society members are planning events going forward.

“We are starting a gift card fundraiser,” Bleam said. “We’re trying to get to Washington, D.C., and we’re hoping National Honor Society will achieve its goal.”

PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFFNicole Zimmerman and Kelly Bleam are advisers to Northwestern Lehigh High School National Honor Society.