On January 29, the John Brewster Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) inducted 11 students into its ranks. Friends, faculty, and family were invited to witness the ceremony, held this year in the Grayson Student Center at the Rogers building and hosted by new NHS advisor Jen Dumont. The ceremony was also live streamed for those who could not attend in person.
Each of the inductees was selected for their achievements in the organization’s four pillars: scholarship, leadership, character, and service. As is tradition, the current NHS officers (President Hannah Yang ’23, Vice President Archer McClain ’23, Secretary Delphine Tamborello ’23, and Treasurer Sylvie Skibicki ’23), handed each student their certificate and pin, placed a tassel around their neck, and lit candles representing the four pillars. After new members recited the NHS pledge, they each held a yellow rose and shared a message of thanks to the person or people who have influenced them the most.
The new NHS inductees for 2022-23 are
Al Zaharaa Al Zaabi ’23
Maggie Doyle ’24
Liam Fahey ’24
Zoe Hausler ’24
Naim Ibroci ’23
Kellye Nguyen ’23
Patrick Rae ’24
Zoe Schwartz ’24
Haojia Sit ’24
Paulina Trott ’24
Haven Varney ’24
Mrs. Dumont, who is also Brewster’s Director of Library Services, said, “I am honored to be able to step into the very large shoes of Mrs. Maria Found, who has been serving as the NHS advisor since 2011. The National Honor Society is such an important organization, and it’s really a feather in Brewster’s cap, placed there by Mrs. Found, that our chapter is so active.”
She went on to explain that the NHS pledge calls for students to ‘give unsparingly of my time and energy toward the promotion of all school activities,” noting that this is a promise that, if fulfilled, “can have a tremendously positive impact on the school.” Mrs. Dumont, who has been serving on the Faculty Council with Mrs. Found for the past several years, said she has always been impressed at the level of maturity and dedication displayed by Brewster’s NHS inductees. “This year’s new and current members are no different,” she added. “These students represent a diverse cross-section of thinkers from all around the world, and they will do great things. We are proud to induct them into the John Brewster chapter of the National Honor Society and I am thrilled to be working with them as their faculty advisor.”
Special guest speaker (and Team Leader) Alicia Wingard asked the students to think about how their NHS pledge will shape their future and how they will honor that pledge, encouraging them to think 40 years into the future. “I say 40 years in the future because it was about 40 years ago that I had the honor of being inducted into the National Honor Society,” she shared. “When Mrs. Dumont notified me of your invitation, my mind flashed back to a steamy hot Alabama day; I was dressed in a starched school uniform, sitting elbow to elbow in crowded bleachers in a smelly unairconditioned gymnasium, being supervised by a bunch of nuns. But, lo and behold, the emotion I felt as I reminisced about that day was sheer joy!” She described the pride she felt as “a much-revered senior girl who had hair as big as mine made her way through the bleachers, tapped me on my shoulder, and invited me to join the ranks of the esteemed members of the John Carroll Catholic High School Chapter of the National Honor Society.” She continued her personal reflection, sharing that has saved her certificate, tassel, and pin, for they were the tangible evidence of hours upon hours of homework and hard work. She was proud, and reminded the Brewster students they should be too.
Mrs. Wingard went on to describe preparing for her speech by reaching out to two of her former students and NHS members, Christopher Webb ’21 and Lila Glanville ’22. “I asked them how being a member of the NHS has mattered to them. Chris told me that being inducted into NHS was meaningful because he felt he was finally getting recognition for his years of hard work to achieve academic success,” she said, adding that while a student at Brewster, Webb initiated a complex process to bring a club to Brewster that empowers students with learning differences at a local and national level, all while serving as a Senior Class Prefect. “Following Chris’s graduation, the Brewster Chapter of the LD Alliance Club was chartered. It became one of only 14 such organizations from across the United States, and many of you are active members,” Mrs. Wingard shared.
“Lila, a former Vice-President of NHS and co-leader of Brewster’s first LD Alliance Club, responded that she was most proud of being recognized for her many hours of community service,” she said, noting that Lila also said her biggest takeaway was that the NHS pillars represent a shared value system she has with other Honor Society members.
Mrs. Wingard told the students that her NHS induction didn’t change who she was or her academic abilities, but it gave her confidence and heightened awareness of the responsibilities she had to share any gift or talent she possessed with others. “On that hot Alabama day, the recitation of my oath and the message of the pillars resounded off the gymnasium walls and into my heart,” she said.
Describing the candle lighting portion of the ceremony that would follow her speech, Mrs. Wingard said, “Light comes from darkness because people willingly share their light. I beseech you to embrace the next few moments and contemplate what you will do with the light you receive. It is my hope that those of you who are today being bestowed with the honor and charge of membership into the National Honor Society will look back on this solemn yet joyous day—40 years in the future—and be able to say that you have kept your flame alive, and shared your light with others to make our world a brighter place.”
At the end of the ceremony, the inductees took a moment to stand and say thank you to people who have helped them on their journey. Among many words of love and gratitude for parents and siblings, Maggie Doyle ’24 thanked her Grandfather Ted for “showing me how to live life to the fullest, happiest, and most fun.” Paulina Trott ’24 included one of her Brewster teachers, saying, “I would like to thank Ms. Cornwell for guiding me and helping me grow as a person.”
Congratulations to all the inductees and the people in their lives who have supported their success!
Please enjoy photos of the ceremony here and a recording of the induction here.
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