National Honors Society Holds 2020-2021 Induction Ceremony

Senior NHS President Richard Chen delivering his speech to fellow classmates.

By Andrea Espino, Staff Writer

On April 27, the National Honors Society induction ceremony was held in the Robert L. Johnson Auditorium to congratulate the seniors of Niles West for their academic accomplishments. To maintain social distancing and COVID-19 protocols, there were two separate ceremonies held at 6:15 PM and 7:30 PM. Family members were not allowed in attendance as part of following protocols; however, both ceremonies were live-streamed for families to view at home.

The induction ceremony lasted for about an hour and a half and started with the members saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterward, guest speakers Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West Principal, and Ms. Lisa Rossa, English teacher and 2020-2021 Most Inspirational Teacher, gave speeches to students. Dr. Ritter’s speech was more of a congratulatory speech, and Ms. Rossa’s speech touched on the difficulties of online learning and how students were able to overcome this and still be a part of the National Honors Society.

“Something that stood out to me was Ms. Rossa’s speech because you could tell she was genuinely happy to be seeing students in person. She was honestly very inspirational,” senior Gabby Rogan, one of the officers of the group said.

Soon after, the President of the National Honors Society, Richard Chen, delivered a speech based on the game Among Us. “Our chapter had fun playing Among Us together during one of our meetings, so I decided to use it as a fun metaphor for teamwork and also overcoming self-doubt (which was personified as the impostor),” Chen said.

After that, the four officers of the National Honors Society began to read the member’s names as they accepted their rose and certificate. Each student had the opportunity to walk across the stage and be congratulated by their teachers and peers. Shortly after, everyone sat down, and a short video was played with a slideshow of pictures of the NHS members. This video meant a lot to the students and family watching from home.

A lot of preparation went into making the ceremony possible. Auditorium Manager, Mr. Michael Johnson, and District Cable Television Producer, Mr. Michael Hoffman, helped ensure that logistics ran smoothly and set up a live stream so parents and family at home could enjoy the evening too. The A Capella group High Fidelity and Ms. Kaitlin Foley contributed a lovely music performance as well. “The performance was pre-recorded and took about 2-3 weeks to prepare for,” senior Janay Moncrief¬†said.

Mr. Gin and Ms. Lau, the NHS sponsors, put in a lot of work to make sure everyone met Covid-19 safety guidelines and played a large role in organizing the event.

This ceremony was all about the students and recognizing their accomplishments. All of the NHS members have not only worked hard to find ways to serve our community despite remote learning and the pandemic, but they also worked hard the past four years of their high school career. The induction ceremony allowed them to all be recognized for that accomplishment in person.