Last Tuesday, the Old Rochester Regional High School inducted 55 students into the National Honor Society (NHS). The students were honored with a ceremony held Tuesday night in the school’s cafeteria. The night began with a piano performance by junior NHS inductee Michael Kassabian, followed by welcome addresses by NHS Advisor Sarabeth Morrell, ORRHS Principal Michael Devoll, and current NHS President Leah Thomas. Senior NHS member Connor Blagden introduced the night’s speaker, Micah Kidney.
Kidney, a math teacher at ORR, is also a dedicated member of the National Guard. He gave a fantastic speech based on “five lessons from his father.” Through anecdotes and powerful words, Kidney encouraged the student inductees to never stray away from a challenge, never give up, and always cherish family. He also encouraged the students to be charismatic – “Be a Norm,” he said, referring to the popular classic TV show “Cheers.”
“I thought that Mr. Kidney was a wonderful speaker,” said NHS Advisor Sarabeth Morrell. “He’s so inspirational and funny at the same time, and the audience seemed really engaged.”
After Kidney’s moving speech, the senior student officers of NHS recognized the National Honor Society qualities: knowledge, scholarship, service, leadership, and character. After each officer spoke a few words about their quality, they lit a candle representing that value.
Next, the ORR chapter of the National Honor Society was dedicated to Dana Dourdeville, a promising young alumnus of ORR who passed away this past winter. “I can say that having been Dana’s teacher and having known him well, that he completely epitomizes everything that the National Honor Society stands for,” said Morrell, stating she felt it was important for ORR to continue Dourdeville’s legacy.
In honor of this dedication, senior NHS member Zachery Tilden read Dourdeville’s valedictorian speech from his graduation in 2011. The brilliantly written speech had students and parents inspired and laughing three years after Dourdeville read it himself.
The night moved on with a flute performance by senior NHS member Keren Satkin, followed by the presentation of inductees. NHS President Leah Thomas read off the names of the student inductees as they stood to light their candles and receive their NHS pins. Then, senior NHS member Chris Carando administered the oath, and the 55 inductees became official members of the National Honor Society.
The night wrapped up with a musical performance by senior NHS member Justin Smilan, an address by current NHS Community Service Coordinator Amanda Carreiro, and a closing by Thomas and Morrell.
“It was fabulous,” Morrell said, pleased with the night’s smooth running.
The 2014 inductees into the National Honor Society are Jennifer Aguiar, Michael Amato, Catherine Ball, Kasey Baltz, Morgan Browning, Stephen Burke, Madeline Cafarella, Danielle Cammarano, Victoria Canton, Morgan Collings, Alysha Cote, Benjamin DeMello, Benjamin Dion, Samuel Dorothy, Jaclyn Dyson, Sierra Ennis, Nicole Gifford, Michaela Guard, Chrystina Hai, Andrea Harris, Michael Kassabian, Rebecca Koerner, Andrew Kuhl, Gerald Lanagan Jr., Hannah Lerman, Shannon Lynch, Samantha Malatesta, Julianne Mariner, Ian MacLellan, Laura McCoy, Victoria Medeiros, Jordan Menard, Mitchell Midwood, Benjamin Mimoso, Heather Nadeau, Julia Nojeim, Margaret O’Day, Shannon O’Malley, Ashley Pacheco, Jonathan Perreira, Zachary Peterson, Chloe Riley, Jentelle Rioux, Sarah Robertson, Shane Ryan, Kevin Saccone, Austin Salkind, Christina Sebastiao, Jillian Sethares, Kyle Sherman, Riley Sherman, Vincent Tepe, Louisa Truss, Cassandra Vance, and Angela Weigel.
These students were accepted into NHS based on their academics and their compliance with the NHS qualities. To become eligible for NHS, the students needed at least a 3.75 GPA at the end of semester one of junior year. The students then had to fill out an application, which required an essay, a community service/leadership log sheet, and a letter of recommendation. Morrell explained that this letter couldn’t come from a teacher, since the students have already shown their academic strengths. It had to come from a coach, an employer, a neighbor, or anyone else that can vouch for the student’s strong character.
Now inducted, the new members of NHS are already getting started on service projects. On May 30, NHS members will volunteer at Rochester Memorial Elementary School and help out with their walk-a-thon and field day. The students will also help with the set up and break down of Relay for Life and they will run a teddy bear collection for a local hospital before the end of the school year.
In other news, ORR’s Community Service Learning club is running a sports ball collection until May 9. Gently used and new sports balls are being collected in the high school’s main lobby and all donations will go to Gifts to Give.
By Renae Reints