The Post Ellipsis chapter of the National English Honor Society at Huntington High School inducted 57 new members during a Tuesday evening ceremony in the auditorium.
To be considered for NEHS membership a student must have a minimum academic grade average of 90, “exhibiting an impressive breadth of academic excellence,” while maintaining an English grade of at least 94.
The new inductees include Sebastian Abreu, Ryan Aguirre, Jeslyn Alfaro-Andrade, Isabella Algieri, Alexa Amorison, Lena Annunziata, Alexander Bellissimo, Katie Bonilla, Chloe Buffone, William Burton Jr., Taylor Case, Emily Cheshire, Aaron Chin, Jazmynn Clark, Kyle Colleluori, Terrel Cox, Livia D’Anna, Daniel Danziger, Andrea Delcid Ayala, Isabella DiBenedetto, Marina Durand, Katherine Eichenberger, Emerson Forbes, Jailyn Fuentes, Nathaniel Gamboa, Julia Giles, Alex Gonzalez, Zach Gordon, Rebecca Hoffmann, Jaden Italiano, Robert Jean-Gilles and Oskar Kilgour.
Timmeree Koepele, John Krisch, Margaret Lalor, Ainsley Lumpe, Luke Maffei, Charlotte Maggio, Abigail Maichin, Juliet Marinello, Aedan McDonald, Andrew McKenzie, Ethan Mulroy, Eliana Ng, Lily O’Heir, Charles O’Rourke, Jeffrey Ochoa-Alvarez, Jorge Parada-Cisneros, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Alexa Rind, Keily Rivas, Julie Rogel, Valerie Rogel, Joseph Rombaldi, Andreas Seferian, Kate Sheran and Ella Siepel were also inducted into the prestigious organization.
The new members expanded the group’s ranks to 128. The organization is led President Zubair Ali, Vice President Madelyn Kye, Treasurer Katie Stock, Recording Secretary Natalie Ciccone and Corresponding Secretary Ryan Hoffmann. English teachers Aimee Antorino and Helen Guarino serve as the faculty advisors.
Among the speakers was Joseph Leavy, the district’s chairman of humanities, 7-12. “I’d like to quote a passage from Shakespeare that seems appropriate for this occasion,” he said. “William Shakespeare, in his play Henry V, wrote: ‘As many arrows, loosed several ways, come to one mark; as many ways meet in one town; as many fresh streams meet in one salt sea… So may a thousand actions, once afoot, end in one purpose and be all well borne, without defeat.’”
“You are all like those many arrows, each coming from a different source, each with your talents and varied interests; but as members of the National English Honor Society, you promise to support one another and focus your energies on the society’s goal,” Mr. Leavy said.
A crowd of family members and friends turned out for the induction, along with high school and district officials and members of Huntington’s Board of Education.
“The written and spoken word; it is at the heart of communication and what makes us all social beings,” Principal Brenden Cusack told the new inductees. “The ability to convey and receive information in an effective way is essential in all of the thousands of interactions we have each day. Your induction into the National English Honor Society shows that you are on your way to mastering these skills. Whether it is analyzing literature, making deductions from informational texts, seeking out rhetorical devices in speeches of the past or crafting your own writing with a sense of voice and purpose, you have excelled. As a former teacher of English, I am especially proud of you as I know that, while all disciplines are important and challenging, the study of English serves those other disciplines, for without skillful communication and analytical skills, other forms of study would undoubtedly suffer.”
Officers called the inductees one-by-one to the stage and presented each of them with a membership certificate. The members are now expected to participate in the society’s many volunteer activities.
The evening also featured performances by a string quintet. High school chamber choir members sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and also performed a medley of holiday songs.
Huntington’s Post Ellipsis chapter annually inducts at least one honorary member. This year the organization inducted Huntington High School English teacher Dianna Cazzalino, who sat on the stage with executive board members and the faculty advisors.
The new members formally entered NEHS ranks during a ceremony that saw each of the teenagers light and hold a candle as they stood before the stage in the auditorium.
“One of my favorite authors, Toni Morrison, once said, ‘If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it,’” Mr. Cusack told the incoming members. “I invite you, beginning on this momentous evening, to write your own book. Not necessarily in the literal sense, but in whatever sense that means to you. Perhaps it is in fact an actual book you will write at some point, or it may be another means to convey your own personal vision and truth. However you choose to use the written word, know that it does indeed hold tremendous power. An ability to deftly use the written word can in fact, and with no exaggeration, shape our entire world. I urge you to keep working at that and use your powers for good.”
The inductees were required to recite the following pledge: “As a member of the National English Honor Society, I shall endeavor to advance the study of all areas of English and to foster a spirit of fellowship among students excelling in all facets of the English Language Arts, ever keeping in mind our national motto as our guiding principle: Gelast Sceal Mid Are–duty goes with honor.”
“The motto represents one of the earliest forms of our language; it affirms and celebrates an obligation to use one’s gifts in service to others,” according to the NEHS website. “Service to peers, school, and community are part and parcel of the NEHS mission and, indeed, in the grammatical structure of the Old English phrase, ‘duty’ actually proceeds ‘honor.’”
A reception was held immediately following the ceremony for students and their parents in the lobby outside the auditorium.