The Post Ellipsis chapter of the National English Honor Society at Huntington High School inducted 75 new members during a Thursday evening virtual ceremony.
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. Candidates must submit an essay and two letters of recommendations from faculty members.
Huntington High School English Honor Society advisors Helen Guarino and Aimee Antorino.
The new inductees include Talia Addeo, Nadeera Ali, Grace Allen, Sana Amin, Anthony Annunziata, Katherine Balm, Matthew Beasley, Victoria Befumo, Laurel Bonn, Sophie Bradford, Sofia Breskin, McKenna Buffa, Hannah Byers, David Canas Granados, Gemma Cartwright, John Chirico, Dylan Coleman, Laura Curtin, Megan Donaghy, Molly Fallon, Gianna Forte, Keira Francis, Peter Gaal, Lauren Gennarelli, Jonah Gillenwater, Emma Glascock, Bianca Gomez, Vincent Grassi, Emma Hannigan, Angie Hernandez-Ramos, Brianna Isaza, Ella Kamenstein, Shannon Kehoe, Noa Kimmelman and Michael Kline.
The new members also include Quinn Fox, Sarah Krisch, Cecilia Kye, Ryan Lawless, Isabella Lima, Daniela Luca, Victoria Mangan, Markella Markotsis, Renee McKean, Aidan McNulty, Kathryn Meagher, Gabriella Miller, Rachel Morina, Brad Nisipeanu, Margo Nitekman, Jillian Panos, Lillian Polak, Neha Rathore, Maximillian Rentsch, Kathryn Sanseviro, Erin Scanlon, Chloe Schiman, Dylan Schnitzer, Nikolai Seferian, Sophia Segal, Leah Sheran, Abigail Simon, Haileigh Smith, Brian Sosnowski, Evan Spagnoletti, Henry Stein, Theologos Tiliakos, Anaya Watkis, Stephanie Wickey, Linnea Wong, Anna Bell Young, Nicholas Zahn and Richard Zboray.
The organization is led Kate Sheran (president), Jazmyn Clark (vice president), Aaron Chin (secretary), Luke Rinaldi (treasurer) and Ally Kustera (public relations coordinator). English teachers Aimee Antorino and Helen Guarino serve as the group’s 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.
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.’”
Principal Brenden Cusack, himself a former English teacher in the Freeport school district, also addressed the inductees, sharing with them some poignant words.
“Henry David Thoreau once said, ‘It takes two to speak the truth; one to speak and another to listen,’” Mr. Cusack said. “As members of the National English Honor Society you understand the importance of communication, the value of listening and the significance of expression. You have proven yourselves capable of serious study of the English language and of pursuing the truth in works of literature or in your own creative expressions of poetry or prose. Being a member of this organization and of the English community as a whole, requires that you continue these efforts and prepare yourselves to take into the world the truths you have found here, sharing with others your joy and appreciation of our discipline.
“Truth cannot exist in a vacuum and, like art, it must be shared to be understood,” continued Mr. Cusack. “As a former English teacher myself, I firmly believe that the study of literature and the English language supports many other areas of study and truly provides a window into the very heart of the human condition. I wish you the best of luck as you continue to use your highly developed communication skills to seek and provide truth in the years to come. I wish you all congratulations on this fine achievement.”
Click to view a film of the 2020 induction ceremony