The Huntington High School cafeteria came alive last Saturday night for two sessions of the National Honor Society’s gingerbread house contest.
Billed as a “family holiday fun” night, the event included hot cocoa, festive attire, a showing of the classic movie, “Frosty the Snowman,” and a contest involving building gingerbread houses, trains, cottages and entire villages.
“We held the gingerbread fundraiser to support a local family in need for the holiday season,” said senior Emily Geller, president of Huntington’s National Honor Society chapter. “All proceeds will go directly into gifts and necessities for the family. We know it’s a difficult time for many people especially with the pandemic, so we wanted to host an event for families to enjoy themselves while also contributing to a great cause.”
Families purchased gingerbread kits and went about building their structures while “Frosty the Snowman” played and hot chocolate was served. National Honor Society member volunteers later judged the gingerbread houses and prizes were awarded to the winners.
“Overall, the event was very successful,” Ms. Geller said. “I’m so glad we were able to host it in person this year!”
Ms. Geller’s fellow executive officers include Ainsley Proctor (vice president), Naysa Escobar-Rizo (secretary), Ryan Porzio (treasurer) and Morgan Colleluori (administrative assistant). Caelan Clayton serves as the organization’s tutoring coordinator. Teachers Patricia Avelli and Tara Rossy are the group’s faculty advisors.
Participating families in last Saturday night’s event were encouraged to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate.
Huntington’s NHS Chapter Founded in 1954
The Nathan Hale chapter of the National Honor Society at Huntington High School was organized in 1954. It celebrated its 68th induction ceremony this fall.
The chapter was formed when the high school was known as Robert L. Simpson High School and located on Main Street in the building now utilized as Huntington Town Hall. Mr. Simpson was the high school principal for 20 years before retiring in June 1950. He was a math teacher and administrator in the district for 41 years.
Principal Robert Cushman was the driving force behind the creation of the Nathan Hale chapter. The first mention of the National Honor Society in a Huntington yearbook came in 1958.
“The National Honor Society is an organization having chapters in many high schools throughout the country,” it states on page 47 of the 1958 edition of the “Huntingtonian,” the annual high school yearbook. “Its primary purpose is to give recognition to students who have attained high scholarship, leadership, character and sportsmanship.”
The Nathan Hale chapter boasted 36 members in 1958. “Simpson High School started the Nathan Hale chapter of the society in 1954,” the yearbook states. “Since then, the annual tapping ceremony, which takes place in assembly, has been held in early spring. This year, after Mr. Cushman explained the meaning and history of the society, the members who were inducted last year proceeded to tap the new members. After receiving their robes, they mounted the stage. There the new members received certificates and took the pledge to uphold the high ideals of the society. A reception for the parents and members was held after the assembly.”
The new and continuing members posed annually for a photo on the steps of the portico at the old high school that connected the large and small buildings (which still stand today.) It had Roman columns and a stone covered walkway.