The Nathan Hale chapter of the National Honor Society at Huntington High School was organized in 1954. It will celebrate its 66th induction ceremony this fall.
The chapter was formed when the high school was known as Robert L. Simpson High School and was 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. “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.
“To be admitted to the National Honor Society is one of the crowning achievements in a student’s life,” the 1958 yearbook states. The same remains true today.
This year’s executive board consists of Sarah Krisch (president), Liam Tucker (vice president), Cecilia Kye (treasurer), Nikolai Seferian (secretary), Haileigh Smith (historian/tutoring coordinator) and administrative assistant Emma Hannigan. Teachers Patricia Avelli and Tara Rossy are the organization’s faculty advisors.
The 2022 induction ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. in the Huntington High School auditorium.