National Honor Society inducts new members


Miranda Xiong

Crossing the stage holding roses and certificates, students shake hands with speakers and officers. The inductees were sworn into the society during the evening ceremony. “We just got inducted,” junior Ritika Shrivastav said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Miranda Xiong, Staff Writer

The National Honor Society (NHS) Challenger Chapter of Jefferson gathered in the auditorium on November 29th to formally induct 171 new juniors and seniors into the organization.

Students undertook an extensive application process, which included writing essays, collecting teacher and counselor signatures in order to prove their academic and extracurricular achievement. The induction was the first event held by the chapter of the current school year.

“It’s a prestigious high school organization,” junior Anne Nguyen said. “I do a lot of volunteer work, and I’m going to continue to do volunteering, so I thought joining another volunteer-oriented program would help.”

The ceremony commenced with opening remarks by NHS officer Louise Hicks and speeches by NHS sponsor and physics teacher Robert Culbertson, keynote speaker Michael Tillman, and principal Ann Bonitatibus. Before the induction, NHS officers participated in the traditional candle-light ceremony, in which each officer lights a candle representing the values of NHS.

“May your light blaze for a successful year, and upon graduation next year, may be passed on with the satisfaction that much was accomplished for the welfare of your school and organization,”officer Vandana Subramanian said during the conclusion of the candle-lighting.

Throughout the ceremony, speakers stressed the four pillars of NHS frequently- character, scholarship, leadership and service. In particular, service is a major staple of NHS, which is unsurprising considering many of the juniors inducted already perform service for their community.

“I go to elementary schools on Friday afternoons and conduct science experiments with them, and teach them science that complements what they’re learning in class,” Nguyen said.

Other juniors focused on school-based service and volunteering at Jefferson.

“I helped out with freshman orientation, and I’ve done church volunteering in the past with food drives,” junior Gwendolyn Jacobson said.

Bonitatibus, who participated in NHS during her high school years, also spoke on the impact of service on her experience with NHS during her speech.

“[My honor society] was able to really focus on the service aspect of what we did, and I think that’s what made [NHS]  so special,” Bonitatibus said.

Both the sponsors and inductees anticipate a great year with the new membership.

“I look forward to this upcoming year, and having an entirely new group of people to work with,” Culbertson said of the ceremony.

Inductees also expressed their appreciation for the work in presenting the ceremony.

“[There] has been so much behind-the-scenes work done in organizing this induction,” senior Aishani Pal said, acknowledging the scope and professionalism of the ceremony.

Hicks, who previously opened the ceremony, concluded the ceremony, leaving a lingering thought on the outreach of Jefferson students.

“Here at Thomas Jefferson, we have something special,” Hicks said. “We are not limited to only outreach in and out of our school community,. But we are also made to make an impact throughout Northern Virginia.”