By Gail McCarthy
Twenty-five Rockport High School students were inducted into the National Honor Society during a candlelight ceremony to honor the newest members of the Catherine E. Churchill Chapter.
In congratulating the students, Principal Philip Conrad noted how their qualities represent what the school mission is about in its promotion of intellectual curiosity, the pursuit of high achievement and cultivating an interest in civic duty.
During the candlelight ceremony, the NHS officers lit a candle representing one of the pillars of the society:
Sydney Colussi, president, lit the candle for leadership; Emily Good, vice president, lit the candle for character; Emma Ottenheimer, secretary, lit the candle for scholarship; and Tori Oulton, treasurer, lit the candle for service.
In an interview after the ceremony, Colussi said serving as president of the society was a learning experience.
"I want to get across a message that leadership is not a quality that only some people have. It is something that has to be universally worked at no matter how much someone wants to lead because at some point in every person's life they will have to step up to lead," said the high school senior. "Anyone can be a leader but ultimately it is a lot of hard work and just trying to understand those you are trying to lead."
In one case as a camp counselor, she recalled how she first had to understand a group of 8-year-olds in order to be a successful camp leader.
Guest speaker was Katherine Bolcome, a 1999 Rockport High graduate and member of the National Honor Society.
She opened her remarks with no words at all. She left a few moments of silence.
Bolcome said she wanted to make a point that although we live in a society where it is encouraged to think on one's feet and quickly respond to questions, it is also important to reflect on the possibility of ideas and think outside the box before responding.
Bolcome also spoke about thoughtfulness and how it relates to the four pillars of the honor society.
"Self awareness is needed to be thoughtful and be mindful scholastically," she added.
Bolcome applauded the society for its progress over the years since she was a student.
"The ceremony has come a long way and there is more pomp and circumstance," she said. "The students were so well spoken and you can tell they are leaders in the community and leaders in the school."
The inductees first took the pledge before being called to the stage to accept their National Honor Society pin.
The National Honor Society inductees are: Ekin Bakkal '14, Alexis Cruz '13, Ryan Davis '14, Kyle Edmonds '13, Julia Endicott '14, Loren Grier '13, Abigail Hood '14, Anna Johnson '14, Rowan Lampert '14, Hannah Lorden '14, Kimberly McEachern '14, Gabrielle Muniz '14, Monica Napolitano '12, Meghan Reilly '13, Matthew Rostkowski '13, Sarah Rowen '14, Cory Ryan '13, Kyle Schrafft '14, Evan Shay '12, Jenny Sonia '13, Krysia Strumpf '13, Meghan Tupper '14, Hanna Vincent '14, Sarah Visnick '14 and Eva Weinstein '13.
In her closing remarks, NHS advisor Rebecca Mackay Smith, who holds a doctorate in English literature, welcomed the new inductees.
"We're thrilled to have 25 new members and look forward to a very rewarding year," she said.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.