The 21 new members of the Lincoln Academy Chapter of the National Honor Society.

The 25 new members of the Lincoln Academy Chapter of the National Honor Society.

On Monday January 25 Lincoln Academy inducted 25 new members of the National Honor Society.

The National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes excellence in scholarship, leadership, character, and service at high schools nationwide. To be inducted into the Lincoln Academy chapter of NHS, students must maintain a grade point average of 88 by the end of sophomore year, and have completed a minimum of three trimesters at LA. Students who meet who meet that criteria are invited to apply for admission to NHS. The application process includes student essays and three faculty recommendations.

Once inducted, the LA chapter of NHS uses the criteria of scholarship, leadership, character, and service to choose activities and service projects, which have included food, toy, and winter coat drives, and events to raise money for the LA Sunshine Fund, which helps Lincoln Academy families in need.

Social Studies teacher Kelley Duffy giving the keynote address at the LA NHS Induction on January 25.

Social Studies teacher Kelley Duffy giving the keynote address at the LA NHS Induction on January 25.

Kelley Duffy, a social studies teacher in her second year at Lincoln Academy, was selected by members of NHS to give the keynote address at the induction ceremony, which took place in the LA Alumni Dining Commons. Duffy spoke about the four principles of scholarship, leadership, character, and service, and how people can serve in ways that are large and public, or small and private.

She said to the gathered students, “I particularly urge you to use this induction as a time to reflect on how you live your lives, because society isn’t going to push you to ask these questions. We have become inward-focused and self-promoting. Indeed, in an age where Google estimates that 93 million selfies are taken each day, it can seem like we are trying to leave a mark on the world without actually touching anyone else – without leading or serving. There’s a big difference between having a lot of personality and a lot of character. So how can you take this honor and do something with it? I would argue that if you pursue the things that you love with the dedication of scholars, and the willingness to ask yourself: am I serving others, am I acting with integrity and character? you will lead in ways that make the world better.

“As members now of Lincoln Academy’s National Honor Society,” Ms. Duffy concluded, “I challenge you to serve your community. Pay attention to your peers, listen and act when you see a need. Start practicing service within your community, build your character by struggling to make change where you feel it is needed. In the words of civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, “Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.””

After Ms. Duffy’s speech, each inductee was called forward to receive their NHS pin and a rose from a faculty member of their choice. Students chose faculty members that have mentored them in various ways: as advisor, teacher, house parent, coach, or club leader.  After each student was “pinned,” David Sturdevant, LA’s Head of School, made a few brief remarks before the gathered students, faculty, family, and friends broke for punch and cookies and a group photo.

Junior Nathan McIvor is pinned by Dr. Robert Breckenridge.

Junior Nathan McIvor is pinned by Dr. Robert Breckenridge.

How does it feel to be inducted into the National Honor Society? “It feels wonderful!” said LA junior Nathan McIvor, one of the inductees. “It is a privilege to join NHS. I look forward to being a part of it, and I hope I can contribute to the organization’s goal of supporting others. The ceremony was very tasteful.”

Jen Anastasio, the parent of a NHS member, commented that her daughter Alyssa Smith’s induction last year felt like “years of academic dedication has been recognized and celebrated.”

“Being inducted into NHS is a significant honor at Lincoln Academy,” said NHS faculty advisor Amanda Armstrong. “The students work hard to achieve this level of success, and should be proud to be a part of this distinguished group.”

Newly inducted members of the Lincoln Academy chapter of the National Honor Society are: Mattias Covel, Sebastian Crocetti, Evan Eckel, Annie Farnsworth, Jordan Farrin, Emma Goltz, Aaron Gonzalez-Verdaguer, Monica Hao, John Henry, Hana Hirano, Esther Martin, Nathan McIvor, Constance Mullin, Karan Nair, Thanh Nguyen, Catherine Organ, Courtney Peabody, Kaden Pendleton, Bailey Plourde, Alejandro Ramos, Carly Ransdell, Mary Reid, Avae Traina, Hindley Wang, and Lucy Williams.

The first planned event organized by the new NHS members is a Winter Carnival Talent Show scheduled for Wednesday, February 10.

See more photos of the NHS induction (that can be downloaded in high resolution) in this Flickr album.