NEHS Members Sign Their Way into A New Chapter
April 18, 2022
They showed up with style; some wore midnight-black dresses and caramel heels, and others came with carefully-tailored dress shirts and pants topped off with a tie. Outside, proud parents snapped the last photos of their young inductees as the sun approached the horizon.
Once inside, students flocked to the right side of the hall—away from the rows of mahogany chairs that awaited sitting—and made light conversation amongst themselves. When the clock struck six and last-minute preparations concluded, the National English Honor Society (NEHS) members took their seats. Closely behind were their parents, positioned at round tables that matched the golden hue of the incandescent string lights above. At the Carl Shechter S.W. Focal Point Community Center in Pembroke Pines, an evening of celebration was about to commence.
But first, we must acknowledge the effort put into arranging a night enjoyed by all its attendees. “We arrived at 4:30 to set up before the event began at 6:00,” says Junior Trinity Tang, the NEHS Secretary. “But we also worked really hard the week before to set up the program (schedule), create the carnations, and purchase the supplies.” She elaborates, focusing on the aesthetics of the theater. “We always want to maintain custom and formality within NEHS, as well as keep our starry theme we established for Recite Night and Poetry Out Loud. NEHS is one of the only honor societies at Charter that retains the tradition of giving out pins and signing the Pines Charter NEHS Chapter book, so our inspiration is elegance and the stars!”
A celebratory Ms. Sarah Phelps was ecstatic to once again carry out the honor of inducting worthy members. “After two years, it feels quite special to finally have a nice in-person ceremony at which inductees can dress up and walk on stage to be recognized in a formal way. The students who will be honored with membership in the National English Honor Society have not only met the national requirements, but have also dedicated their time this year to help further NEHS’s goals to promote literacy and celebrate the literary arts. I’m looking forward to congratulating them!” the NEHS advisor says. And congratulate them she did.
The event began with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by NEHS Co-President, senior Brady Garrison. Afterwards, Ms. Phelps took the stage in her striking royal-blue dress to deliver a brief address. In it, she thanked students and parents for coming, highlighted the successes of NEHS members, and made a smooth transition into introducing the ones who made it all possible: the NEHS Officers.
The hall gave each officer a round of applause as they stood up one by one—junior Rebecca Lim (Treasurer), senior Samantha Villafane (atala Editor-in-Chief), junior Rasika Sriram (Electronic Historian), junior Trinity Tang (Secretary), junior Shane Wooden (Media Liaison), junior Emma Schenker (atala Editor), junior Jillian Medina (NEHS Video Editor), and seniors Brady Garrison and Samantha Lowe (Co-Presidents).
The hall quickly erupted in ovation a second time as the pinnacle of the ceremony kicked off: the NEHS officers formally accepted their successors as official members of the National English Honor Society. “I felt really accomplished,” Sophomore Ariana Lesmes says. “I’m very proud of myself and my friends. We all put in the effort to get our hours by writing and performing poetry and other short works.”
Cameras flickered from every side of the room, each flash reflecting off the proud faces that went on stage. When called on, each inductee accepted their certificates and carnations, and shook the hands of Ms. Phelps and the officers. Roaring “Whoos!” fired from the crowd as parents rose to their feet to cheer on their sons and daughters.
The inductees were equally delighted. “To be inducted, I feel, was a great chapter in my high school career,” junior Jovan Alfonzo explains. “I enjoy being a part of NEHS as it further allows me to explore my passion for English and be in a society of like-minded people who share the same enthusiasm.”
After the final name echoed through the hall, Ms. Phelps put together a closing statement that reiterated her contentment with the night’s turnout and her newly inducted members. Inductees then lined up to sign the Pines Charter NEHS Chapter book. Surrounded by three short candles that gave the book an orange tint, printed names and their corresponding signatures filled up the pages; these signatures would solidify membership into NEHS.
“We were very pleased with the outcome and super excited to have our first induction after Covid. We were so glad to see friends and families supporting our inductees, and glad our members were able to attend an event that commemorates their accomplishments,” Trinity says, satisfied.
The evening closed with some refreshments for students and parents to indulge in: a scrumptious cake that was adorned with blue roses and read “Congratulations, NEHS Inductees!”, followed by oreos, brownies, and punch. Before the guests departed, another round of pictures were taken—except this time there was no rush to beat the sunlight.