In a ceremony attended by family, friends, and the entire Upper School, this morning 26 students were inducted into the St. Johns Country Day School chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS).
Founded in 1921, the National Honor Society was founded to recognize outstanding high school students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character-- principles which mirror the ideals we value here at St. Johns.
Senior chapter members Lea Shah, Zachary Buce, Abbie Chalfant, Matthew Korahais, and Esan Patel read the names of new members and described the society's values before guiding new members through the National Honor Society Pledge:
I pledge myself to uphold
The purposes of the National Honor Society
I will be true to the principles for which it stands;
I will be loyal to my school;
I will maintain high standards of scholarship,
High standards of service,
High standards of leadership,
and high standards of character.
Head of Upper School Mary Virginia Fisher then introduced keynote speaker Dan Wolf, a pastor at Grace Anglican Church on Fleming Island. Mr. Wolf told students of his transition from a young teenager who looked for opportunities to take down and mock people and ideas to an older teen who sought to be curious, but not critical.
Wolf was inspired when his English class studied transcendentalism, a philosophical movement of the 1820's and 1830's that emphasized the power of the individual and the ability and right of the individual to ask questions, explore, and generate original thought. He was intrigued by the power of asking questions and by their ability to draw out of us deeper things, continuing to spur us on to learn. The jaded and myopic world view he had adopted earlier squelched his ability to learn and grow, he decided, and he made a commitment to be curious.
"What I found as I sought to live [a] question-led life," said Wolf, "is that criticism is like a sledgehammer... but a question is like a screwdriver," allowing you to unpack the complexities of life. Wolf encouraged students to ask a lot of questions-- of people they respect, of people they disagree with, and of themselves.
He encouraged the audience to be "makers" and not "consumers" in this life. "If we're only consumers in this life," Wolf said, "then we never actually manage to change." When you focus on building, creating, and contributing—on being a maker, not a consumer—it will ultimately change you, making you happier, and it will have a ripple effect on the world around you. Be curious, Wolf said. Don't be afraid to take risks, challenge yourself, and to fail, as these three things together "create a furnace for growth for you and have growth impacts on the world as well."
Looking for opportunities to contribute and to "make" is very consistent with the values of the National Honor Society, said Wolf. These are:
- To create enthusiasm for scholarship;
- To stimulate a desire to render service;
- To promote leadership;
- To develop character in the students of secondary schools.
These goals also guide selection of worthy candidates for induction. To become a member of the St. Johns chapter of the National Honor Society, a student must have a cumulative Upper School grade point average of at least 3.6 at the end of the Sophomore or Junior year, must have been a St. Johns student for at least a year, must be an active participant in school activities, and must exhibit the finest qualities of character.
Students who were already members of the National Honor Society include:
|Bishoy Abdelmalik||Matthew Drake||Kirsten Pavlisko|
|Kyleigh Barber||Connor Hale||Amy Beth Raynard|
|Michael Beltz||Matthew Korahais||Madelyn Rosenau|
|Zachary Buce||Charlie Lu||Lea Shah|
|Abigail Chalfant||Troy Myers||Amber Tomlinson|
|Payton Crews||Abbegale Newton||Cade Walden|
|Alisa Detlefsen||Esan Patel|
Members inducted today include:
|William Albright||Tyler Kuramoto||Tvisha Patel|
|Isabelle Amacker||Kamryn Loustau||Nicholas Rogers|
|Sergio Arellano||Meredith Maierhoffer||Rhett Sessions|
|Henry Dinkins||Aaron Makar||Diana Shaykh|
|Nicholas Ferris||Jared Marsano||Jack Tolbert|
|Nicholas Glassman||Luke Mason||Sabreanna Unger|
|David Gonzales||Jazmin Mateo||Payton Walton|
|Cian Jacobs||Lane Montgomery||Matthew Wolf|
|Benjamin Kailes||Orisa Patel|
The St. Johns Country Day School chapter of the National Honor Society was founded in 1992 and now includes 46 students.
Congratulations to both the preexisting and newly inducted members of the National Honor Society!