The flame of excellence continued to burn brightly at The Storm King School when the latest group of students was inducted to the National Honor Society (NHS) this spring. On Thursday, May 30, two graduating seniors and three juniors were recognized for their accomplishments both in and out of the classroom at a traditional NHS candle-lighting ceremony held in the Walter Reade Jr. Theatre.
The new inductees included graduating seniors Ashley Cabrera ’19 and Xuechun Iris Zhang ’19, and juniors Jordan Golding ’20, Guy-Paul Delisfort ’20, and Matthew Pelton ’20.
New inductees to the Society are carefully chosen by SKS faculty for their outstanding performance in the four areas the NHS deems essential for its members– Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. These characteristics have been associated with NHS membership since its founding in 1921.
Faculty member Peter Rowe delivered the ceremony’s opening words, where he praised the Storm King chapter of NHS for its outstanding work during the school year and recognized the chapter’s first officers, including President Tamar McGowan ’19, Vice President Zoe Stene ’19, Secretary Haohui Zheng ‘19, and Treasurer Caroline Hecht ’19. “This year, we are honored by the hard work and dedication by the members of this organization. We are also here to celebrate and recognize the merit of the students being inducted today,” explained Mr. Rowe.
Preceding the inductions, Mr. Rowe took a moment to recognize graduating senior Shania Roehrich ’19 for her dedication to the SKS Green Team, her ongoing initiative to eliminate plastics and promote the use of stainless steel straws and recyclable bags in the school store, and her support of Hudson River shoreline cleanup efforts led by Riverkeeper. After a short presentation of the Green Team’s efforts, Mr. Rowe continued to praise all of the NHS members for their outstanding work in raising funds for organizations including Storm King’s neighbor Black Rock Forest.
“Through fundraising and service, we continue to support our neighbor Black Rock Forest,” explained Mr. Rowe. “During the last school year, we raised nearly $3,000 for research and education in the Forest. This year, we’ve more than doubled that amount to a total of nearly $7,000 over two years.” After a brief history of the Forest delivered by Dean of Academics Dr. Timothy Lance, Black Rock’s Executive Director William Schuster was called to the podium to accept a check from Headmaster Jonathan Lamb and the students.
Following the presentation of Black Rock Forest, Excellence in Action Awards were given to four NHS members chosen for their active contributions to NHS’ efforts. Shania Roerich ’19 received the Excellence in Action for Service Award for her work with the Green Team. Morgan Papera ’20 was given the Excellence in Action for Character Award for her leadership in SKS concessions and the organization of the SKS Poetry Festival. NHS President Tamar McGowan ’19 received the Excellence in Action for Leadership Award for her contributions at the Newburgh Armory and the Peer Tutoring Program. NHS Secretary Haohui Zheng ’19 was awarded Excellence in Action for Scholarship for her consistently high GPA and her dedication to the SKS athletics program in basketball and tennis.
To begin the induction ceremony, Mr. Rowe invited four current NHS members to the stage, each lighting a candle representing one of NHS’ core values. Morgan Papera ‘20 lit the candle for Scholarship, Huanran Dorothy Mao ‘20 for Service, Samantha McCullough ‘20 for Leadership, and Sophia Grausso ‘20 for Character. As NHS members and faculty were asked to stand, each of the new inductees was ushered to the stage by a current NHS member to sign the NHS register while their advisors read their praises.
To complete their inductions, NHS President Tamar McGowan ‘19 asked the group to raise their right hands and recite the NHS Pledge. In closing, Headmaster Lamb thanked the students for all that they do to represent the characteristics of the NHS and SKS. “Congratulations to the new inductees and thank you to all the NHS members for the work you’ve accomplished to get you here, and for representing the very best of NHS’ values and those of Storm King,” remarked Mr. Lamb to hearty applause by the audience.