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Cardinal O’Hara inducts 15 into National Honor Society

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TONAWANDA — Cardinal O’Hara High School hosted its annual National Honor Society induction ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20 at the school.

At the National Honor Society induction ceremony at Cardinal O’Hara High School on Jan. 20, a special honorary membership was awarded to Dr. Joseph Smith. His wife, Sandy, introduced her surprised husband and talked about his achievements and teaching skills. Isabella Costa, NHS president, presented the award. Following the ceremony, Dr. Smith, third from the left, was congratulated by, from left, Michael Norwood, NHS moderator; Sandy Smith, and Isabella Costa, NHS president. (Photo courtesy of Cardinal O’Hara High School)

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the event was limited to the student body and parents of the 15 honorees. The induction ceremony was also shown virtually for grandparents and other family members to view from their homes.

Jill Monaco, assistant principal, welcomed everyone and noted that for students “the NHS is not only about the four pillars of character, leadership, scholarship and service because these words need to be put into action consistently and thoughtfully. It is about passing on a legacy. To be a member is a privilege that comes with great responsibility.”

She reminded the students that being in NHS is a commitment to community, school and the less fortunate.

Parents of the inductees each wrote heart-warming memories of their child that were read by officers of the National Honor Society. The memories carried central themes of pride, giving of oneself, caring and loving.

The 2021 National Honor Society inductees are: Olivia Francis, Isabella Frankovitch, Miriam Hanna, Julia Harrington, Wilson Hendershot, Emon Marial, Kolton Muldowney, Joseph Randall, Dejhana Ridgeway, Nico Scirri, Nolan Smith, Marissa Taylor, Arsema Tedros, Jacob Wilkes and Evelyn Zent, all juniors.

To be eligible, students submit an application accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a teacher, an essay and a biography of activities, community service and academic scores. The Cardinal O’Hara Faculty Council votes on each candidate, deciding those who meet the qualifications of NHS.

Honorary induction into NHS was presented to Dr. Joseph Smith who has been at Cardinal O’Hara since 2009. Rhys Mandaville, NHS vice president, read Dr. Smith’s introduction written by his wife, Sandy. He was nominated by the members of the National Honor Society who admire him for his unique personality, teaching style, and his perspective on science.

Other officers who took part in the ceremony are Isabella Costa, president; Janasia Hayward, secretary; and Mateo Curtis, treasurer.

Michael Norwood, moderator of the NHS, coordinated the program.

The National Honor Society was established in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and has been the nation’s most respected organization associated with recognizing outstanding high school students. Cardinal O’Hara’s chapter of the NHS is named after its first principal, Rev. Henry M. Senft, OFM Conv. NHS members give back to the community through projects including Adopt-a-Family, outreach and after school tutoring.

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