January 16th, 2020, 6:20 p.m.. The night of the NHS induction. Speakers, inductees, parents and friends, funneled into the theater, eager for the ceremony to begin. As the 7 o’clock start time approached, last minute problems were being resolved among the speakers, and parents were scrambling, trying to find the best possible seats to see their child on stage. Then, following advisor Mr. Matthew Chadbourne’s ushering hand from behind the curtain on stage left, NHS president Joe Webb walked to the podium, thanked all of the parents for coming, and then began the ceremony.
Each year, NHS induction is primarily ran by Mr. Chadbourne and the current NHS president – this year’s being Joe Webb. Joe handled many of the technical aspects of the event, such as the speeches, the PowerPoint presentation displaying inductee-centered photos, as well as the other student driven portions of the event. The other details such as the printed programs, the refreshments, and the materials required for the ceremony such as the candles were handled by Mr. Chadbourne.
The preparations for this event had many moving parts to make sure that everything was ready to go for induction night. As Joe Webb described, “The hardest part for me in this process was balancing what the National Honor Society needed when several members had difficulties speaking in front of so many people. To comfort this concern, I arranged the order so that I would speak first, as a sort of example such that the members could see me do it, and achieve it themselves.” This speaking arrangement proved to be successful at the event, as the formality that Joe carried helped establish what the tone of the event should feel like, and how the speakers should convey their speeches to the audience.
The speeches themselves were written and presented by current NHS members to induct the incoming juniors. One of the largest facets of the induction to be planned and put into action, was the organization of these speeches. As each speech was being read at the event, a PowerPoint presentation would play on the screens in the theater, showing a couple of highlight photos that the inductees submitted to describe themselves. Joe Webb split up the responsibilities of preparing this such that Executive Board members Davis Balke and Max Fragos were in charge of the collection and organization of the speeches, while Kaitlyn Beauchemin collected inductee-submitted pictures and organized them into the PowerPoint. Throughout all of this, Joe dutifully kept tabs on the progress being made on all parts of the event, making sure that all of the necessary components would be ready for the night that they were due.
The day before the induction, a dress rehearsal was held to inform both NHS seniors and new inductees on what to expect at the event, as well as to allow a time for speakers to use the podium microphone to test it out. On the day of the event, preparations were finally in place and all that was left to happen was the event itself. As Joe described, “As induction got closer, I did feel a little stressed. I started rehearsing my speech on the way to school and checking over everything at breakfast. On the night of induction, I showed up an hour early that expected to make sure tables were set, the lighting was ready, and speakers and inductees would be ready the moment they arrived.”
After the ceremony began, everything went off without a hitch. Opening speeches were presented by Joe Webb, as well as Principal Frank McBride, and then the inductees began being introduced. Junior after junior, applause after applause, the tone of the event was nothing short of spectacular, with feelings of recognition and genuine respect for the accomplishments of others being what fueled the event. The recognized teacher at this induction was Ms. Philibotte, who took to the podium and gave an incredibly inspiring speech, discussing how everyone has the opportunity to grow and become the person who they want to be. Her speech was incredibly heartfelt and genuine, which only increased the sense of self-empowerment in the room. At the end of the night, refreshments were served and the attendees congregated in the theater lobby, taking photos and enjoying the company of others. Joe Webb mentioned how, “I felt confident in the new members of NHS, and while of course I would have made small changes to the event, overall I was proud of our work. As the National Honor Society President, I was excited for the new accomplishments that would be made with a new class of members by our side, and I was proud to be the person that welcomed them into the start of that journey.”