The Gifft Hill School Welcomes Four Students To National Honor Society

NHS GHS Chapter members: Back row, L to R: faculty advisor Doug Bradley, Rachel Kitchen, Greta Iwuc, Michael Gibney, Tyler Bradley and Jason Moloney. Front row, L to R: Megan Miller, Morgan Clayman, Cassie Pociask, Amy Raymond and Kendia Louis.

The Gifft Hill School (GHS) inducted four new members to its National Honor Society (NHS) chapter with the second NHS induction ever to be held on St. John.

The Wednesday morning, May 31, ceremony welcomed sophomores Morgan Clayman and Cassie Pociask, junior Rachel Kitchen and senior Amy Ray-mond to the GHS NHS chapter.

The ceremony was held first thing in the morning with a full school assembly, said SJSOGH NHS faculty advisor Doug Brad-ley.

“It’s kind of a formal, serene procedure,” said Bradley. “As students are gathering, we fill the building with classical music to set the mood.”

The ceremony was conducted by existing NHS members. The school’s NHS chapter was established in fall 2005 with the induction of its first members.

Candles Represent Pillars
“People make small speeches about NHS and what it means to be a part of it,” said the chapter’s president and senior Megan Miller. “The main thing is the candle lighting ceremony. The four candles stand for the four pillars of NHS — character, leadership, scholarship and service.”

The ceremony is a way for students with strong academics and leadership to be honored, added Bradley.

“We really try to make the whole thing special,” said Bradley. “This is a way for us to honor those students who are academically strong, who have been strong in leadership areas, areas of service and who have strong character values. It gives us a chance to honor those kinds of kids in front of everybody.”

“We really want to lift these kids up to the whole community and say, ‘hey, these are great kids’ — smart kids doing good things, that’s what we have here,” Bradley added.

New inductees also signed the school’s NHS “Book of Honor,” according to Bradley.

“We’ll keep that book forever,” he said. “We have a separate page for each year.”

Each NHS member must complete service projects, and the chapter works together on a chapter service project, according to Bradley.

The GHS’s chapter is working with two schools in the African nation of Ghana to donate books, lap tops and other supplies to the schools, according to Miller.

“We’re organizing several book drives and getting lap tops donated,” said Miller. “You get to help out in the community, so it’s a really good deal.”

Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 are invited to fill out an application packet to be considered for the NHS.

“You fill out an application, get recommendation letters, write an essay, and the faculty council (at GHS) reviews your application and discusses whether or not you should be a member,” said Miller.

Inductees New At School
This year’s four inductees are all new to the GHS, according to Bradley.

“All four are excellent from an academic standpoint,” he said. “They are also involved in different things around the school, and have been involved over the years at their other schools.”

Membership in the NHS can be beneficial to students when applying to college, according to Miller.

“It shows colleges that you have leadership potential,” she said. “You get out there, and you do things for other people.”

Clayman, Pociask, Kitchen and Raymond are involved in various activities at the GHS, according to Miller.

“I’ve worked with them all in school, and they are kids who are always involved in various groups, like yearbook and theater,” she said. “They do things in the community, they’re doing well in school and they are generally good kids. They deserve to be a part of the organization.”

The school and its faculty are proud of the NHS members, according to Bradley.

“Ben (Biddle, next year’s head of the school), talked about how proud we are and how proud the school and faculty are of the existing members and all they’ve accomplished,” said Bradley of Biddle’s speech at the induction ceremony. “Last year’s inductees really accomplished a lot in individual service projects and the Ghana project in just a short period of time. We are really proud of them.”

Bradley said he considers himself lucky to have the opportunity to serve as the school’s NHS chapter faculty advisor.

“The kids are motivated, and I’m lucky to work with the top kids we have at the school,” he said. “When they say they will do something, you can let it go and know it will be done. We’re small but mighty.”

Anyone interested in donating books to the GHS NHS for its service project with the two schools in Ghana can reach Bradley at the Upper School at 514-2273.