NHS Induction 2020

Claire Heyne, Writer

For students who have been accepted into NHS, the induction ceremony is a formal celebration of their hard work and leadership from all of their years of school. Although COVID has changed and limited the ways events such as the NHS induction can commence, the NHS induction ceremony for OHS students took place in the OHS auditorium on Monday, Oct. 26. There were two separate ceremonies for junior and senior inductees. The senior induction ceremony took place at 6 p.m. and the junior induction ceremony took place at 7 p.m. 52 juniors were inducted, as well as 38 seniors. Additionally, there are 40 returning members, for a total of 130 members, the largest group of NHS members in OHS history.

The NHS adviser for OHS is Ms. Tratz, who is also an English teacher at OHS. Tratz says, “In order to be in NHS, a student has to be formally inducted in a ceremony, which includes a token of induction , a pledge, and a welcome from the principal. But this is a time for students to be honored for their leadership, service, character, and scholarship over all of their years in school.” On what induction means to new NHS members, NHS president for OHS, Maggie Newhouse, said, “I believe the induction ceremony is the start of lifelong leadership. I remember being inducted and feeling like I could do anything. I know that sounds cheesy, but I was ready to make a difference in our school.”

At both of the ceremonies, Newhouse addressed the inductees. On her responsibilities as NHS president here at OHS, Newhouse said, “As President, I speak on behalf of the chapter of NHS here at the high school. I create agendas, run meetings, and communicate closely with our adviser.” Additionally, NHS members Lauren Phelps, Lane Versteeg, Ashton Jensen and Cheryl Smith, all of whom are seniors, gave speeches for the candle ceremony. The new members were presented by seniors Emily Hagen and Versteeg, and Principal Mr. Kory Kath ended the ceremony with congratulatory remarks. Regarding how this year’s induction ceremony was different from previous years due to COVID, Tratz said, “Students will only be allowed two guests and must sit with them in a pod, separated by at least six feet from other family groups. Everyone will wear masks. Students will not cross the stage to pick up the certificate or sign the book, but instead will sign the book in the lobby and their picture will be projected on the screen.”

So far this year, NHS has had one blood drive on Oct. 21. Tratz said, “We collected 71 pints of blood (enough to potentially help over 200 people).” Additionally, they are planning to hold another blood drive as well as a talent show. Many school activities are being forced to make adjustments in order to remain safe and maintain social distancing protocols. Regarding how NHS will face challenges brought on by COVID this year, Tratz said, “We can still do some things in person, but we are looking for more opportunities for virtual service hours. This year, we are working with the counseling office for NHS students to provide tutoring, which can be done at school for some, but virtually for others. Because it is so challenging, we have a little more flexibility than usual in the number of required service hours.” Newhouse said, “NHS will communicate with each other, and we will always have a back up plan; maybe even two.”