National Honor Society inducts 34 new members
October 12, 2011 - "You are the cream of the crop."
Oxford High’s chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 34 new members into its ranks Monday night. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
That's how Oxford High School Principal Todd Dunckley repeatedly described the 34 junior and senior students who were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) on Monday evening.
These students were selected because they demonstrated the "four pillars" of the NHS – scholarship, leadership, character and community service.
"With tonight's recognition comes a responsibility to the National Honor Society and to yourself to maintain the values that got you here," said NHS Advisor and OHS teacher Joshua Budden. "Now that you are a part of the National Honor Society you cannot afford to rest on your laurels."
Dunckley exhorted the NHS inductees to make a difference in their school, in their country and in the world.
"You are never done changing the world because there's always somebody every day that's in need somewhere," he said. "We count on you to make a better world . . . This world and folks, especially this country, needs you guys to step up pretty early right now. We need committed people – people with convictions."
He urged them to start changing things for the better today, not tomorrow.
"You can't say, 'I'm young. I'm going to do it later,'" Dunckley said. "If not now, why not and when?"
Citing the French phrase "noblesse oblige," which literally means nobility obliges, Dunckley called on the inductees to use their gifts to help others.
"If you have it, don't waste it because talent is meaningless and sinful, if you don't use it for the goodness of others," he said. "You are not going to find happiness until you connect with others, until you serve others, until you've made some sort of difference on some level."
"We don't applaud the leaders who are looking in the mirror at themselves for the great things that they do for themselves," Dunckley noted. "We're applauding the difference-makers."
Dunckley praised the inductees for their humility.
"You're not into recognition," he said. "You're selfless in what you do. You're not looking to get your name on anything. You're not looking to say, 'Hey, look at me. I did this.' You're looking within because you know that there's something special there that you have control over and that is what makes the National Honor Society one of the greatest service organizations on the planet."
Dunckley reminded the students that they're induction into NHS doesn't mean "you're better than somebody else."
"As a matter of fact, there are a lot of people who weren't chosen or decided not to apply who are fantastic human beings (who will) do well in life and they'll give back to world," he said.
Budden told the audience that he views the NHS induction ceremony as more than just opportunity to welcome these 34 new members and honor their achievements.
"I like to think that our goal is actually much greater," he said. "We hope that this ceremony and everyone here tonight will help provide the proper incentive and support to encourage all of our students – 100 percent of our student population – to strive for the very same goals for which we are about to recognize these students tonight."
"I am challenging every NHS member, new and old, to remember that you are role models to the students in our school and to the community as a whole," Budden noted. "Your behavior, your success, your service should inspire others."
Budden gave the audience a brief overview of some of the community service acts performed by the NHS last year.
The group hosted two blood drives that collected more than 255 units of blood for the American Red Cross.
"I am constantly hearing from the American Red Cross how we are one of the largest blood drives that they have in all of Oakland County," Budden said.
NHS members tutored students at the elementary, middle and high school levels in nearly every academic subject.
"There is no better way to encourage giving back than to teach it to the youngest members of our community," Budden said. "Those students will remember your help and they will give back to others when it's their turn."
The NHS also collected "several truckloads of food" for Oxford-Orion FISH to help keep their pantry for the needy stocked during the holiday season and held a prom for senior citizens that raised money for their future activities.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.