Stagg High School students Paula Gorlo (at left), 16, of Palos Hills, and Olivia Cyburt, 16, of Hickory Hills, were inducted into Stagg High School’s National Honor’s Society last month.
By Kelly White
Taking pride in academics and student success, the 39th annual National Honor’s Society induction ceremony at Stagg High School was held last month.
“Being inducted into the National Honor Society is such a great academic achievement, as school is top priority,” said Simona Bilevicius, 16, of Palos Park. “I am honored to be part of NHS.”
The NHS induction ceremony is usually held every year in the fall, and his year’s event took place on Dec. 15 with a total of 50 students inducted at the school, 8015 W 111th St., Palos Hills.
Every year, students eagerly anticipate participating in this prestigious event, according to Laura Begani, National Honor Society sponsor at Stagg High School.
“ Students work very hard to become members of NHS and they enjoy the recognition of their efforts,” Begani said. “Students always remark how this speech is always their favorite thing about the ceremony. The faculty member chosen (as speaker) is often one who has taught the students being inducted and they always give a heartfelt speech full of advice.”
The ceremony looked a bit different than other years due to to the pandemic, with recorded speeches from Dr. James Gay, the District 230 superintendent; Eric Olson, the school principal; and the students’ selected staff speaker Christopher Wendelin. Additionally, there were also recorded speeches from four student leaders from the group.
Adhering to social distancing guidelines, students were given the opportunity to come to campus to have an individual induction that was filmed. The students were given their NHS pin, their NHS certificate, and signed the NHS membership book. All parts of the ceremony were filmed and compiled to make a video that they and their families could enjoy together, according to Begani.
“I always enjoy the NHS ceremony because of the tradition and excellence it represents,” Begani said. “Students have worked extremely hard to earn this recognition. I am honored to put together a celebration of their achievements for them and their families every year.”
The filmed event became available to the Stagg community on Dec. 22. It was edited by Rhys McIntyre, the school’s district media coordinator, and shared via YouTube on the website and through social media.
“ This NHS induction was definitely different, but I will always remember how I was inducted,” said Sofia Locascio, 16, of Palos Heights. “This induction is important to me because being in NHS is giving me the opportunity to be recognized for having astounding grades and being a great student overall.”
Stagg High School has had a NHS chapter for over 45 years. The school holds induction materials that date back to the 1973-1974 school year, according to Mary Pat Carr, assistant principal.
“ It is a longstanding tradition at Stagg,” Carr said.
Students are eligible for NHS during their junior or senior year and are selected based on their grade point average, hours of service to the community, character, and involvement in co-curricular activities, including athletics, leadership, and clubs. This reflects the four pillars of the National Honor Society.
NHS reflects at least three years of being an excellent student at Stagg. Students can begin working toward their goal of NHS induction as freshmen. NHS students commit to ongoing service to their school and their community.
Examples of the service they provide to the Palos community include: volunteering in local hospitals, volunteering at places of worship, and working local events and activities. At Stagg, they tutor other students in the school’s resource centers, assist with large events and activities, and provide support for any large undertaking at the school.
“ Whatever our NHS students are called upon to do, they respond immediately and passionately,” Begani said. “They are committed to their school and their community and go far beyond whatever is asked of them.”