NHS initiates 59 new members with candle-lighting tradition


Alysa Suleiman

Dhruv Saoji (10) listens as upper school head Butch Keller delivers a speech to the newly-inducted NHS members.

by Alysa Suleiman, Sports Reporter

Four tall, waxy-white candles flicker onstage in the Nichols Hall auditorium, bathing the dimly lit room in warm orange glow. A light smattering of applause echoes down the rows of seats filled with formally dressed students and parents as Dr. Shaun Jahshan walks onto the stage, stopping in front of the National Honor Society (NHS) banner draped over the candle filled table. This year, the upper school proudly welcomes the 59 newly inducted members of the Harker upper school chapter of NHS, run by chapter adviser Dr. Jahshan, during its annual initiation ceremony. 

Along with Dr. Jahshan, the Harker NHS chapter consists of history teachers Julie Wheeler and Mark Janda, English teacher Ohad Paran, math teacher Anthony Silk and biology teacher Michael Pistacchi, who selected the applicants after reviewing each application. Prior to becoming a member, students were required to send in an application form to Dr. Jahshan regarding their positive performance in two out of the four core values of NHS: leadership, scholarship, community service and character. 

The ceremony began with Dr. Jahshan delivering a welcome speech and explaining the general details of NHS and its four core values. Head of the upper school Butch Keller presented his congratulatory speech to the newest members, asking them what role model they aspired to be for other members of their community as well as offering words of insight and inspiration. 

“Your responsibility as a member of the Harker chapter of the National Honor Society is to be present, to be aware, to elevate and to encourage those around you so that we can all be the best that Harker has to offer,” Keller said. 

Dr. Jahshan then introduced the 2019-2020 NHS student officers. Each officer reflects a core value that the NHS upholds: President Jai Bahri (12) representing leadership, Vice President Bryan Wang (12) representing character, Secretary Arushi Nety (12) representing scholarship and Community Service Coordinator Ashley Jazbec (12) representing community service. 

Following the short speeches that each officer made on the pillar he or she represented, Jai led the new members in the Reading of the Pledge. 

Students were called up individually to the stage to receive their official induction certification and perform the candle lighting tradition. The first member passed on the flame to the next student after lighting their own candle from one of the four large candles on the table onstage, representing the four pillars of NHS. 

Alysa Suleiman

“It was great to listen to the thoughtful speeches made by the faculty and the officers, who all seemed super welcoming and motivated,” said newly-inducted NHS member Yejin Song (10).