National Honor Society welcomes new members in induction ceremony


Anwen Hao

Ariana Goetting (11) receives her NHS certificate from NHS adviser Chris Davies. Altogether, NHS members accumulated 2,523 volunteer hours over the course of the year.

by Anwen Hao and Sidak Sanghari

Harker’s Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) inducted new members in a formal ceremony in Nichols Auditorium on April 12. 

NHS leadership kicked off by introducing themselves to the students, parents and faculty present, then declared the values that the organization strives to uphold. Presidents Mir Bahri (12) and Zubin Khera (12) introduced scholarship and service, and Vice Presidents Fiona Yan (11) and Om Tandon (11) spoke about leadership and character. 

“A leader has self confidence and will go forward when others can’t, no matter what power and resources may exist in a school community or nation,” Fiona said. “[Leaders are] ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader. Leadership is always needed; thus to lead is a meaningful and substantive charge to each of our members.”

To illustrate these values in action, NHS invited faculty members and students to present about gratifying volunteer experiences. Upper school Spanish teacher and Green Team adviser Diana Moss shared her service leading environmental conservation efforts inside and outside of Harker, through the Green Team and organizations dedicated to conservation efforts and environmental justice.

“Nature has been so important to me, and I feel that we need to be learning more about the consequences of our actions on this planet,” Moss said. “We are so fortunate to have a whole community of people who fight to preserve the beautiful natural spaces that we can enjoy and keep us healthy.”

After the presentations, NHS adviser Chris Davies invited Upper School Head Paul Barsky, Assistant Division Head of Upper School Kelly Horan and Assistant Head of School Jennifer Gargano to the stage for a game. Davies prompted the participants to guess the total number of volunteer hours that NHS inductees completed before the ceremony date. Laughter rippled across the room as each participant gave their guesses: Barsky guessed 2,499 hours, while Horan estimated 1,647 hours and Gargano 600 hours.

Davies announced the correct answer, 2,523 hours, after each contestant gave their guess, and  Barsky received a Skittles packet as a reward.

Students who exceeded the expected NHS inductee goal of completing at least five volunteer hours before the ceremony were praised for their efforts to go above and beyond, with some completing several hundred hours of service.

The event culminated in each NHS inductee walking on stage to receive a keychain emblazoned with the NHS logo, along with a certificate that formally recognized their acceptance.

New inductee Shaila Tandon (10) appreciated hearing about others’ volunteering experiences and looks forward to investing more time into volunteering and helping her community.

“In terms of volunteering, I’m looking forward to discovering more opportunities,” Shaila said. “I really enjoyed the student presentations because it gave me an insight into a lot of the different opportunities out there that I didn’t know existed. I hope that next year I can get more hours and do more volunteering.”