National Honor Society to induct nearly 50 new members May 24 in first live ceremony since the 2018-2019 school year


Rida Zar

National Honor Society [NHS] adviser and English teacher Randy Oudega inspects the 61 NHS cords for seniors to wear on graduation day on Wednesday, May 18, in his classroom. The cords will be distributed on Tuesday, May 24, from his classroom during lunch, the same time when nearly 50 non-seniors will be inducted into the group.

Seowon Han, Copy Editor

For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2018-2019 school year, the National Honor Society [NHS] will induct 48 new members during lunch on Tuesday, May 24.

“Admission to the National Honor Society is recognized across the country as one of the highest honors that can be earned by a high school student,” according to an email that English teacher and NHS club adviser Randy Oudega sent to inductees last month. “At Sunny Hills, it is an honor conferred upon relatively few students.

“Congratulations on your impressive achievement!”

For the past two years since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, both the application process and the announcement of new members were digital. The Class of 2022 inductees never held any elections for cabinet positions, either, because of remote or hybrid learning.

According to Oudega’s April 28 digital invitation, at the lunchtime ceremony in Room 35, inductees will receive a certificate to recognize their membership status. 

The NHS adviser also said he will ask non-seniors who’s interested in applying for officer positions for the next school year. Then on Thursday, May 26, elections will be held in his classroom during lunch.

Junior Claire Chen said she’s looking forward to next week’s induction ceremony.

“I felt honored to be recognized and acknowledged,” Chen said about receiving Oudega’s email. “I was also surprised and felt proud to be listed with other amazing students.”

In addition, Oudega sent another email dated May 11 to 61 senior NHS members informing them to come to his room on May 24 to pick up their cords for graduation.

“One of the benefits of being a member of NHS at Sunny Hills is that you get to wear a lovely blue and gold double-cord at graduation,” the adviser wrote.

Senior Sebastian Bonca said he plans to pick up his cord.

“I worked really hard for a lot of things, and it’s really appreciative to feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Bonca said.

Because this is also the first school year back to live classroom instruction, NHS returned to paper applications for prospective members to pick up from Oudega’s room and to fill out and submit. 

Applicants also had to go to their club advisers or teachers to confirm their participation in the activities they put down, unlike the past two years when students only had to complete a digital form.

After a few adjustments in the application window because of the number of absences, it closed on April 4. Five faculty members – teachers appointed by one of the assistant principals because the school was still in search of a replacement for former principal Allen Whitten – met after that to review the applications and determine the final cut to become a member, Oudega said.

“We asked students to write all of their activities and their accomplishments on an application, and then that is reviewed by the faculty council,” he said. “They’re looking for scholarship, leadership, service and integrity.”

Sophomore Isabella Jacobs said it was a challenge to jar her memory about the activities she had participated in since her freshman year here.

Because the application process is self-explanatory to show an individual’s commitment, sophomore Isabella Jacobs said that it was a little difficult having to recall all the activities she’s done. 

“I decided to apply because I know how prestigious the program is and what an honor it would be to be accepted,” said Jacobs, one of the 48 inductees who plans to attend the meeting. “Also, I have a philosophy for applying for things and believe that there’s never any harm in applying for opportunities and positions because there’s always a chance that I’ll be accepted.”

Of the 48 students who applied and didn’t get inducted, they can re-apply next year so long as they are not seniors who’ll be graduating in 2023.

“The reason why I like NHS is that it’s so comprehensive that it takes into account all the things that a kid might be doing out there in the world,” Oudega said.