Jane Carlson: Recognizing student achievement

Published 6:06 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

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The National Honor Society (NHS) is well known for recognizing students with outstanding academic achievement, but it also focuses on service, leadership and character. The organization provides programs and activities that develop members into well-rounded individuals and role models.     

On Oct. 25, Austin High School welcomed 29 new members during the 2021 Induction Ceremony for a total of 50 in our chapter. This is a special year because it is the 100th anniversary of the national organization. The AHS induction event began with a message from our honored guest, Superintendent Dr. Joey Page. We recognized current members along with the new inductees. The evening ended with a brief reception in the commons.

It was wonderful to be able to recognize this exemplary group of students in-person this year, as last year was a virtual only ceremony.

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Service is one of the key components of NHS, and a favorite among students. Members are committed to volunteering and giving back to the community, as evidenced by the impressive number of service hours logged each year. Each student is required to complete 10 service hours per semester, but most far exceed that minimum. Over the past year, students have volunteered with events like Ruby’s Pantry, various blood drives, tutoring students during hybrid learning, and so much more in our schools and community.

How does volunteering make an impact on our students? Kennedy Bell, NHS President expressed that, “The Lauren Schwab Blood Drive has been most influential on me because it felt like I was making a difference in the world.”

Last spring, while much of the community was isolating, NHS made May Baskets for senior citizens.

“It was really good to be able to give the residents something to smile about and let them know people in the community care about them,” said Samantha Krueger.

One of Meredith Murphy’s favorite volunteering events was at the Mower County Senior Center, packing meals at the start of COVID-19. She mentioned the significant impact that had on her personally, and how much it directly benefitted our community.

Our first group service project this year is our Trick-or-Treating for cans on Oct. 31. Senior Lauren Murphy is looking forward to, “getting out in the neighborhoods and collecting donations for the AHS Packer Pantry.” We have a need for quick and easy foods, canned food, canned fruit, boxes of cereal, and rice and potato packets as well as personal care items for boys and girls.

One of your trick-or-treaters between 4-6 p.m. might not be asking for treats, but for donations. According to Lucy Masara, “collecting for the Packer Pantry directly helps students at Austin High School. It is an amazing resource that any student can utilize.” If you see a NHS member out trick-or-treating for cans, please help us stock the pantry.