WILMINGTON — Family members, students and staff gathered at Wilmington High School Thursday, April 21 to observe the WHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony.
Following a saxophone quintet performance by Erin Stroebel, Drew Spendlove, McKinley Law, Dessa Robertson and Olivia Minney, Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart welcomed guests and paid tribute to the steadfast influences that many of the event’s guests have had in the lives of WHS students.
“We are fortunate to have such supportive family members that have shaped and mentored this amazing group of student leaders,” she said, and “I believe each student has the opportunity and ability to be a leader.”
NHS Advisor Jessica Grimes also congratulated the 40 students for their accomplishments, which included more than 1,000 hours of community service.
Guest speaker, WHS Alumnus and long-time teacher and theatre director Steven Haines, shared with the audience a snap shot of his life, when a happy and content-to-stay-at home WHS student was pushed out his comfort zone by a teacher—a force—referred to only as Bolton, who presented Haines no other option but to audition for an unwanted part in the Shakespearean production of “Twelfth Night.”
In the span of five minutes, Bolton had shown Haines a door, had kicked it open, and had essentially told Haines to walk through the door and to explore and experiment with everything he had been school in by all the terrific people who had been modeling those things for him for all of his 15 years.
“In two weeks,” said Haines, “my life had been changed forever, and the lesson from Bolton followed me and informed my life always. And, I stopped going home.”
Speaking directly to the members of the National Honor Society and honor society candidates, Haines praised students saying they were “wildly blessed to be scholars, leaders, servants, and characters.” And to make no mistake, it will one day be their challenge and pleasure to help others discover their passions and to point people to the doors of the unknown that will lead them to incredible discoveries.
Prior to the induction ceremony, students paused to recognize current teachers who have made a difference during their years at WHS and who represent the pillars that are the foundation of the honor society.
Theatre and Language Arts teacher Brian Wallingford received the teacher award for character, English teacher Karla Hayslett the award for service, physical education teacher Zach Williams the award for leadership, and English teacher Julie Knoblauch the award for scholarship.
During the induction ceremony, each new candidate was called to the stage where senior members of the NHS shared their candles to light the way for new members. As new members took their seats on stage, retiring members took their seat in the audience, having passed the torch to the next generation of the Wilmington High School National Honor Society.
The following students were inducted into the Wilmington High School National Honor Society:
Seniors Bryah Arehart, Emma Cline and Lillian Hebb, and juniors Kalista Adkins, Jessica Angst, Brodie Back, Brittany Barnett, Camryn Barton, Brooke Blakeman, Leyah Bradshaw, Chad Davis, Emily Davis, Alison Dooley, Liberty Farris, Kiona France, Joanna Gonzalez, Avery Greenlees, William Hadley, Jessica Haynie, Nicademus Hayward, Ryan Hottinger, Sydney Ilg, Veronica Ilg, Savannah Morgan, Lindsey Murphy, Alex Plas, Lucas Plas, Hannah Pridemore, Mary Putman, Judlanda Resor, Jay Schneder, Katherine Schroeder, Lyla Self, Gage Smith, Bridgette Thompson, Averi Vance, Tyler Wells, Shania Williams, Chris Wolary and Matthew Younker.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.