NHS Inductions—An Altered Tradition


Electric candles, an outdoor setup, and inevitable social distancing requirements. These three elements, unique to the 2020-2021 school year, describe the NHS induction ceremony. Although much of the ceremony was altered to fit the social distancing guidelines, the core values of leadership, service, and character that reside within each inductee remained evident throughout the evening.

The ceremony included speeches from NHS President Cassandra Scott ‘21, Vice President Colleen Tonra ‘21, Secretary Olivia Chiarelli ‘21, and Treasurer Rishab Gera ‘21. They shared with the audience the history and purpose of the NHS as well as an explanation of each of the four pillars: character, scholarship, leadership, and service. After the lighting of the eternal candle, the new inductees joined Scott in reciting the oath and pledging themselves to “uphold the high purpose” of NHS. Afterward, Mr. Charles Ross gave his principal address and started the presentation of certificates. This year, inductees had their certificates with them at their seats and stood up holding their certificates when their name was called. 

While the NHS induction ceremony could not be conducted indoors as is tradition, Gera believed that the ceremony went well, despite these complications. “It was quite unfortunate that the current state of the world had inhibited us from performing our traditional indoor ceremony, however, I am glad that the NHS advisory board decided to pursue a different direction to celebrate the hard work and dedication the new inductees of NHS have put in towards their school and their community,” said Gera. “One of the main character traits that an NHS member learns to develop during their high school career is the ability to persevere, and I hope that this outdoor ceremony showcases to all that it is possible to overcome any challenge if you are willing to put your mind to it.” Rather than expressing frustration at the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gera explains that this reality showcases the true character of the NHS members. 

Ms. Roseanna Scimone shared a similar sentiment to Gera regarding the complications of maintaining social distancing guidelines while conducting this ceremony. “It took a lot of brainstorming and planning to figure out how to adhere to the CDC guidelines, keep students and families safe, and still have the beautiful induction ceremony that the inductees deserved,” she said. “On the day of the ceremony, Mrs. Andriano and I were excited to see all of the new inductees arriving. And we knew it was going to be beautiful. The weather cooperated with us with the exception of a little wind, and families were able to share this beautiful moment with their son or daughter being inducted.” Despite the unorthodox outdoor ceremony, Scimone believes that this hindrance could not halt families from celebrating this momentous achievement. 

Despite these complications, many aspects of the induction ceremony were still the same. While the physical conduction of this ceremony was inevitably altered, the emotions surrounding this ceremony remained intact. “Every year the day up to the ceremony the list of things to do seems to never end and butterflies in my stomach seem to never go away. It’s when the officers first welcome our guests that these feelings subside and I become extremely proud of the four NHS officers and the dozens of new inductees who are eager to join this chapter,” Scimone said. “As an advisor, my favorite moments are looking around in the audience and seeing all of the families cheering as each inductee’s name is being announced. Smiles that take over the inductees’ faces as they hear their name being called by Mr. Ross is one of my favorite parts. For many students, this is years and years of hard work paying off.” While the physical induction ceremony has undergone several changes to ensure social distancing guidelines, the corresponding emotions to this ceremony have remained the same nonetheless. 

As we’ve seen with the 2020-2021 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted many challenges upon the students and administrators at Edison High School. However, as the modified NHS induction ceremony displays, these challenges can be overcome when equipped with the right mindset and determination to do so. “It’s wonderful to just have people coming close together and while we’re outside and it’s the first time in my 11 years here that we’ve done an induction like this to be able to gather to celebrate these fine young people and their efforts to do the right thing in their service…has made me happy,” said Ross, in his principal address. The ceremony was filmed and posted on the Edison BOE’s YouTube channel so that friends and family who were unable to attend could still celebrate the accomplishments of the new inductees. For the first time, the commemoration of the new NHS inductees this school year can be looked back on by the Edison community for years to come. 

Congratulations to this year’s inductees of Edison High School’s National Honor Society:

Shikha Agrawal ’22

Diya Agrawal ‘22 

Sofya Ahmad ‘22 

Ali Ahmed ‘22

Adeola Ajiboro ‘21

Madison Alexander ‘22

Urooj Arshad ‘21

Will Calabrese ‘22

Kelly Cheng ‘21

Arnav Chinchankar ‘22

Sia Chokshi ‘21

Neoma Chowdhury ‘21

Tyler Dalton ‘21

Maninder Dhesi ‘22

Vijay Elango ‘22

Jana Elgebrawi ‘22

Jalen Ferell ‘21

Gina Fitz ‘21

Ishita Gabhane ’22

Erin Go ‘21

Nataliyah Gordan ‘21

Daniel Guan ‘21

Zoe Jones ‘22

Aryaman Kapoor ‘22

Marwa Karim ‘21 

Evan Keeton ‘21

Vania Khan ‘22

Kaeli Knott ‘22

Nimisha Kumar ‘22

Ishani Kunadharaju ‘22

Alexis Kustka ‘22

Krishita Laungani ‘22

Nicole Le ‘22

Anne Lee ‘22

Ariana Macie 

Isha Malaviya ‘22

Shreya Manchanda ‘21

Yash Mandavia ‘22

Maulikaa Manikantan ‘22

Katie Mastrocola ‘22

Tiffany Mei ‘21

Emma Mohanty ‘22

Olivia Morales ‘22

Marina Mourad ‘22

Vallika Nayak ‘21

Shachi Patel ‘21

Maha Qureshi ‘21

Sergio Ramirez Guerrero ’21

Keya Raval ‘22

Samhitha Sangaraju ‘22

Tanya Sharma ‘21

Meha Sheth ‘21

Iman Siddiqui ‘22

Anureet Singh ‘21

Saketh Sitaram ‘21

Hannah Steinlauf ‘22

Simone Stephen ‘22

Alexia Stewart ‘21

Matthew Sudnick ‘22

Vasumathi Venkat ‘22

Srinidhi Venkatesh ‘22

Oscar Villar ‘21

Fiyaza Vizam ‘21

Julia Webb ‘22

Jason Zheng ‘22