Induction into the National Honor Society is always a wonderful accomplishment, regardless of the class or the school that one comes from.
But when one earns NHS honors from a stacked class, it makes the accomplishment all the more special.
On Wednesday afternoon, 25 students at Wheelersburg — out of a class of approximately 100 youths — were named as George Rightmire Chapter National Honor Society inductees on Wednesday afternoon at Wheelersburg High School.
For National Honor Society co-advisor and English II/AP English teacher Chris Pastor, it’s always a pleasure to induct students who put in their due time into meeting the four criteria (scholarship, leadership, service, and character) that are central to the NHS program — but with a class like this, the honor is even more special.
“I’ve been at Wheelersburg for 10 years, and this is the biggest group we’ve ever had,” Pastor said. “There’s only about 90 to 100 students in the junior class, so the inductees make up about 25 to 30 percent of the entire junior class. That’s a testament to the type of kids that we have here — kids who work hard and kids who care about the right things. They care about doing the right things.”
According to its website, the National Honor Society serves to recognize students that not only have demonstrated excellence in the aforementioned four criteria, and through community service and the various activities that each of the students have taken part in, it is clear that each of the 25 have done just that. Need student-athletes? They represent 13 of the 25 who are on the list. Key Club members, 4-H members, band members? Check, check, and check.
”It’s not just about grades,” Pastor said. “It’s about the character of the student, the leadership that the student has displayed and demonstrated, not just by being a president or a secretary, but in the way they carry themselves and the service that they have put together in the community. We have people in our athletic programs that do a lot of service. We have a ton of people in Key Club, 4-H, things like that. We have kids who volunteer at SOMC just because it’s the right thing to do. It’s an incredible experience when you get to recognize kids for doing the right things.”
However, Pastor says that the students have overcome more than just time constraints while serving the community and Scioto County, as well as the school, in a high manner. They, in fact, have overcome personal obstacles that would overwhelm most. Those same people not only jump over those hurdles, but volunteer their time and efforts in order to do so.
”When I think about young people, I think of something like the National Honor Society, where kids have overcome incredible economic and personal hardships and obstacles, and you wouldn’t know it on a day-to-day basis because they don’t use those obstacles as crutches,” Pastor said. “They have the mindset of, ‘OK, this is a hurdle, let me jump over it.’ You don’t have to ask, ‘OK, I need somebody to do this. I can say, ‘We need this done,’ and somebody immediately volunteers. You don’t have to waste time coaxing people to volunteer and do things. If anything, you have so many people volunteer that you have to delegate who does what. Kids just lay everything out on the line to care for people.”
However, that’s what Wheelersburg expects — and that is, according to Pastor, what makes the school district so successful at churning out quality youngsters.
“We have everything working like it should in Wheelersburg as a district,” Pastor said. “We have teachers who care and students who just work incredibly hard to do the right thing. They’re never satisfied with just being good enough or being pretty good. They’re only satisfied with excellence and more excellence. You have administration that supports your teachers, you have administration that supports your students, and you have a community that actually cares. We’ve got that in abundance at Wheelersburg, and it’s a testament to the character of this community.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT