Dozens of students from Mountain Pointe High School were welcomed to the National Honor Society by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett in an induction speech on Dec. 1.
Bennett spoke at the ceremony on the topic of leadership, said Ellen Hill, secretary for Mountain Pointe's NHS. The state secretary, whose speech lasted somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes, said students should lead through service to others.
"The word that I most closely associate with leadership is ‘service,'" he said after the event.
Bennett, who himself was a member of NHS during high school, urged students to be themselves. He said that, regardless of whether their abilities come from natural talent or were something they have to develop, they should remember to apply their best assets to life's challenges.
Finally, Bennett cited balance as a necessary quality in good leaders. He gave an anecdote about balancing a golf club in the palm of his hand. Instead of staring at the point in which the hand and club are in contact with each other, Bennett said it is necessary to stare above at its top. Looking up at the club enables one to determine which direction it will fall in, he said.
"You can't look at where you're at, where your hand is, and keep things in balance," Bennett said, adding that when something in life is out of balance one must move resources to the area that is falling. A person must constantly shift to keep everything balanced, he said.
A total of 66 students were inducted into the National Honor Society at the ceremony, which took place in Mountain Pointe's auditorium. K.R. Scott, who sponsors the high school's chapter of NHS, said this was an average number of inductees for the campus.
"That's about our usual size," Scott, a U.S. government teacher and gifted coordinator at the school, said. "We usually have between 60 to 80 students every year."
According to NHS' website, students accepted into the organization "demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character." These four traits are considered the four core values of the organization. Students are selected through a seven-step process that includes scholastic screening, faculty review and, ultimately, student notification.
After Bennett's speech, NHS officers spoke about their organization's core values. The speeches set up a candle ceremony, in which the officers lit candles corresponding to each trait. The ceremony began with one candle, which was then used to light the rest.
"We have the lamp of knowledge candle, and everything comes from that," Hill said.
Once the candles corresponding to the four core values were lit, inductees were called by name to light their own using one of the four. Afterward, the new members signed the registration forms for NHS, Hill said.
While Scott sponsors NHS, the teacher said other members of the organization were actually responsible for putting on the event.
"The students do all the work," he said. "They did a wonderful job."
Josh Snyder is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a senior at Arizona State University.