Nine juniors and one senior joined Panther Valley High School's National Honor Society during the 35th induction ceremony, held at the high school on Wednesday evening.
NHS advisor Rick Morgans began the ceremony with a poem about the making of a candle and how like a candle, a student's life is formed one strand at a time.
"Tonight we recognize a special group of students who, like the candle, have grown since their freshman year, and are now ready to embark into an elite organization shining brighter than others in their school and communities," Morgans said as NHS president Courtney Lazar lit the eternal knowledge candle.
Following the introduction, Lazar addressed the audience, welcoming friends and family to the induction ceremony.
"The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by Edward Ryerson to incite and award academic excellence and service among high school students," she said. "The purpose of the National Honor Society is 'to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership and to develop character in students of secondary schools.'"
Lazar then explained that the candles, positioned on the center of the stage around the eternal knowledge candle, represented a student's commitment to educational advancement and the important qualities that all National Honor Society members possess.
Following Lazar's introduction, the descriptions of the four virtues of the National Honor Society were read by fellow senior NHS members.
NHS Vice President Jacinda Ruzicka spoke of scholarship; Deanna Focht, treasurer, read service; Nathan Mathewson read character; and Amy Yusella, secretary, read leadership.
Morgans then introduced the new inductees, while Lazar, and Joseph Gunnels, principal at PVHS, presented the awards and pins.
"National Honor Society membership is one of the highest honors a student can attain in her or her high school career," Morgans said before the induction of new members. "It is both an honor and a responsibility. Students selected for membership are expected to continue to demonstrate the qualities of scholarship, leadership, service and character.
"Not only are the students seated here before you stellar students, they are also athletes, actors, artists, orators, singers, musicians, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church volunteers, dancers and poets. They are well-rounded, involved members of this school system and your communities."
The new NHS inductees are: seniors - Amber Woodring; juniors - Jordan Duke, Kristyn Gates, Jordan Kulp, Judy Lin, Richard Smith, Amanda Stocker, Jacob Tokosh, Sarah-Mary Tucker, and Samantha Zlock.
Senior members are: Ryan Baur, Zach Collevechio, Brittany Cunfer, Deanna Focht, Stephanie Kachelries, Zack King, Courtney Lazar, Nate Mathewson, Christina Micholik, Ashlee Miller, Jacinda Ruzicka, William Stalgaitis, and Amy Yusella.
Following the induction of new members and the recognition of senior members, Gunnels addressed the audience.
He spoke about the characteristics each student must possess to be able to join this elite group.
They must be cheerful, cooperate well, be honest and reliable, show respect to their peers and more.
He congratulated the 23 NHS members for the hard work they have done.
Gunnels then thanked the parents, teachers and everyone who supported the students and helped them succeed and become well-rounded individuals.
Closing remarks were provided by Lazar, who thanked Morgans, Gunnels and all the family members and school staff present for their dedication to the students.