Five juniors and six seniors joined Panther Valley High School's National Honor Society during the 36th 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 Jacob Tokosh lit the eternal knowledge candle.
Tokosh addressed the audience, welcoming friends and family to the induction ceremony.
"The young men and women seated before you do not succeed for the sole purpose of recognition," he said. "They do not strive simply to meet the expectations of others. They achieve because of who they are. We achieve because we drive ourselves to surpass our own limits. Passion and perseverance run in our blood."
Tokosh explained that the candles, positioned on the center of the stage around the eternal knowledge candle, represented the virtues of the National Honor Society: scholarship, service, leadership and character.
Following Tokosh's introduction, the descriptions of the four virtues of the National Honor Society were read by fellow senior NHS members.
Amanda Stocker spoke of scholarship; Jordan Kulp read service; Kristyn Gates read leadership; and Samantha Zlock read character.
Morgans introduced the new inductees, while Tokosh 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, but 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:
Ÿ Seniors - Melody Dillee, Stephen Hajcak, Sarah Marouchoc, Kaitlyn Matula, Kayla Melber, and Roxanne Person.
Ÿ Juniors - Madison Blasko, Leonard Ogozalek, Patrick Owens, Jacob Szczecina; and Richelle Van Horn.
Senior members are: Jordan Duke, Kristyn Gates, Jordan Kulp, Judy Lin, Richard Smith, Amanda Stocker, Jacob Tokosh, Sarah-Mary Tucker, and Samantha Zlock.
Following the induction of new members and the recognition of senior members, Gunnels addressed the audience.
He spoke about the history of the National Honor Society, which was founded in 1921 by Edward Ryerson as a way to award academic excellence and service among high school students; and what it means to be a member of this elite group.
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 Tokosh.
"Success is invaluable, and the virtues necessary to succeed are oftentimes elusive," he said. "However, the National Honor Society is, as of tonight, 20 members strong and dedicated to uniting students who uphold their own values and those of this society."