Barton encourages NHS inductees to be leaders in the face of uncertainty

Kendyl Bolinder | @BolinderKendyl

“You are joining an organization tonight that is asking you to rise above any personal and societal challenges that will come and to be that support for others now,” National Honor Society sponsor Miriam Barton said to new members during Monday evening’s induction ceremony.

The society inducted nine juniors.

The ceremony looked slightly different this year due to adaptations addressing safety concerns. Only close family of each club member was invited, and they were asked to remain socially distanced. There was neither a pianist nor a keynote speaker in an attempt to minimize the amount of people in attendance. There were limits on refreshments, and everyone in attendance was required to wear masks. 

Barton rose to the challenge presented by COVID, and gave a touching speech to kick off the ceremony. 

Barton’s speech addressed the importance of leadership in the current social and political climate.

“We are living in a moment of recorded history that will most likely be remembered.  A global pandemic is being exacerbated by social upheaval, political bickering and leaders more concerned with their standing among certain lobbies than they are about the safety of individuals in our society… And we, here in this room, are under the constant awareness that our ability to come to school and participate in activities that enrich our schooling experience, like NHS activities, sports, and music, could be taken away at any moment.”

She spoke about school being shut down last spring, and how administrators, specifically principal Jan Hutley, cared deeply about the success of each individual student. 

“In my mind, she took on a bit of a shepherdess-type persona in that with every student who started to fall behind, or became incognito in their effort or communications, she would circle the wagons and help pull, and in some cases shove, them along. She didn’t want to lose a single student.  Not for any reason, least of all to despair.  In all of her responsibilities, and there were many, she cared about the one.” Barton said.

Back: Kara Hafenstine, Madisyn Havenstein, Lauren Schutter, Sarah Vanstory Middle: Braden Meseke, Cecelia Emmert, Kyndal Maike, Emma Alderman, Kaelyn Conrad Front: Peter Stuhlsatz, Kendyl Bolinder, Justice Houston, Reagan Kelley, Ryan Grutsch

She reminded the inductees that a key piece in their success was love and support from others they’d received along the way, and encouraged members of society to lead by showing that same love and support to others.

Principal Hutley was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent her congratulations to the new members in a closing statement read during the ceremony by Barton. 

“These students truly deserve special recognition for their academic and service accomplishments. Though many may naturally associate NHS inductees with consistently good grades and other superior academic achievements, to me these students are much more than that. Not only do they maintain excellent GPAs while being involved in numerous activities, National Honor Society members are often looked to for a variety of community service projects and helping struggling peers through academic tutoring and other supports. It is these activities that truly set them apart and make them deserving of honor. So, to those inducted tonight and those who are current members of the WHS National Honor Society, congratulations. You are all deserving of these credentials and I’m proud of how you represent Wabaunsee High School,” Hutley wrote.

Current members:

President – Justice Houston

Vice President – Reagan Kelley

Treasurer – Peter Stuhlsatz

Human Resource/Student Council Representative – Kendyl Bolinder

Secretary – Karlee Feyh

Event Coordinator – Ryan Grutsch

New Members:

Emma Alderman

Kaelyn Conrad

Cecelia Emmert

Kara Hafenstine

Madisyn Havenstein

Kyndal Maike

Brayden Meseke

Lauren Schutter

Sarah Vanstory

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