PESHTIGO—Many happy Peshtigo families gathered at Peshtigo High School for the induction ceremony of the 2020 and 2021 National Honor Society inductees. Students in good academic standing with a 3.25 grade point average who can prove a track record of scholarship, leadership, character and service are invited to join the group.
Thirty-six students were officially inducted into Peshtigo’s National Honor Society chapter last week.
“It has been a goal of mine since I entered high school to become a member. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my senior year being an official NHS member practicing the four pillars of the National Honor Society,” student Madeline Fifarek said.
“It was really nice to have a ceremony here, in our building,” Assistant Principal Bill Wickman stated, “It was nice to have all of our students and families here, face to face. The adviser, teacher Cindy Birch, did a really nice job.”
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, 2020 members were not officially inducted last year. This ceremony included the 16 inductees from 2020 along with the 20 inductees from 2021.
Junior Joseph Danielak said, “Mrs. Birch and Mr. Wickman did an amazing job leading the ceremony.”
Junior Achal Gowda said, “I want to thank all of the people who helped make this induction ceremony so special for us.”
Food was prepared by the school’s head chef, Justin Collins, along with Marie Hoff and Paul Schafer. The menu included black angus beef pot roast with mushroom au jus, herb roasted baby red potatoes, bourbon street chicken with fire-roasted peppers and onions, wild rice pilaf, vegetable medley and assorted baked dessert bars.
Junior Achal Gowda shared, “I was not expecting the food to be expensive restaurant-quality cuisine, my expectations were exceeded.”
Senior Landon Lemke wanted to “give a shoutout to Chef Justin! The food was amazing!”
Junior Avery Kehoe added, “We greatly enjoyed the food and hope to eat another great meal by Chef Justin soon.”
When asked which of the four pillars of the National Honor Society is most important, most students replied that “character” was the most significant.
“Having the values of honesty, being a genuine person, and having a good attitude are really important characteristics,” said junior Brooklyn Phillips.
When explaining further, the four pillars of character, leadership, scholarship, and service blend together.
“Your character is what makes you, you. It’s your personality and the way you contribute to others to make a difference,” said junior Cassidy Michalski.
Junior Faythe Rich said something similar, “Your character is what makes you, you. One’s character falls underneath every other trait.”
The pillars definitely blend together. Senior Samantha Kodric explains that “your character demonstrates your scholarship. Your character shows your leadership, and volunteering for fun also represents character, which also demonstrates service.”
Junior Lauren Halfmann agrees, saying, “your character plays a large role in how you act as a leader, how much you care about school, and how much you volunteer.”
Senior Madeline Fifarek states that “Leadership to me is not only encouraging others, but leading yourself. It takes hard work and dedication to succeed, and success is more achievable when you lead yourself and set achievable goals.”
One activity the Peshtigo High School NHS students have participated in is the Trunk or Treat fundraiser. The Park and Recreation Department sponsored the fundraiser in mid-October where money was raised decorating vehicle trunks to rejuvenate the playground equipment at Badger Park. Several NHS students joined in the fun, dressed in costumes, and handed out candy to trick or treaters.
Rich said, “The coolest part was how many people were there and the kids were so happy!”
“My friend Kylie and I both dressed up to hand out candy. Kids were so happy when they got their candy and when I told them I liked their costumes,” said Brooklyn Phillips, who also liked how “the kids were so polite.”
Landon Lemke added, “Being with the community and getting together to help out with the reconstruction of Badger Park while also having some fun was really incredible!”
Junior Sariah Frederiksen adds, “It was a really fun and exciting way to help make the community a better place.”
Members of the National Honor Society are grateful to have Peshtigo High School Spanish teacher Cindy Birch as their adviser.
“I’m so thankful for the work Mrs. Birch does for our school. She is one of the most hardworking and helpful teachers,” shared junior Cole Grabian.
“Senora Birch deserves many compliments,” adds junior Beverly Bloch. “Through the years as my teacher, she has pushed me and other students to do our best, sometimes even pushing me to heights I did not know I could complete and achieve at. I’m very thankful to have her as a teacher and mentor for the students in the NHS.”
Junior Cassidy Michalski agrees, “She has put her own work aside to help me at times, and is always willing to help anyone in need. It shows who she is and her character. She truly displays leadership by always being willing to help students!”
Inductees are also grateful for their supportive families. “My parents have supported and helped me as much as they can,” shared Halfmann. “I am so grateful for all that they have done. Without their help, I wouldn’t have achieved nearly as much.”
Danielak adds, “I would like to thank my parents for supporting me through the years as I have had to overcome many struggles with school.” Rich says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my supportive parents, my two biggest role models!”
Michalski adds, “My aunt and grandma have been there to help with anything I need. I am beyond grateful to have the two of them in my life!”
Senior Muaz Salem shared, “My parents instilled the importance of helping others, even when it seems inconvenient. The most important illustration of who you are should be your service, and the positive impact that your time has on the community.”