Recently Advancement Intern Erin Donovan ‘20 had the opportunity to sit down with the newly inducted National Honor Society (NHS) officers as well as National Honor Society Moderator Mr. McNulty to ask some questions. Here are their responses:
Mr McNulty’s Testimonial:
1. History of NHS at O’Hara.
O’Hara has been a member in good standing with the NHS since 1964. I had the honor of being granted the position by Sister Lucy who, as far as I can tell, had the moderator position since she came to O’Hara in the mid 1980’s. The NHS is comprised of the academically top 25 students of the junior and senior class.
2. Your opinion of the NHS and why it is important at O’Hara.
Ideals are important in any institution, but ideals without action are simply wishes. NHS recognizes, promotes and celebrates not only academic achievement but the qualities of an ideal O’Hara student by instilling and requiring members to live out the four pillars of NHS service, character, scholarship and citizenship. Our members are selected based on proof of living up to the four pillars.
3. What qualities make a good NHS officer?
Officers are chosen not on their popularity but are nominated by their fellow members based on their demonstration of living out the four pillars of NHS: service, character, scholarship and citizenship. Beyond the pillars, an NHS officer must demonstrate great compassion and interpersonal skills in order to help their fellow members and the students of O’Hara through service.
4. How will you work with the NHS officers to continue to make the NHS a great club?
The strength of the NHS is its members. NHS commitment to service through peer tutoring and service around O’Hara via serving on event committees and the annual Lenten Food Drive allow NHS to give back to the O’Hara community and beyond. We would like to continue to work with the Guidance and Counseling Center to locate as many grant and scholarship opportunities for our graduating seniors as possible.
5. Any messages or advice to our NHS officers as they get ready to be leaders and role models for their fellow NHS members.
NHS officers are already ideal role models of leadership based on their qualifications of NHS membership which was further cemented by their appointment as NHS Officers. I feel the words of our departing NHS president Patrick Burns will suffice as inspiration: “If this year has taught us anything, it is to always be ready, and a person with values rooted in scholarship, always willing to learn, will be the most prepared in the future.”
1. What made you want to run for an officer position?
President: Erin Lynch: I have seen the wonderful impact that leaders can have on our school community. The National Honor Society has a great mission of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. I wanted to take an active role in helping grow and strengthen these ideas into O’Hara’s NHS and community.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: I chose to run for an NHS officer position because I remembered seeing the newly-elected officers be “inaugurated” on stage every year I went to the O’Hara Honors Convocation, whether it had been to support my sisters at O’Hara while I was still in grade school or when I was an O’Hara student, and I wanted to be like them.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: I wanted to run for the NHS officer board because I was looking to do more in the O’Hara community, and because it seemed like a fun opportunity for senior year.
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: I ran for an officer position because I felt that I could be an asset to the NHS. I love working with people and gathering new ideas so I knew an NHS officer position would be a wonderful opportunity.
2. Did any former students or teachers influence your decision to run as an officer?
President: Erin Lynch: I have been blessed with wonderful examples of leaders in my teachers and peers at O’Hara. Seeing these positive examples of leadership, inspired me to want to take an active leadership role in the National Honor Society and be able to make a difference at O’Hara.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: Ms. McDermott, whether she knows it or not, influenced my decision to run for an officer position because whenever I see her and ask for advice, she always tells me to do what I believe I can handle and succeed in. This led me to believe I could succeed as an officer.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: I had Mr. McNulty, the moderator, for freshman year history, and I loved his class so much that I thought working with him through NHS would be a great experience. My dad was also an NHS officer in high school, so he encouraged me to participate.
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: The leadership of our former NHS officers, teachers and my peers influenced me greatly to run for officer. Seeing their leadership and how they worked together inspired me to put myself out there and run for an NHS officer position.
3. How did it feel when you heard you were chosen to be a NHS officer?
President: Erin Lynch: When I was chosen to be the NHS President for 2021-2022 school year, I was surprised and grateful that my fellow members elected me. I was excited thinking of all the possibilities, events, and opportunities we will have next year as an organization.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: Being chosen to be an NHS officer felt amazing. It made me truly feel as though my hard work is paying off and that I can achieve what I put my mind to.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: When Patrick first told me I was on the board, I was surprised and really excited. I hadn’t gotten my hopes up so it was a great surprise and made me look forward to next year even more!
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: When I heard that I was chosen to be a NHS officer I was ecstatic! I was very proud and grateful to be chosen as an officer. I can not wait to get started with the rest of the NHS officer team to make next year great!
4. How does it feel to know your fellow NHS members trust you to be a leader and role model for the club?
President: Erin Lynch: I am honored, privileged, and humbled that my fellow NHS members trust me to be a leader and role model for the club. I hope to lead a positive example for the NHS and the O’Hara community.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: It is a great feeling to have to know that my fellow NHS members trust me to be a leader. I do my best to lead by example, so I am grateful that they have noticed that.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: I feel so honored to have been chosen by my peers, and I hope I can make everyone happy with their decision to vote for me!
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: It feels amazing that my fellow NHS members trust me to be a leader for them. I am honored that they view me as someone who can be a leader and role model for the NHS. I thank them for believing in me and my ability to help serve them and assist my fellow officers efficiently and effectively.
5. What does your role entail?
President: Erin Lynch: As the president of NHS, I am responsible to work with Mr. McNulty and my fellow officers to plan and preside over meetings, help organize events and activities and effectively communicate with members.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: My role includes being present for all NHS meetings and participating in them fully, rallying support for NHS sponsored events, and supporting our president Erin Lynch, of course.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: As Secretary, I will be in charge of taking attendance and notes at our meetings as well as communicating with other members of the NHS, the administration, and handling any other official NHS correspondence.
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: I am the Project Chairperson of the NHS, and my role is to oversee, organize and record any service opportunities available to participate in. I also organize the tutoring program, keeping record of tutoring hours among the NHS members.
6. What are you looking forward to most next year as an officer?
President: Erin Lynch: I am looking forward to working with my fellow NHS officers and members to help make it a successful year! I want to get more people more involved in the activities and projects that the NHS organizes and bring new ideas to the NHS.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: I am most looking forward to presenting my ideas for next year to the members of NHS to make next year great for the students of O’Hara.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: Next year, I am looking forward to working with my fellow officers and getting to know them better. I also can’t wait to start planning projects for next year.
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: I am looking forward to working with my fellow NHS officers and members to make the year great! I am excited to organize and present new service projects/opportunities to the NHS so everyone can get the best out of their time as members.
7. How will you work with your fellow officers as well as Mr. McNulty to continue to make the NHS great?
President: Erin Lynch: My fellow officers and I will work together and communicate often to develop new ideas and help make our NHS events and projects great.
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: By meeting with my fellow officers and Mr. McNulty regularly, we can stay updated on our roles and what we have to carry out to keep the NHS great. We can also pool our ideas together to create new, fun ways to participate in the NHS and truly get the most out of this great experience as members of this group.
Secretary: Haley Garecht: I hope that my fellow officers and I can work with Mr. McNulty to increase NHS’ involvement around the school. I have a few ideas for service projects and events, and I’m sure that the other members of the board do as well. I would also love to give the entire NHS student body opportunities to suggest their ideas for what we can do to keep NHS great!
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: I will work with my fellow officers and Mr. McNulty in that I will present new ideas that we as members can participate in. I will also work to collaborate with them on service project ideas so everyone can participate and learn from those projects.
8. Any messages or advice for your fellow NHS officers and NHS members?
President: Erin Lynch: I am looking forward to working with all of you next year! Continue to work hard and bring your ideas so we can have a great year together!
Vice-President: Christopher Crognale: Keep working hard, no matter what hardships may come your way. Maintain your focus on what you want to achieve and never stop until you achieve it. Also, know that your hard work is realized by myself and the rest of the officers. Stay awesome!
Secretary: Haley Garecht: To everyone in the NHS, I am so excited to get to know all of you better and thank you for this opportunity!
Projects Chairperson: Kaia Grant: I want to express my excitement to be project chairperson for the 2021-2022 school year and my gratitude to all of my fellow members for believing in my ability to help lead them next year. I am very proud to be a part of the National Honor Society and a part of an amazing group of students. I am also very proud of my fellow officers and members for achieving the honor of being a part of the NHS. I know that together we can continue to make the NHS a fulfilling experience.
We are so proud of our new NHS officers and wish them the best of luck next year!