VIDEOS/PHOTOS: 26 Bethel High School Students Are Inducted Into the National Honor Society

Report by Paula Antolini
November 23, 2016 8:23AM EDT


Photo above: (Top) Twenty-six new National Honor Society inductees, (bottom) new and present members of the NHS, on November 22, 2017, on steps in Bethel High School, after the induction ceremony. Click on all photos to view larger.


VIDEOS/PHOTOS: 26 Bethel High School Students Are Inducted Into the National Honor Society

The National Honor Society Induction Ceremony took place on Tuesday evening, Nov. 22, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., in the Bethel High School auditorium.  Twenty-six new inductees were welcomed into the National Honor Society.

The 26 New Inductees are: Gia Antolini, Paulo Belato, Purna Dalal, Cosette Domkofski, Liam Ford, Christina Franzese, Catherine Galliford, Anthony Gaspar , Rachel Houlihan, Matthew Iossa, Patrick Joyce, Kaitlyn Kondos, Madison Lemone, Natalie Melvin, Sophia Orrico, Kelly Palacios, Julianna Perrotta, Rebecca Phillips, Andrew Ridzik, Brian Ridzik, Christiana Ruiz, Julia Schettler, Sarah Viebrock, Amanda Weiner, Jason Zheng, and Anthony Zor.


“When the National Honor Society was founded in 1921, the hope of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) was to create an organization that would recognize and encourage academic achievement while also developing other characteristics that are essential to citizens in a democracy.  The ideals of scholarship, character, service, and leadership remain relevant today as they were in 1921.  The NASSP believes that the National Honor Society has made a positive impace n the lives of individuals and on the spirit of community and school.

“Honor Society members have exhibited academic achievement, leadership, honorable and admirable character, as well as service that demonstrates that the member is willing to use talents and skills for the improvement of society.  Throughout the NHS chapter service activities, members maintain and extend the qualities that won them selection.  Thus, membership into the Bethel High School chapter of The National Honor Society is both an honor and a commitment.”




The welcome address was by Brian Carraturo and he also lead the Pledge of Allegiance while the BHS NJROTC presented the colors. The National Anthem was sung by Anna Harovas and Sophia Harovas.

The guest speaker was Mrs. Karen Mello, who spoke about the importance of volunteering in the community and giving back to those in need and what that meant to her.  She mentioned how the little things volunteers can do can have a far reaching and deeper meaning.  She talked about her own experience, through her work at United way, of helping needy children, low income individuals and families, in the areas of their “education, housing, food, and financial stability.”

Mello shared two of her favorite stories that greatly impacted the life of a child or group of individuals.  In one case, and working with other volunteers, she saw how the recipients themselves appreciate the efforts of volunteers.  She spoke about buying items for the needy, tailored to their specific individual favorites, via United Way’s “Back to School” program, as many Bethel students have participated in over the years, she said.  Volunteer shoppers receive the name, age and grade of the child, also the child’s favorite color, characters or style of dress,so that each of the items are personalized to each child. The program supplies school items to needy children so they are ready for the school year.  She received a thank you letter from a child after he’d received the Spiderman backpack he’d wanted for so long, as his friends had.  The little boy wrote, “Thank you so much for my Spiderman backpack. All of my friends have one and I really wanted one, but I knew my mother couldn’t afford to buy me one, so I couldn’t ask her.  I am s happy.  I just wanted to be like all of the other kids on the first day of school with a new backpack. I want to be just like you someday and help someone else the way you helped me.”

Mello also mentioned the global effect of volunteering, a time when she was working for “Project Homeless Connect” an annual one-day event where they provide food, warm clothing, coats, flu shots and dental care to the homeless in greater Danbury.  One of the homeless individuals told her, “I feel cared or and a part of this community.”  Mello said just one hour of community service can have a great impact on someone’s life, so multiply that by the hundreds of hours students have already given and “imagine the impact that you have already had,” she said.

“It doesn’t always need to take a large amount of hours or a lot of time out of your day to make an impact in someone’s life,” Mello said, “and sometimes the smallest act can touch many lives.” She shared her own personal story about her love of crocheting, and when she was crocheting scarves after the Sandy Hook tragedy, where the scarves would then be given out to the community.  Three thousand scarves were made and distributed. She continued to crochet scarves and donated them to Hats for the Homeless, scarves for our troops, and blankets for children who are critically ill or traumatized in local hospitals or shelters.

In November of 2015, Mello saw a post on Facebook about the Paris shooting tragedy, and an organization that was collecting handmade scarves in the colors of the French flag, to be given out to the survivors of the attacks.  This urged her to crochet a scarf and send it to that country.  In June 2016 she received a letter from the woman in Paris who received her scarf, a survivor of the shooting attack.  “The woman wore the scarf to the return concert at the Olympia Concert Hall, in February 2016, at which the original band would play again to honor victims and survivors,” Mello said. “At the concert she would pass the scarf upon stage, the lead singer would wear the scarf, and the scarf would become a symbol of hope and strength that night, for hundreds of Paris residents.”

Mello said, “So it’s the little things, like 1. a Spiderman backpack for a child, or making the homeless feel like a part of our community.   2. Do something for someone else without any expectation in return.  The gifts you will receive back will be many.  3. Even the smallest act can impact many lives.  You never know.  You may have your own scarf story to tell one day.  4. You don’t have to go far to help people.  There are people right here in our own community that need our help everyday.”

“Be the kind of person that makes a difference wherever you go,” she said.



Members of the Tri-M Honor Society performed a musical interlude.



Brian Carraturo lit the Central Symbolic Flame of the Society, then introduced four members of NHS who spoke about the Symbolism of the Society: “Scholarship” by Ajitha Chivulkula; “Service” by Ryan Polistena; “Leadership” by Jessica MacIntyre; and “Character” by Chris Joyce.   They each lit a candle on the stage to represent that symbolism, after their speech.

The introduction of the new NHS members was by Brian Carraturo and each new member lit a candle from the one lit by a current member.  They then signed the register and received a yellow honors sash and walked to the side of the stage to a small stepped platform, and finally recited a pledge together.  See video below.



The 30 Currrent Chapter Members are: Madysen Byrnes, Danielle Canfield, Brian Carraturo, Ajitha Chivukula, Caroline Crouse, Emerald Eggert, Kenneth Foss, Kallan Hook, Daniel Islam, Emily Johnson, Chris Joyce, Martha Kenny, Danielle Langdon, Ariana Leggio, Kaylen Luu, Jessica MacIntyre, Sarah Mello, Stephanie Polistena, Emily Quader, Cassidy Quinn, Ekam Rai, Jill Rodgers, Arielle Rosenthal, Rachel Salvador, Chloe Sarrazin, Madison Schettler, Rachel Wade, Amelia Wootton, and Brandon Yup.


View video below, of present and newly inducted NHS members after the ceremony:




***Check back for VIDEO of candle-lighting ceremony, coming soon.***



Click on all photos to view larger.