Students inducted into National Honor Society
By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
Moodus - posted Mon., Dec. 3, 2012
Twelve students were inducted into the Dean MacDermott Chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony on Nov. 29 at Nathan Hale-Ray High School in Moodus. Principal Eric Spencer said the students were being honored for their hard work. He also congratulated the parents for their support, noting that without their help, their children wouldn’t be where they are today.
“It has been my pleasure and my honor working with your children this year,” said Catherine Sammann, a math teacher and advisor at the school. “All the Honor Society members are dedicated, hardworking students.” These students are involved in a lot of diverse activities, she said, which made it really difficult to find the time to get them all in one place for the ceremony. “It’s because of that commitment to their school and the community that they were selected to be members of a National Honor Society,” Sammann said. “They should all be proud of themselves.”
The inducted students were: seniors Courtney Fiala, Alexandra LaFemina, Gretchen Lemke and Alix O'Brien. Juniors Annabelle Bass, Haley Bishop, Zachariah Brandes-Powell, Sylena Kraczkowsky, Samantha LeMire, Andrew Lochowski, Makayla McPherson, Nicole Muckenhirn, Megan Ouellette, Lindsay Pattavina, Patrick Riordan, Daniela Sabando and Lauren Turner.
State Senator-elect Art Linares, who was the ceremony’s keynote speaker, spoke about the inductees’ hard work, dedication, perseverance and community involvement paying off for them and setting them apart from other people. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be here tonight to celebrate this event with you,” Linares said, adding that six years ago he was inducted into the Honor Society, so he was sitting exactly where the students were that evening.
Linares said he was inspired by his father, who he watched roll up his sleeves and start a business. “He inspired me to start a business of my own in the basement of my home,” Linares said. The business was a renewable energy business that we started with a friend and which has created more than 100 jobs in the construction industry building solar power for the Walmart and Target corporations during the past four to five years. “I realized a lot running for office [and] since my time in the National Honor Society," said Linares, "that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.”
The motivation in his life, including the desire to run for public office, he said, is his family, he said. He believes that every generation should have a better quality of life than the generation before. He knows these honor students will be successful, he said. “If you work hard, you can achieve anything in this country.”
Linares gave 10 tips to those assembled that might help them in the future - things he wished he had been told six years ago when he was sitting in their place. Number one was call your mother when you are at college because no one loves you like she does. "You’re only as successful as your five best friends,” Linares said, as his second tip. “As you move on in your life, choose your friends very carefully. You become who they are. Their habits become yours. Keep that in mind as you move on.”
His third tip was if you want something, ask for it. When he was running for public office, he said he needed 24,000 votes so he knocked on 10,000 doors to get those votes. If you want a job, an opportunity, or even a date, you need to ask for it, he said.
Tips five and six were to find your passion and a mentor.
“Find someone that you can emulate because you become who you emulate and talk to them often,” Linares said.
His last four tips were to continue to sacrifice, good grades in college are cool, you are overachievers, and don’t let anyone convince you that you’re too young to accomplish your dreams.
“I believe the next generation will be the greatest generation because of people like you,” Linares said.