RUMFORD — The old saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s what members of Mountain Valley High School’s chapter of National Honor Society did.

Normally, nominees for NHS are first announced at a school-wide assembly in Muskie Auditorium. This year, the leaky roof and the issues it has created did not allow that tradition to continue. But the NHS members found a way to honor the nominees that combined traditions and new procedures.

In an intercom announcement, NHS member Nathan Fitzpatrick announced, “For almost 100 years, National Honor Society chapters across the United States have been recognizing students for outstanding scholarship, leadership, service and character. Traditionally MVHS holds a Tapping Assembly to publicly announce nominated students. This year we will be tapping in classrooms.”

Then chapter President Rachel Averill used the traditional words, “Let the tapping begin.”

NHS members went to predetermined classrooms to find the new nominees. They announced the nominees’ names and placed stoles on their shoulders. Then the nominees were escorted to the library for a reception with parents.

Averill said, “The members who weren’t out tapping candidates formed an aisle that the candidates would walk through on their way into the library, giving their entrance a celebratory feel as they walked out where their parents were cheering for them.”

Despite the lack of a school-wide assembly, the nominees enjoyed the recognition.

Sophomore Ryley Flynn said, “When I got tapped, it felt exciting. The ceremony was interesting. I liked seeing all the parents there for their kids.”

Sophomore Natasha Munzer recalled her experience, “It felt awesome to get tapped into NHS! I felt proud of myself as well as my classmates who were also tapped.”

For her, it was a culminating event at the end of a year of hard work to demonstrate the characteristics of all NHS members – scholarship, leadership, service and character.

Munzer continued, “This year has really stood out for me. I’ve made an effort to volunteer, make honor roll, join groups, be class officer, show leadership and even make student of the term!”

She enjoyed the non-traditional ceremony and is excited to play an active role in NHS.

Munzer said, “The ceremony was very nice even though it was held in the library, and it was also very cool how the people who are currently in NHS came into the classroom to get you! I look forward to being an NHS member because I know I will be able to help more people, and I will be able to make a difference! I also look forward to making new friends!”

For the current members, the non-traditional ceremony was a good compromise given the inability to use the auditorium but it lacked some of the elements of their own tapping.

Averill said, “I thought it was conducted very well, and still retained its formality even though it wasn’t a formal assembly. Teachers cooperated well making it easy to take kids from classrooms. I think it served as an example for the kids who didn’t get tapped this year, because this is a very special honor.”

“I found that while the new format allowed for a slightly more personal ceremony, it did not provide those who were tapped the public pride they deserved,” Fitzpatrick said.

He continued, “While the tapping remained formal and dignified, I find that some of the dignity was lost in the approaching of individual classrooms. Providing an aisle of inducted students was a very interesting way of accepting the newly tapped. In full I found that the format lost some pride from the entirety of the student body, but maintained the formality that the ceremony calls for.”

Junior NHS nominees include Kristin Arsenault, Brandon Gill, Michelle Hale, Bradley Marshall, Thomas Marshall, Dalton Milledge, and Tucker Phelps.

From the sophomore class, Eric Deanis, Alexandria Durland, Karen Flaherty, Ryley Flynn, Jon-Thomas Greene, Krysta Hodsdon, Madeleine Kaubrys, Josh Maillet, LeAnn McNally, Natasha Munzer, Sydney Petrie, Ronald Russell and Kayla Sinclair were tapped.

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