National Honor Society attends conference


Jennifer Ackerman, Staff Writer

  On March 5, twelve members of the Lakeview National Honor Society attended the state conference for National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.  What makes this especially exciting is that it was the first National Honor Society summit ever held in Michigan.

  Unlike Student Council conferences, which are extremely common throughout the country, National Honor Society conferences are not yet nationwide.  Instead, only a few states get to host one each year.

  Nicole Rakozy, Lakeview’s National Honor Society advisor, was delighted that the conference was held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She said other groups that attended came from all over the state, including areas north of Traverse City.

  Rakozy explained that the summit focused on the tenets of National Honor Society: character, scholarship, leadership, and service.  Students in National Honor Society are expected to exhibit these tenets at school and in their communities.

  “They talked about this conference as an opportunity to look at those tenets in action,” Rakozy detailed.

  The event was hosted in a large ballroom and began with a breakfast and opening speeches about leadership.

  Afterwards, students attended breakout sessions, while advisors attended a special session.  Each group was assigned a topic such as community climate and culture; school climate and culture; social justice; effective communication; and creativity and innovation.

  Rakozy described, “They went into breakout groups where they explored these topics and what that meant and how to grow these within NHS culture and the community.”

  After lunch, participants were divided into new groups and were assigned a topic create a presentation about. The best groups were selected to present to the entire ballroom.

  Junior Madison Demski and sophomore Loren Gagnon were in a group about clean water action called “H2O Go”.

  Junior Lorelei Krembel was assigned to a social justice group.

  “We talked about equity and equality, and how people are stronger together,” she recalled.

  A major goal of the conference was to have Honor Society students from different schools interact together. The day started with a “rock, paper, scissors” activity to stimulate conversation.  Later, the students’ groups were randomly assigned to encourage them to work with new people.

  “It was really cool to meet other people from other schools and listen to their ideas about improving learning environments and what areas they seemed to have issues with and the differences between different schools,” voiced junior McKenna Connell.

  Rakozy estimates there were about 300 participants at the event. The conference also took place a second day, which Lakeview did not attend.

  Rakozy was very impressed with the summit, and was excited to experience a function that was exclusively for National Honor Society.  She explained that the conferences she usually attends are a mixture of Honor Society and Student Council.

  “I was very happy with it.  If they did it here every year, I would go every year,” Rakozy expressed.

  Participants believe that the conference successfully taught them how to improve their community by solving problems.

  Connell detailed, “Essentially, the whole day was based on how to have a better learning environment and issues related to that, and we talked about what we could take from the summit back to our own schools.”