By Jingyi Li ’19 and Fanny Zhao ’19
Students were crowded in the lobby dressed in black and white on May 22, eagerly waiting for the start of the Arista and Archon installation ceremony.
Arista and Archon are a part of the National Honor Society, which is a nationwide organization for high school students. Selection into Arista and Archon is based upon the four criteria of character, scholarship, leadership, and service.
Maqadus Skhi ’19 said, “Arista/Archon means rewarding people who are willing to give back to our school community and help improve our learning environment.”
Arista members were lined up outside the auditorium to the left while Archon members were on the right. Students in both honor societies were lined up in the lobby. While Ryan Channer ’19 was playing the guitar, the students walked down both of the middle aisles of the auditorium with many eyes on them from parents to Mr. Michael McDonnell to faculty members.
Emily Zhen ’19 said, “When it was time to line up I was nervous because I don’t like attention, but I was excited to get my pin to symbolize my achievements as a Midwood Hornet.”
The pledge of allegiance was recited and then a captivating rendition of the national anthem was performed by Josephine Mammoliti ’18. Following was a message from Mr. McDonnell to all the students.
Most of the ceremony was orchestrated by the 2018 leaders who gave speeches to welcome students to both honor societies. Albina Kukic ’18 and Brendan Mcerlaine ’18 welcomed all Arista acceptees and then Joyce Chen ’18 and Shawal Malik ’18 welcomed all Archon acceptees.
Ms. Filomena Daniels said, “When the leaders give speeches, it’s very heartfelt, inspiring, and it’s a beautiful moment.”
Everyone’s attention was on Channer when he returned to play a musical interlude on the guitar.
For the candlelight ceremony, there were three candles to represent scholarship, service, and character. The scholarship candle was lit by Selena Tan ’18, the service candle by Malik, and lastly, the character candle by Stacy Miller ’18. There was a struggle lighting the last two candles, giving many a laugh, and after many attempts, the service candle could not be lit.
“It breaks the tension in the room,” said Ms. Daniels. “It’s a really funny moment and it seems to be really consistent every year.”
All Arista acceptees stood up while Mcerlaine read the Arista pledge and at the end, all students said, “I do so affirm.” This process was the same for Archon acceptees while Chen read the Archon pledge. Students lined up to walk across the stage to receive their Arista or Archon pins.
The new 2019 leaders were announced to be Allen Borshch ’19, Tiffany Huynh ’19, and Nimrah Naseer ’19 for the Arista Honor Society and Sami Akhtar ’19, Agnes Chen ’19, and Tina Chen ’19 for the Archon Honor Society. Arista leaders are selected by the highest GPA and Archon leaders are selected by the highest number of service credits.
To close off the installation ceremony, Ms. Fern Bren, the Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services, gave a moving speech to all the students and thanked everyone for coming and thanked Ms. Filomena Daniels, the Arista/Archon Coordinator and even gave her a bouquet of flowers. The students then stood up and filed out the auditorium towards the refreshments which included small wraps, brownies, cookies, and water.
“My first Arista ceremony was an amazing experience,” said Li Hong Zeng ’19. “Being inducted into Arista meant that I’ve been doing a good job in the three years of my high school. It felt like my efforts are paying off.”
There are specific requirements in order to be accepted into either Arista or Archon. Arista is based on a student’s academic average. Juniors must have an overall average of 93 or above for five terms, while seniors must have an overall average of 90 or above for seven terms. Archon is based on students’ amount of service credit. Students must have a total of 105 service credits: a minimum of 45 credits must be from the office or classroom service for a teacher or an administrator, and a minimum of 30 credits is needed from school activities. All students who fit the requirements will be accepted unless there is an issue with their character.
“Getting 105 service credits can seem like a challenge, but it is certainly doable, and I’m proud of my service to the school,” said Nursat Jahan ’19.
There were 302 Arista members and 148 Archon members for a total of 450 members. New members who joined Arista/Archon for the first time had to pay a one time membership fee of $10. The money is used to cover the expense of the ceremony.
There are benefits of being in the Arista/Archon honor society.
“Being in the Arista Honor Society certainly enhances my college application since it shows my academic achievements,” Zeng ’19.
The ceremony night marked the students’ achievements in scholarship, service, and character.