Press release by Michigan City Area Schools:

Parents, friends, teachers, and other supporters filled the Michigan City High School auditorium on Wednesday, October 25, as 44 juniors and seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society.

NHS President Erin Piazzisi led the induction ceremony, which also involved 19 MCHS seniors who were inducted as members last year. The event featured remarks from MCHS Principal Kyle Dean, Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, and NHS sponsor Kristen Freitag.

NHS Vice Presidents Andrew Vicari and Madison Gresham introduced the student speakers, who addressed the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, character, and leadership.

“Being a scholar isn’t just late-night studying and cramming information into your brain,” said Angelina Duenas. “Scholars are students who want to obtain knowledge, who do what needs to be done to achieve their academic goals.”

Krystani Quinn noted that community service is a vital aspect of NHS membership. “When we engage in service, we not only help those in need, but we also develop important skills and qualities,” she said. “We learn empathy, compassion, and the value of teamwork. We become more aware of the challenges people face and gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.”

Lorenzo Panozzo told inductees that character is the pillar that truly distinguishes them from others. “Character is the life you lead without the influence of others,” he said. “It is the accord you hold yourself to as an individual. It is those moral and ethical questions you contemplate when making decisions, and ultimately it is your character that gives you individuality, strength, and the ability to grow through helping make the lives of others better.”

Abby Bartlett encouraged inductees to think of leadership as more than being captain of a sports team or president of a club. “For the longest time, I believed a leader had to be the loudest one in the room, the one in the spotlight,” she said. “But I was wrong. A leader is often someone who sits back and observes in order to create the best outcome for everyone. Being a leader is to put yourself second.”

According to NHS Secretary Sophia Barczak, the National Honor Society was first established in 1927 at what was then Michigan City High School – a building that later became Elston High School. The present MCHS National Honor Society chapter celebrated its 29th annual induction on Wednesday, joining more than 12,500 high schools nationwide with chapters.

“You represent the very best of Michigan City High School,” said MCHS Principal Kyle Dean. “It is your small actions every day that make a difference.”

2023 MCHS National Honor Society inductees included:

Abbas Al-Saedi, Katelyn Ast, Gavin Baldwin, Emily Blank, Zoe Brooks, Siniyah Burdine, Bailey Chavis, Ella Frever, Jada Gee, Logan Grantham, Nathan Groszek, Jaden Hart, Brianna Harvey, Kyra Haywood, Brooke Lakin, Katelyn Lane, Ayana Malone, Caitlin Mason, Chase McMillon, Jennifer Mezo, Kaitlyn Milligan, Emilio Munoz, Hazel Murphy, Kayden Nowatzke, Nolan Painter, Hannah Parker, Khushi Patel, Stephanie Ramirez, Jhoselyn Ramos, Kaylee Richardson, Jhonatan Ruiz, Kailla Sanchez, Levi Scoville, David Serrano, Christian Shanks, Madelyn Shinn, Dakota Smith, Sarah Sutor, Ava Taylor, Natalie White, Naomi Williams, Aaverie Wingard, Alyssa Workman, and John Zaknoun.

They joined the following seniors who were inducted in 2022:

Jeremiah Allen, Sophia Barczak, Esther Barnes, Davida Barney, Abigail Bartlett, Keona Briggs, Sophie Devens, Angelina Duenas, Sofia Garcia, Madison Gresham, Gerzey Hibner, Tatiana Miller, Meaghan Painter, Lorenzo Panozzo, Erin Piazzisi, Krystani Quinn, Ashley Sparks, Andrew Vicari, and Juliana Williams.