Principal Gilman recalled how when NHS started at Hopi High School in 1993 that the students would be honored but all they would get was sandwiches.
Mentzer and Gilman decided the NHS students deserved more so in 1995 they initiated the NHS annual banquet. Now, the NHS students get T-shirts and pins along with the steak dinner.
“We’ve grown a lot and we’ve come a long way with our community projects. I think the most meaningful is the food drive for the elderly as the National Honor Society delivered more than 200 food bags during the Christmas food drive,” Gilman said.
He said since the school has become a grant school that they are able to spend money on projects such as the NHS banquet.
Mentzer noted that this was the largest turnout for the annual NHS banquet.
“The students and the community have taken the spirit of NHS to heart,” he said.
Mark Lewis, a member of the Hopi Junior/Senior High School Governing Board, said the staff who worked hard to make NHS possible deserves praise.
Lewis, director of the Hopi Guidance Center, said organizations like NHS help to alleviate areas of trouble. He noted that the Hopi Reservation needs health care workers, teachers and lawyers. He feels NHS is helping to move students in this direction.
“This helps develop leadership skills,” he said.
John Toms, president of NHS, said he learned from the organization that projects are great when they help someone out.
“NHS is not just for nerds or geeks. You don’t have to be the smartest to be in NHS, but it’s rewarding when you get involved with a food drive. The gratitude that we received for bringing somebody a bag of food was amazing,” Toms said. “It makes you want to help people more.”
Alyssa Fredericks, vice president of NHS, talked about the various projects NHS worked on including volunteering as ushers at the high school graduation last year, serving as guides during an open house of the high school and cleaning up a portion of the highway.
“But our biggest project is the elderly food drive. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards are priceless. People were so generous (with food donations). I was speechless,” she said.
Fredericks said she hopes the new NHS inductees “will be able to surpass us.”
Mentzer said it is his honor to be associated with the NHS students. He inducted the new members into NHS with the help of its officers and current members.
The officers are President John Toms, Vice President Alyssa Fredericks, Secretary Cheryl Talashie, Treasurer Eva Bahnimptewa and Parliamentarian Dwight Honyouti.
The other current members are Noranda Yazzie, Jeremy Jelle, Tara Secakuku, Daryn Melvin, Ritchie Sahneyah and Danielle Wartz.
The new inductees are Lacrisha Tacheene, Kelsy Hardt, Dominique Peter, Arnold Lomatewama Jr., Michael Adams, Jennie Saufkie, Iva Sahneyah, Stephanie Povatah, Faelynn Zah, Randi Boucher, Simana Tenakhongva, Marissa Leslie and David Webber.
Rodriguez, advisor for National Junior Honor Society, inducted the new members into the NJHS with the help of its officers and current members.
The officers are President Kristie Pavatea, Vice President Desire Denis, Secretary Gaston Smith and Treasurer Rhianna Tootsie.
The current members include Brendan Steele, Glendalyn Naqua-Hyeoma, Cheyenne Harding, Joel Melvin, Yvonne Kaye, Randy Lavato, Kiara Pahovama, Savanna Anderson, Charles Villa and Dyan Melvin.
The new inductees are Le’Andra Begay, Monica Honyumptewa, Deidra Jones, Justin Lee, Bernelia Tewahongva, Theodore Beatty, Santana Honanie, Leal Jensen, Ira Puhuhefvaya, Lisa Smith, Perlinda Yazzie, Leandra Calnimptewa, Andrew Honyaktewa, Jamie Keith, Tamara Tacheene and Natanya Yazzie.