The National Honor Society (NHS) at Andover High School participated in their annual Apple Pie fundraiser on Saturday, November 18. For new members who were inducted on November 8, this is the first event for them to meet returning members.

The Apple Pie fundraiser is the largest of the school year for NHS students. Each member was required to sell three pies. In addition, they could volunteer to make, package, or deliver pies. These pies can be delivered, picked up, or donated to Lazarus House in Lawrence. The proceeds benefit NHS scholarships and select charities, including the Lazarus House.

Homemade Apple Pies are Ready for Pick-Up and Delivery for the Annual NHS Apple Pie Fundraiser. (Photo by Kenzie Boynton)

According to Mr. Shea, the advisor for the Andover chapter of NHS, “This Saturday went very well. We were there at eight o’clock in the morning and we had 650 pounds of apples that we purchased from Mann Orchards. We had probably forty or fifty students here making apple pies, packaging them, and delivering them; students had a lot of fun performing their different jobs.” Around 450 pies were sold this year.

The Apple Pie fundraiser is also an extremely beneficial way for NHS members to get to know each other. New members are welcomed into the organization through an induction ceremony, which is a  formal event. The most recent induction ceremony occurred on Wednesday, November 8, and it is usually attended by members of the school committee and the superintendent. Over 90 students were received this year.

Current NHS members perform most, if not all, of the music during the ceremony. This year, the Traveling Chamber Strings Quartet of current NHS members performed. Senior students that make up the Executive Board presented speeches about the four pillars of the National Honor Society: leadership, scholarship, character, and service.

A guest speaker, usually from Andover, is invited to speak if students feel they exhibit the aforementioned pillars. Kate Freeland, a member of the NHS executive board, said, “Our guest speaker this year was Gabrielle Nossif, who is the Head of Academics for the “A Better Chance of Andover” (ABC) Program that provides eight to ten students from economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented backgrounds with scholarships to attend AHS. She graduated from Bowdoin College and Northwestern Law School, so we were very excited and pleased when she agreed to attend!”

A memorable part of the ceremony is where each inductee chooses a teacher they would like to honor as having a significant impact on them. Elise Miner, another member of the NHS Executive Board, said, “It is a really great part of the ceremony, where the students are able to thank our wonderful teachers.”

The superintendent of Andover Public Schools, Dr. Berman, gave the certificates to inductees, and Mr. Norton, a vice principal at AHS, handed out pins. Shea also made a speech at the ceremony, which was finished off by a dance performed by a current NHS member. A reception was held afterwards in the cafeteria.

Founded in 1921, the National Honor Society is an elite organization of students with a 3.75 or greater unweighted grade point average, or GPA. Every August, Shea receives a list of the GPAs of rising juniors and seniors. He and the Executive Board send letters to those with the required GPA to let them know that they have qualified to apply for the National Honor Society.

However, according to Shea, “You’re not automatically in with the GPA – then you also need to get letters of recommendation, both for character and for leadership. You need to do fifty hours of community service. You need to show engagement in activities in school and out of school as well as leadership in school and out of school.” Once the students send in their applications, the National Honor Society Faculty Council reviews them, and if accepted, students receive official letters and invitations to the induction ceremony.

NHS members meet once a month to discuss any upcoming events. They also offer tutoring to provide academic assistance to students who need it. Now that the Apple Pie fundraiser is done, students have a break and can think about future projects that are yet to be decided.

By Ishaani Sharma