On May 25, Verona High School initiated its newest student recognition program, the Science National Honors Society. The Science National Honors Society, not affiliated with the National Honors Society, is a national organization recognizing the achievements of dedicated students in the realm of the sciences. The organization was established in 2000 and since then high schools around the country and world have been adopting individual charters for their high schools. In September, two VHS juniors, Michael Shamouil and Evan Huaman, were given the green light to start a Verona High School chapter under the leadership of Paula Ramos-Santiago, a ninth grade biology teacher.
Throughout the year, Shamouil, Huaman and Ramos-Santiago worked together to set the basis for requirements for admission into this society. All members would be a junior or senior at the time of induction, have a positive science teacher recommendation, a 4.1 cumulative GPA, be clear of any school or legal offenses, and be enrolled in at least one AP science course with a final grade of a B- or higher as well as receiving a B+ or higher in Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry. Most importantly, all students had to complete nine hours of science-based community service in tutoring or volunteering.
This year, 36 students students qualified for the Science National Honors Society: Hannah Boyle, Sean Burke, Julia Cambreleng, Austin Camp, Francesca Cortese, George Du Laney, Brian Feury, Giuliana Frizzi, Dominick Gamarro, Grace Gault, Evan Huaman, Caitlyn Kenneally, Caitlin Klose, Isabel Latorre, Maggie Maranz, Matthew Nagy, Alexander Ng, Henry Noren, Gwynneth O’Donnell, Garrett Percevault, Kelly Petrino, Dean Ramsthaler, Anna Rosinski, Jordan Shaffer, Michael Shamouil, Aydin Sidali, Andrew Siegelin, Emily Sime, Cole Smith, Kyle A. Smith, Olivia Symczak, Mark Walsh, Veronica Wertz, Isabella Williams, Chitoh Yung and Lauren Zanders
“The Science NHS provides an important opportunity to recognize students,” says Caitlin Klose, one of the students who qualified for induction. “Now that such an organization exists, maybe more students will strive to excel in science.”
On May 25, Shamouil and Huaman were inducted into office as the co-presidents of this organization, and the “pioneer” members were given certificates of membership. Ramos-Santiago started the ceremony with an opening speech, followed by the presidential speeches. In his speech Shamouil talked about his perception of wisdom and how it is something that can neither be measured nor quantified. Huaman discussed the process the group took to establish this honor society as well as his goals for the future. Both Huaman and Shamouil have been successful in scientific studies at VHS and are dedicated to pursuing scientific careers post-high school: Shamouil and Huaman are both dedicated to medical studies.
“I am very proud of Michael and Evan for all of their dedication and hard work in starting this program,” says Ramos-Santiago. “Because it was our first year, we ran into a few challenges, but by working together we were able to overcome all of them. Congratulations to all of our new members.”
“Our SNHS inductees have proved themselves academically as well with their contribution of community service for acceptance,” says Huaman. “Their next move awaits them to pursue a career in science and to help advance mankind’s knowledge of science to its endless possibilities.”
The VHS chapter hopes to get more of its members involved in helping the community scientifically. “As co-founder of this organization, I am happy that we were able to at least legitimize our group of accelerated science students this year,” says Shamouil. “Ms. Ramos, Evan, and I have many plans to expand the activities and group opportunities for our members in the 2017-2018 school year.”