Wadena-Deer Creek High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) held its induction ceremony recently where nine students were welcomed to the chapter.

Those new inductees included juniors Emma Bushinger, Elliot Doyle, Sara Goetze, Tony Kreklau, Aiden Larson, Emma Mehl, Nevada Schulz, Kira Sweeney and Kade Woods.

The ceremony featured a traditional candle-lighting and a formal program. NHS seniors Michael Schmidt, Lexi Pierce, Jasmyn Wood and Maggie Carlson spoke on the four pillars of NHS — scholarship, leadership, service and character.

This year’s ceremony featured guest speaker, Ryan Damlo, executive director of Tri-County Health Care Foundation and WDC School Board member, who talked about his own family’s dedication to giving back to the community through service organizations like Lions, PTO, Cub Scouts, Housing Authority, School board, as well as how important service work is to others in the community.

Damlo also stressed how important the four pillars of NHS (Academics, Service, Leadership, and Character) are during students’ time in NHS and beyond high school.

“They help you build a stronger community no matter what community you live in,” Damlo told students.

Damlo challenged NHS students to show the adults in their lives what it means to give back and to get involved in a group or organization.

“Be a positive influence at school, work, our community, your own house. Don’t just put NHS down as a resume builder. Lead through your school work, service, leadership and character. Be an active part of our community,” he said.

Principal Tyler Church also spoke to NHS students. His message focused on character.

“Having good character means you are a person who looks to do the right thing, even when it is not the easy thing to do. Good character means treating others with kindness and compassion and being a positive role model in the school. This group every year exemplifies that to the fullest,” said Principal Church.

Each NHS member received a NHS medallion. New NHS members received their medallion from family members while second-year NHS members received their medallions from Mr. Damlo, Principal Church and Mike Ortmann, NHS advisor.

In order to qualify for NHS membership, a student must be a junior or senior who embodies the qualities of character, leadership, scholarship and service. Students must have a GPA of 3.5 and demonstrate good attendance, involvement in co-curricular activities, and leadership experience.

Students must also average 50 or more verified hours of community service for each year of high school and submit three letters of recommendation. Applications for membership are reviewed by a panel of WDC teachers and administrators.

Returning senior members are Paige Barthel, Maggie Carlson, Sean Carlson, Mackenzie Carsten, Kennedy Gravelle, Mari Grendahl, Lucas Hinojos, Laura Krause, Bereket Loer, Zachary Meeks, Cole Pearson, Lleyten Pettit, Lexi Pierce, Michael Schmidt, Kamea Shreves, Courtny Warren, Hailey Wiederich, and Jasmyn Wood.

Yearly projects led and organized by NHS members include two blood drives, a charity phone-a-thon, and Day of Caring, just to name a few.

“I look forward to working with these students as they contribute their time and talents to our Wadena-Deer Creek community,” said Ortmann.