HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- For a school that has seen rapid improvement over the last several years, Tuesday marked another proud evening.
Seventeen members of the class of 2015 were inducted into the National Honor Society during a ceremony held for students and their families.
Juniors recognized for the distinction this week were Abigail Brown, Kolumbia Cook, Ashly Cumbo, Taylor Flohr, Maxwell Haar, Alyssa Houghton, Shaelynn Kelly, Casie Mann, Emily Martin, Lindsay McMahon, Elizabeth Philpott, Rachel Pine, Christopher Redick, Madeline Ryan, Sarah Schultz, Joshua Wood, and Garrett Wright.
After reciting the NHS requirements, the new inductees were helped into their gowns onstage by current members.
"I think it went very well," said Maxwell Haar, 15, of the ceremony. "Everyone who got in was very deserving of it."
For Max's sister Zoey Haar, also a NHS member and a senior at HFCS, it was slightly more emotional.
"We have a rule at Hoosick Falls that siblings always have to tap-in and induct their brother or sister," she said.
The tapping ritual is an informal gathering of the entire student body, generally held two weeks before the formal ceremony, during which current honor society members "tap" new inductees out of the audience by finding them in the crowd and then reading their name aloud. "They only tell us five or 10 minutes before the assembly if it's our sibling who got it," said Zoey. "Then you run to find the person you're supposed to be tapping."
Maxwell plays soccer as a midfielder and said he enjoys gym class but hasn't put much thought into colleges yet.
"I saw tears," said Zoey, of their parents' reaction to seeing them both on stage together.
Members of the Symphonic Band played a choral piece by John Kinyon, "Devil Dance," as students took their seats.
A candle was lighted as the different portions of the society emblem were explained, including the scholarship, leadership, character and service characteristics.
Chosen by students as a teacher who has done an exceptional job inspiring students during the course of the previous year, Linda Huba was awarded the distinction to a standing ovation by students and parents in attendance.
Mattie Whitman was awarded the Jeffrey Stratton Memorial Award, as chosen by her fellow NHS members.
Student President Megan Mahar and Vice President Katelyn Harrison presented inaugural certificates to the new inductees.
Last year's graduating class had a 93 percent graduation rate, the highest in recent school history, while HFCS was also ranked the Athletic Class C School of New York State.
Over the past six years the school's ranking by the Capital District Business Review has progressed from 67 to 34, while it was also listed 81st out of 453 comparable schools in the Buffalo Business Review for lowest spending per-student.
Current HFCS members of the society are Levi Brewster, Lydia Casavant, Hannah Fricke, Paige Graney, Zoey Haar, Katelyn Harrison, Holly Hastings, Mollie Henry, Lexi Hoag, McKayla Hogan, Reilly Holbritter, Alex LaBarge, Samantha Lancour, Hannah Lilac, Justin Lynch, Megan Mahar, Drew Phillips, Emily Schultz, Luis Weierbach, Mattie Whitman, Carsen Williams, and Jing Yang.
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