Aren’t you grad it’s over?

Administration approves changes for 2018 class

Samantha Roberson, News Editor

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It’s finally graduation, you’re dressed in your robe. You look down to admire your three bright cords that represent your dedicated time to an honor society. You also can’t help but wonder what the seal on your diploma will look like.

Administration is in the process of approving the initiative to allow members of all honor societies to receive recognition at graduation.

According to Director of Activities Gail Smith, the initiative for all six H-F honor societies to receive cords for graduation will be approved sometime after winter break.

“It hasn’t been finalized yet, but after starting the work back spring we’ve formed a committee and reviewed all of the criteria,” Smith said. “We still have to finish putting the final proposal forward so it can be reviewed by administration and looked at by the board. There was talk of cords…but we have to make our final decision.”

For over 50 years, National Honor Society was the only honor society allowed to give their members gold cords to wear for graduation and represent their time in an honor society.

The initiative to change this policy began last year with a group of Spanish National Honor Society officers who were determined to receive recognition for their hard work in an honor society besides NHS.

“I was disappointed that SNHS wasn’t able to get cords in time for our graduation because the amount of work and effort that students have to put in made us so deserving,” former SNHS President Zakiya Walker said.

Former member of French National Honor Society Sopulu Anidobu said that she’s excited to see her younger siblings get the chance to be recognized. She’s “extremely excited to come back and celebrate their achievements with them.”

Senior Courtney Pugh is in two honor societies, NHS and SNHS.

“It’s sad that students from last year didn’t get to see their proposal through, they did make a change in the system and that’s noble,” Pugh said. “It’s right that we get recognized for our involvement and dedication to academics and service.”

SNHS Sponsor Ashley Mazzola said last year she knew the proposal was “a way bigger process than them just asking for it.”

Former Executive Board President and member of multiple honor societies Courtney Commodore said her goal was to “leave H-F better than it was once I entered.”

“I think I knew going in it was likely that it wouldn’t be in time for graduation,” Commodore said. “[But] the people that commit to serving their community deserve recognition and I’m SO proud that they will be.”

Not only will the class of 2018 be the first class able to wear multiple cords but are also the first class to be eligible to receive a seal of biliteracy on their diploma for a foreign language.

“It’s a recognition that will be able to be put on students’ diplomas to represent proficiency in two languages,” World Language Department Chair Jenna DeFazio said.

The seal has been in the works for a couple of years, as the seal was approved by Illinois in 2012.

“I was in a department chair before I came to H-F, so I learned about it at the school that I was at before,” DeFazio said. “I came here and just knew it had to be done. The teachers already knew about it, it just needed a little nudge.”

To get the seal, students first have to demonstrate proficiency in English, determined by standardized test scores such as the PSAT.

Next, they have to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by scoring an “intermediate high” on the ACTFL Assessment of Performance towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL).

Students can also use a score of 4 or higher on a foreign language AP test to receive the seal, however, the seal would not be on their diploma as AP test scores are not released until June.

The test will be administered here at H-F in February, and the cost is $20.

Senior Raven Reeves has been taking Spanish since the seventh grade and is now in AP Spanish 5.
“The seal will look great for college, and I feel that because I’ve worked so hard in foreign language, I deserve it,” Reeves said.

Co-Sponsor of SNHS Stefanie Camilli said that she’s just happy that people are being recognized for what they’re involved in and their accomplishments.

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Aren’t you grad it’s over?