The following is an excerpt from the speech delivered at the 80th National Honor Society Convocation at Dobbs Ferry High School on June 2, 2016…
…What does it mean to be a member of an Honor Society? Of course, the first things that come to mind when we hear the words “honor society” are good grades and strong academics. Simply put, students who are inducted into an honor society are smart. And smart you are. But the world is filled with smart people, and being smart isn’t an accomplishment in as much as it’s a gift…a gift that can be used for good or bad, for selfless acts or individual gains. As members of the honor society, you are called upon to use your intellect for a greater good. As an IB World School, we are guided by the mission of producing graduates who seek to make a “better and more peaceful world.” As members of the honor society, the IB mission is a perfect place for you to start. As Honor Society members, you are the leaders of your class, and represent the very best of our school. The Honor Society is built on four pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. You are already hitting the mark in each of these areas, so the challenge is for you to continue to do so for the remainder of high school and beyond.
So as you leave here, the challenge that I present to you is not one that you will necessarily face today or tomorrow, but rather at many points throughout your life. As future graduates of Dobbs Ferry High School, you will join a long list of accomplished alumni from our school’s storied history. Each of the past 115 classes that have graduated from our high school has left behind a legacy that was defined, in many instances, by what those graduates accomplished long after they left the hallways of our high school. Some of you have older siblings, and even parents, who graduated from our school who are either on that path, or have already cemented a lasting legacy. So the question for you is what will your legacy be…both as an individual and as a class? How will you give back and use your intelligence in a way that leads to a better and more peaceful world? These are questions for you to consider both today and in the future…as induction to the Honor Society is a beginning, not an end. You are all well on your way to making wonderful contributions to our world, and are well on your way to leaving a legacy that will carry on for future generations of Dobbs Ferry students.
Congratulations to all of you on all that you accomplished and for the positive difference that you are already making on those around you. You are an exceptional group of students with the promise and talent to accomplish all that you set your mind to. Please continue to make your school proud, your teachers proud, your parents proud, and most importantly yourself proud. Thank you.