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RPES inducts first National Elementary Honor Society members

Rachel Patterson’s first class of inductees display their sashes and certificates after the ceremony.

News Staff Writer

Thirteen Rachel Patterson Elementary School 4th-graders became the school’s first students to join RPES’s new chapter of National Elementary Honor Society.
The school’s cafeteria was filled with third-grade students, teachers, community business leaders, preachers and more who stood as a processional of students — Addilyn Armentor, Lae’lyn Bogan, Ahnara Brown and Jah’Liyah Dawson, followed by Saveion Johnson, Ayden Lowe, Aaliyah Pate, Ar’Laysia Pete, Macie Presley, Layla Riley, Brayleigh Staples, Londyn Stephens and LaRoyia Turner — marched into the room and quietly took their assigned seats.
Students in grades 4-6, who have been enrolled at the school for the equivalent of one semester, and who meet the cumulative GPA requirement (Scholarship) set by their school’s chapter, are eligible to be candidates for membership.
NEHS guidelines require a student to have a cumulative GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent standard of excellence.
Among the special guests were Atmore Mayor Jim Staff and Escambia County Board of Education President Loumeek White.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Saveion and Lae’lyn, four of the inductees — Brayleigh, Jah’Liyah, Londyn and LaRoyia — spoke on the pillars of the organization (Scholarship, Responsibility, Service and Leadership) and lit the ceremonial candles from which each would eventually light his or her individual candle.
After Assistant Principal Cheree Davis welcomed the attendees, the 13 honor society members combined their voices for a rousing version of “This Little Light of Mine” before coming one-by-one to the stage for their pins, neck sashes and certificates of membership.
RPES Principal Toya McMillian congratulated the new NEHS members and said she expected the school’s initial establishment of the honor society to be a seed that will start a continuous pattern of growth in such activities.
“Each year, we want to keep getting better, better and better,” McMillian said. “If we don’t, something is wrong. This is our first induction; it could be the first of many.”
She told the 3rd-graders she expected good things from them as they moved up a grade next year.
“I want this to not only double, but triple and more,” she said as she pointed to the inductees. “We’ve already ordered the chair covers and sashes. We’re ready.”
She also spoke directly to the parents in the cafeteria.
“It’s time for us to step up and take our children back, take our community back,” McMillian said. “We want it to be cool again to be smart.”
Following the assembly, the new NEHS members left in a recessional, then the entire assemblage was invited to enjoy cake and punch at a reception in their honor.