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More opportunities come to Cornell from honor society

More opportunities come to  Cornell from honor society More opportunities come to  Cornell from honor society

While still in its infancy, the Lakeland Conference Honor Society has a good start under its belt, showcasing important life traits, such as leadership and service. It also offers high school seniors in the conference a chance to be awarded one of two scholarships.

“The origination of the Lakeland Conference Honor Society was because the National Honor Society Scholarship was given one per state,” said Cornell High School principal Dave Elliott. “And the dues went up dramatically from one year to the other.”

Elliott didn’t think the national society provided enough of a service to stay tied to the NHS, so, along with other districts, Cornell decided to create an honor society within the conference, based on leadership and community service.

“I called several colleges and asked if that would affect admissions, they all said no,” said Elliott. “They’re looking for leadership, they’re looking for scholarship and they’re looking for service.”

The process was implemented within the Lakeland Conference, consisting of 21 schools, since 2018. Not all joined the conference honor society, while some have dual membership with Lakeland and the NHS.

“What we’ve done has now provided two scholarships available for students in the Lakeland Conference Honor Society,” said Elliott.

To join the society, criteria is based on GPA, leadership and service. A committee within the schools reviews applications to determine if the student qualifies.

Once they reach senior status, the students can then submit applications for the scholarship, in which they have to list their academic and community involvement.

This spring, Cornell adviser Caroline Hickethier planned to induct new members Jocelyn Tirrell and Elijah Turany into the society. With the closing of schools March 18, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a ceremony are on hold.

However, that doesn’t mean the school isn’t thinking ahead. Elliott says although Cornell has no senior members of the Lakeland Conference Honor Society this year, he’s hopeful more students will want to join and get in the running for a $500 scholarship.

Elliott also said the fairly new society has been a good thing for the conference and not just because of more scholarship opportunities.

“It’s give us a chance to communicate among advisers to share what they’re doing for programming or community service,” said Elliott. “Things that are available.”