TOWNSEND -- "This room is filled with a bunch of overachievers. It's filled with people who strive to continue to raise the bar for themselves and for those around them," said North Middlesex Headmaster Dr. Christopher Chew as North Middlesex Regional High School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 13 members in a ceremony Nov. 20.

Inducted members were Elena Beauregard, Carly Dillis, Amber Edmonds, Becky Manita, Shannon Murphy, Emily Rapoza, Tessa Reading, Sarah Richards, Mary Shakshober, Marie Shepherd, Bryan Vachon, Emily Valacer and Alexandra Waxman.

Members were chosen based on their record of academic excellence and commitment to community service.

The organization's officers outlined the four standards of NHS membership: leadership, scholarship, character and service.

Chapter President Alexis Regopoulos said leadership was one of the most important qualities in NHS inductees.

"Making your own decisions, rather than following the path of others, is going to take you far in life and allow you to reach your full potential," Regopoulos said.

Vice President Kyle Edmonds said scholarship is one of the organization's foundations, with a GPA requirement as one of the bases of the application. However, he said learning should become a habit and not an obligation.

"If we only strove to learn in search of good grades, we'd be quite miserable. Each time we decide we want to learn something, the experience will be so rewarding that the next time it becomes much easier," Edmonds said.

Character was described by Secretary Jordan O'Brien as how a person acts when no one is around, while community-outreach coordinator Allison Kleeman said that NHS members volunteer for the sake of service, rather than for their college applications, hosting a tutoring program and a senior citizen lunch.

"NHS members see that service is not about achievement, it's about seeing the reactions of people after giving them your time," Kleeman said.

Chew gave the new inductees advice on how to keep a balance between school and life.

"One of the things that I hope that all of the students specifically consider as you are continuing to move forward in your educational journey is balance because we do not want you to burn out, or to set your own personal bar so high or your expectations so high that it becomes stressful for you," Chew said.

He also encouraged students to make the most out of their NHS experience, and to work to set themselves apart from others.

"You will only get out of this organization what you put into it. And the reality is, you're going to be competing against kids across the country who have this same standard on their resume. It's what you get out of being in the National Honor Society that's going to make a difference for you," Chew said.

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