Five St. Croix Central High School (CHS) students were inducted into the newly formed chapter of the Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS) at a ceremony held at the school on May 29.
Charter members of Central High’s Zora de Espanol, which received certification on April 30 that recognized it as a new chapter of the prestigious SNHS, include Maria Rodriguez, Tawana Moreno, Damarys Melendez, Wantherlley Sanchez and Yulaidy Simon.
Advanced placement (AP) Spanish teacher and SNHS advisor Dr. Annette Garcia expressed her pride in the students’ accomplishments.
“Today is one of those moments that we are here to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, but we are also here to celebrate the positive impact, and [the] caring and meaningful relationships we have that enable us to succeed and achieve,” she said.
She continued, “From the puzzle of Central High School, we are a significant piece of it. These students represent the effort. Since the primary language in the Virgin Islands is English, these students have had to work to learn English and at the same time conserve the Spanish language.”
The inductees played a significant role in every aspect of the ceremony.
Treasurer Damarys Melendez and historian Wantherlley Sanchez offered a brief history and mission of the organization, stating that its mission “is to maintain and recognize high achievements in the Spanish language and culture program, as well as to promote a continuing interest in Hispanic studies. The Spanish National Honor Society is a group of students who are interested in communicating in Spanish, embracing the Spanish culture, and being involved in school activities and community service.”
NSHS Public Relations Officer Yulaidy Simon gave a detailed look at the colors, flower, logo and chapter motto “All Together,” and Vice President Tawana Moreno read the society’s poem.
Inductees also recited the SNHS pledge, received membership certificates and awarded medals, and were individually called to light the candle by Dr. Garcia and NSHS mentor Eli Torres.
Senior Maria Rodriguez was recognized for earning the highest grade- point average among all 127 affiliated chapters of SNHS, granting her a golden and red double-honor cord and stole to don at CHS commencement on June 12. Guest speaker and former alum Bermary Calderon offered students words of encouragement and wisdom about the importance of education.
Other guests in attendance were SNHS mentors Zulma Torres (ESL teacher) and Silvia Ramirez (Spanish teacher), who offered congratulatory remarks to students. Kayla Gonzalez gave remarks on behalf of Sen. Alicia Barnes.
Dr. Garcia concluded the program by expressing thanks to CHS Principal Yves Abraham for welcoming the establishment of SNHS at the high school.