Honors tradition prevails


North Scott High School’s National Honor Society induction ceremony speaker Cory Reed cheered the society’s ethics and values he said will fuel students’ achievements through high school and beyond.

Deere & Co.’s president of agriculture and turf operations worldwide welcomed 29 new National Honor Society members at an Oct. 14 ceremony in the auditorium. About 100 family and friends spread out in the auditorium to hear Reed extol honor society values he said will lead students through the pandemic and other changes.

“What hasn’t changed is the impact and promise of carrying forward these values of the National Honor Society,” said Reed.

He’s also the father of a North Scott sophomore Hannah, who open enrolled from Pleasant Valley primarily because of FFA and the agriculture programs.

He lauded the honor society for providing a network of support and achievement. “The National Honor Society 30-plus years ago helped form some of those values. Those around me like those around you, help form those values,” he said.

He described his own childhood in Lindsey, Ohio, a town of 400 not much different from the hometowns of many North Scott students.

Reed highlighted achievements of Iowans with small-town origins, including baritone Simon Estes, Intel founder Robert Noyce, Lockheed chairman and Hubble space telescope program director Vance Coffman, renowned agronomist Norm Borlaug, and astronaut Peggy Whitson, who holds the all-time record for time in space.

He said leadership is about serving, and achieving, not attaining titles.

“Pick great role models and understand what they have to offer,” he said, noting that leadership arises, “not from your expertise – but the expertise of the people you bring together.”

During the hour-long ceremony, honors students on the four pillars of NHS.

North Scott 2020 graduate Lauren Hanson spoke on character, in a video recorded in her University of Northern Iowa dorm room.

“”My school work suffered when I overestimated my abilities. Ignorance and pride held me back from even better character,” she said. “In this time, it’s easy to distance yourself from others. But it’s important to stay close. The most important interpretation of character is your own.”

Graduate Grace Sampson returned to the stage to talk about scholarship. The 2020 grad attends the University of Southern California remotely from her Eldridge home. She had a 9 p.m. class after the ceremony.

“Perfectionism is not only unattainable, but also limits opportunities for growth,” she said. She urged inductees to look for learning everywhere.

“I thought it came only from the classroom, or some big internship,” she said. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

She described her college work assisting the online education of California inmates. “I learned more from those guys than anywhere else,” she said.

Senior Madison Bender spoke on leadership. “It’s not being captain of the football team,” she said. “It’s doing what we can to help others reach their goals. We share our paths with others.” A key leadership principle? “We’re not afraid to admit we screwed up.”

Senior Megan Sacia spoke on service. “Happiness generated is the reward. Kind gestures, big or small, send off ripple effects,” she said.