MHS NHS inducts 27, presents awards

Kay Bivens was the keynote speaker at the NHS induction ceremony May 14. Senior Sierra Williams presented her with a certificate of appreciation and bouquet of fresh flowers. Reed Kelley Photo

MEEKER | The thirty-three current members of the Meeker High School chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) inducted twenty-seven new members Monday night. Retired Meeker Elementary School librarian, Kay Barney Bivens, spoke to the group honoring their achievements and inspiring them, in part, by reading part of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to them.
The ceremonies began with violinist Dave Cole and pianist Mary K. Krueger playing some beautiful music.  Meeker NHS president, Sierra Williams, presented the honor society member-elected “Living with Honor” Outstanding Community Service awards.
The business of the year award went to Ma Famiglia, accepted by owner and operator Kris Mazzola Arcolesse. The business is credited with consistently supporting students and staff members, often catering special events, but the most valuable contribution of this business, Williams stated, has been in the individual support they’ve given students, often being their first place of employment, learning the value of responsibility, customer care, time and money management.
The community member of the year award went to Dorsett who was recognized for willingly sacrificing his own time and resources for years to benefit Meeker students, not expecting anything in return. Dorsett gave a few words of apology (for having to leave to go to a school board meeting) and congratulations to the hard work of the inductees and current honor society members.
Trina Stout Kennedy and Dr. Robert Dorsett received Outstanding Community Service awards at the 2018 NHS induction ceremony. Ma Famiglia was also honored as Business of the year; the award was accepted by Kris Arcolesse (not pictured).
Williams remarked that “there is much that goes on behind the scene at MHS. The community gets to see the product. Students get to endure the process of the work,” before awarding the staff member of the year to Trina Stout Kennedy. “Stout-Kennedy,” Williams said, “is someone who is integral to both the process and the product. She is a great example to our students. She works tirelessly. You can always count on her smiling face in the mornings and she cares about each individual student. We are so blessed to have her in Meeker.”
Keynote speaker Kay Bivens was honored, herself a MHS graduate and the female winner of the 1961 Quigg Newton Award, with Williams giving her a wonderful bouquet of fresh flowers and her own certificate of appreciation. Bivens had taught most of the evening’s honorees and current honor society members in her grade school library.
Williams said of Bivens, “She has devoted more of her time and love to the community than most anybody I’ve ever met. Not only does she show care and concern for anyone who crosses her path, but she goes out of her way to visit those in need of a friend and to serve those in need of a helping hand. She helped us as young children develop a love for stories and in the words of one of my fellow seniors, ‘She made everyone feel special.”
Bivens began by recalling when she received the invitation to be this year’s “Living with Honor” speaker, she was standing in line waiting to enter Minnie Mouse’s House at Disneyland in California with her great granddaughter—“grab the golden ring, you are tall enough to ride the ride, young enough to see the magic, and brave enough to take on the ride of life.”
Bivens displayed and read from several of her library’s books including “Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?” She launched into the telling of the story of a woman who had learned most of what she thought she’d ever need to know growing up on the family ranch – hard work, finish what you start, remember who you are, do not deface your name, your actions speak louder than your words, trust in God, serve others. Her prophecy, written down as a high school senior, was to get married, live on a ranch and have children. Within ten days after graduation, she was married, lived on a ranch, and, within a year and a half of graduation, had her first child. Her prophecy was basically complete within those first two years—and she proceeded to make a difference in her community, her family and the lives of others. She became a 4-H leader for 32 years, went to art classes and was very active in her church. She said that John F. Kennedy’s remark during his inaugural speech of 1961, “to not ask what your country could do for you, but to ask what you can do for your country,” made a most lasting impression on her. This woman was herself.
After her fifth child, she started looking for more fulfilling activities —a business. First, selling and delivering fresh milk and baked goods off the farm, an art and framing gallery, selling art supplies, gifts, prints, silk screening and heat transfer on T-shirts and hats, more and more customers, moving the store eight times in 15 years, changing the name four times. In passing, she had a sixth kid. She became the first president of the Meeker Parent Teacher Organization —for 10 years. She downsized the business. And then, in 1991, she received a call from the elementary school principal—“come be our new librarian!” After a month of training for this brand new career, she was on her own. The hardest part, she said, was remembering all the names. She wondered what she was doing herding kids instead of cows?
She loved to read—especially about people who were having a hard time but came out of it stronger. As an example, Bivens read to the crowd from one of her grade school library’s large-format biographies of Abe Lincoln. She claimed she’d always told the kids not to become too old to enjoy a good picture book. One of her favorite picture book authors and illustrators is Jan Brett who wrote “The Hat” about Hedgie the hedgehog and his adventures —she displayed the book—stories that represent the pathways of life and decisions for the future. Bivens advised looking to the past and assessing how choices have molded your life. “What are you doing today?” she asked, “We have only one chance with today. What have you learned that can influence you to make better, the best, choices? Those choices will open and close doors. Be careful of instant gratification as that choice is not your friend 90 percent of the time.
“Appreciate your mentors. Become a mentor. Give of yourself. Give credit to people who come into your life that help you become who you are. Find the people that will help you, learn to work, enjoy the good moments of life and tackle the hard times head on. Be responsible, make those wise choices, work hard, get sleep, eat well. Read Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go,’ again.”
Bivens closed, telling the students, “Thank you for being you, thank you for the years we spent together, go and make us proud. I am looking forward to seeing you when you return from where ever life has taken you.”
The inductees were welcomed into membership through ceremony that is built on recognizing the well-rounded student. The Honor Society emblem depicts a keystone—the piece at the crown of an arch that holds all the other pieces in place and a torch which represents the eternal light of truth. The letters at the base of the keystone, C, S, L and another S stand for the four principles of the Society: Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service. Meeker chapter executive committee members—Mariela Rosas, Briar Meszaros, Logan Hughes and Pake Burke—presented descriptions of these principles.