Your 2023-2024 NHS Board!


Written by McKenna Orrico, News Editor, Editor-in-chief

Every year, Lockport Township High School honors some of its most talented and dedicated by allowing them to apply to be in the James McKinnon Smith Chapter of the National Honor Society. While many students apply, only the most accomplished group of about 200 students are inducted into the Honor Society every year. At the end of every year, an election is held to determine the leadership team for the following year. Let’s look at the Class of 2024’s new NHS board and what they each offer.

President, Akash Patel: The class of 2024’s new NHS president is Akash Patel. With his background in team activities like football, boys’ track, and the math team, he feels that his ability to work successfully with others was a big reason he was voted president. Akash hopes that during his presidency, he will be able to expand the outreach of Lockport’s NHS chapter. By creating opportunities for members at non-profits like Feed My Starving Children, the club will be able to not only receive their required points but also bring awareness to some of the most pressing issues in the world today. Recognizing the true purpose of the Nation Honor Society, Akash plans to expand the club to benefit the student body as a whole through the implementation of programs to handle the stress of being a student at times of significant events. With a student-oriented plan of attack for next school year, the new class of NHS members and returning seniors should be in excellent hands.

Vice President, Aidan Preciado: To accompany next year’s President, Akash Patel, the NHS members voted in Aidan Preciado as Vice President. The varsity football team member attributes his new title to his personable skills and outgoing personality. Along with these characteristics, Aidan prides himself on daily pushing to come out of his comfort zone to connect with new people. His ties to the football team and student body allow him to see the importance and impact of school spirit and participation in a community. One of the changes he would like to make during his year on the board is a rise in student engagement and enthusiasm during various school events like spirit weeks. The efficacy of his plan may not only have an impact on the experience of students, but will also have the ability to rejuvenate morale in the staff and community. NHS is a club focused on community outreach, but Aidan anticipates that this year’s board can instill its values throughout the whole school.

Secretary, Erin Svoboda: The position of Secretary was named to Erin Svoboda, a shining student involved in extracurriculars like the varsity swim team, math team, and Spanish Honor Society. Erin believes her peers named her Secretary because of her amiable and approachable manner, which she displays in and outside school. Her goals for NHS also reflect the positive attitude in which she prioritizes. Erin hopes she will implement the spread of positivity by the other NHS members by encouraging participation in different school events and spirit weeks. Especially in today’s society, positivity and kindness are two attributes desperately needed, and that is precisely what Erin will not only bring to NHS but also expand to the whole LTHS student body.

Treasurer, Sofia Reyes: Both juniors and seniors elected Sofia Reyes as their 2024 NHS Treasurer.  The journey to Treasurer was one of excitement and nervousness for Sofia, but what she believes ultimately got her to the finish line was her personal growth. She has seen an unbelievable development in her leadership skills during high school, but one thing that has never changed about Sofia is her energized manner and kind personality. The biggest thing Sofia wishes to change during her time on the board is the reputation of NHS. By some students in and outside the chapter, NHS is only known as a club that meets a few times a school year and something nice to put on your college resume, but Sofia hopes to revitalize the original image of the club. She wants to make participants understand that being a part of NHS is a privilege they are responsible for upholding. Over the next year, the National Honor Society will see an increase in representation of the pillars that the club was founded on: Service, Character, Scholarship, and Citizenship.

Community Service Coordinator, Tory DalPonte: The Community Service Coordinator title was granted to Tory DalPonte for the 23-24 school year. Tory has a more than impressive resume. She is involved in various programs like Model United Nations, Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Laurie Children Hospital’s Leading With Heart Foundation, which strives to spread awareness and raise funds for children with congenital heart disease (CHD). Her recent victory can be attributed to her dedication and drive in every single activity she is involved in. With her specialty residing in community service, Tory thinks one essential addition to the club will be an increased NHS presence at Best Buddies and Special Olympics events because our peers with disabilities deserve to have support and recognition for all the awesome things they do! Tory strives to make her time on the NHS board full of moments that impact members’ lives forever. She hopes to bring communities and experiences that NHS members have never really participated in, like working with peers with disabilities, which would change the mindsets and create a new level of understanding that one might not have had before.

Points Coordinator, Josh Ahrens: Josh Ahrens was elected the 2023-24 Points Coordinator for Lockport’s National Honor Society. Besides being an NHS member, Josh is a member of both the varsity football and basketball teams. From these experiences, he knows the struggles of getting total points with a limited schedule. This is why during his time on the board, Josh wants to ensure that athletes and other members with a lot on their plate have an equal chance to complete the requirements. Athletes, especially, should not be penalized for participating in the activities that got them into the club. Also, Josh wants to ensure that NHS is promoted and recognized as a club for those who display academic and voluntary excellence.

Technology Coordinator, Julie Perretta: Although Julie was the only one to run for her position, NHS is lucky to have such a qualified candidate for their Technology Coordinator. Julie, who is very active in the drama and arts department, thinks she got the position because of her interest and technology experience. Next year along with being on the board, she will participate in the technology department as an intern to assist students and staff with their technical troubles and needs. Julie hopes to expand the club by creating a social media presence for NHS. With platforms like Instagram or Twitter, students could get real-time access to events and volunteer opportunities they might not see. Social media could also be a great recruitment tool for new members and parents to see what happens inside NHS.

Tutoring Coordinator, Tommy Szwab: Finally, the 2023-24 Tutoring Coordinator is Tommy Szwab. The skills from activities like the math team and boy’s track and field are believed to be a significant part of his appointment. Along with his school involvement, Tommy displays creative and unique solutions to problems that others do not. As a very involved student, one of the biggest additions he wants to make is bringing more recognition to the accomplishments of all clubs and activities at LTHS. NHS is more than just the members inside the club; they believe that the more outreach to the whole student body, the better. Tommy hopes that during his time as Tutoring Coordinator, he will assist members in getting the academic assistance they need and creating an environment where they are not afraid to ask for help.

This might be the most well-rounded, motivated board to date. NHS should expect increased opportunities for community service, events, participation, and positivity in the coming year. Current sophomores and juniors will have the opportunity to serve under this board starting at the beginning of next semester.