The National Honors Society had a Ceremony on Thursday, May 30th, and took place in the Jenkins auditorium at Malden High School.
Chemistry teachers, Martin Berryman, was awarded for teacher of the year, along with Katherine Haskell for mentor of the year.
Berryman mentions that he has won before, back in 2010 and says he was as surprised and excited for it as he is this year. He felt “surprised back then too because [he] was at a different point in his career so it was a different experience but it was equally as special and means a lot to [him].”
He also says that he feels “really honored by it because there are so many teachers at [Malden High School] that are excellent and above and beyond and so just the group of students who thought that [he] meant that to [them], is really special to [him]. He mentions that “[he tries] to do [his] best with [his] students and [he knows he’s] not perfect but [works] really hard.”
Berryman says that “from what students said, [he] won because [they] made connections and worked well together as a group and [they] appreciated that.”
Haskell says that she feels “really excited about it. It means so much to [her] and as [she] said that night, when [she] became a teacher [she] really wanted to be more than just a teacher of Chemistry. [She] really wanted to make sure [she] was there for students, as an adult [they] could trust and so the fact that that was recognized, really means everything to [her].”
She says she thinks she was awarded because “[she] tried to give the best advice she can all the time and sometimes it works and [she guesses] that’s why.”
As a result, both teachers were awarded with a plaque, along with a speech spoken by a student who has a personal relationship with the teacher. Junior, Santiago Portillo, gave a speech about Berryman and former Blue and Gold member, Senior, Anna Powers, gave a speech about Haskell.
Portillo says that Berryman “has been [his] teacher since [he] was a sophomore. Sophomore year, [he] was in college prep chemistry and Berryman was such a good teacher. [He] cares about his students so much that it’s insane. [He] knew [Portillo’s] name on the first day of school when [he] had never even met [him] before.”
He also says that “in [his] cp class, [Berryman] was very professional and patient with students and helped [them understand] issues [students might have]. Going from CP to Honors is a big jump on its own, but going from CP to APush is unheard of. [Portillo] asked [him] if [he] could do it and [he] was confident that [he] could, and [he] even gave [him] extra work and help on the side to assure that [he’d] do great in AP Chemistry.”
Portillo also adds that “in AP Chemistry, [his] junior year, [Berryman] dedicated so much into [their] class. [He] gave us tons of work, and [he] even gives [himself] deadlines for grading because [Berryman] believes it wouldn’t be fair for [them] to have deadlines if [he] doesn’t have them too. [Berryman] isn’t only a chemistry teacher, [he’s] so more than that.”
Powers says that “Haskell [was her] Class Advisor and worked with [her] for all 4 years of high school when [she was] Vice President of the Class. [Haskell] deserved this award because [she] goes out of [her] way to help and impact everyone that [she] meets. [She] gives great advice and is overall a genuine and amazing person.”
Junior, Dijana Masic, is a member of NHS. Masic says that it is “[our] schools organization that accepts kids who work hard and want to make a change in [the] community. [They] take parts in different community service projects, like helping Housing families around the holidays, and creating [their] own projects.”
Masic says she feels “very honored to be given this membership because [this club] represents students that work really hard and it feels almost like a reward to be given this opportunity to help the community even more and apply some leadership abilities. [She has] learned that there are a lot of people in the community who don’t have as many privileges and might need some help and it was really nice to provide some.”
Junior, Ana Oliveira, is also a member of NHS. She says that to qualify, “ you need to have an average gpa of 3.4 or above and then you fill out an application that asks what leadership qualities you have, what your extracurricular activities are, etc.”
Oliveira says she is “extremely proud of [herself], especially knowing that this is a selective club. [she] applied [her] sophomore year and did not make it and so throughout [her] sophomore year, [she] participated in more activities and became a leader so that [she could] make it [her] junior year.” Oliveira mentions that [she] was recommended by [Pasquale Dibenedetto] because [she] was in [his] English 10 honors class sophomore year and [he] saw that [she] was a leader in his classroom. [She] ran group discussions and was able to help the students around [her].”
She also says that her project was “a lacrosse futures day. This is an event that happens every year for the girls lacrosse team. [They] have girls go to the middle schools in Malden and invite the 7th and 8th grade girls to come to the Linden Steam Academy and learn more about lacrosse. [Her], Delilah Doeleman, and Nathalia Sousa, took it over this year and made it [their] project. [They] asked for help from some girls on the team and got the word out.”
Annually, several students from MHS have the opportunity to become members of NHS to be recognized for their hard work and dedication. From the two staff members who received awards were grateful for being nominated and for being recognized by students for their impact on students.