East welcomes its newest Honor Society


Jamie Bookbinder ('22)

New members of the Cherry Hill East chapter of the National English Honors Society await their certificates during inductions

This year, East is welcoming another special academic organization to its community. The Cherry Hill East chapter of the National English Honor Society held its installation ceremony along with its first induction on Monday, November 4th at 6:30 pm in Cafeteria 1. 

To open the ceremony, Dr. Dennis Perry congratulated the students for their outstanding accomplishments in English. The chapter advisors Mr. Brian Connelly and Mrs. Erika DeWitt both English teachers at East, also commended the students, excited for the possibilities the new organization had yet to explore, to share their love for literature.

The president of the chapter, Defne Alpdogan (’20) introduced the other officers, including the two vice presidents, Emily Mahaffy (’20), Vice President of Academics and Samantha Roehl (’20), Vice President of Service. The other chapter officers are Secretary Meghna Thomas (’20) and Treasurer Eric Huang (’20). Afterward, the newly inducted members pledged to continue their devotion to literary study.

Connelly and DeWitt handed each of the inductees a certificate to commemorate the occasion. In addition to the officers, the chapter included 18 juniors and 29 seniors.

DeWitt communicated her excitement about the group’s formation, viewing it as a great opportunity for individuals with a common “academic inspiration” to serve the community. She also mentioned that her past membership in a similar society inspired the idea to open a chapter at East. 

Primarily, the honor society will focus on community service. However, the specific activities and public service contributions have not yet been finalized. “We will decide how we as a membership will make it happen,” said DeWitt.

The honor society anticipates spreading their passion for literature within the East community and beyond. President Defne Alpdogan explained that the group is preparing to create a tutoring base for English, furthering students’ success in literary studies.  

In addition to tutoring, the honor society intends to help foster a love for reading in younger children by reading Dr. Seuss books annually on Dr. Seuss Day in elementary schools.

Roehl feels enthusiastic about the opportunity to help determine the chapter’s direction for providing service. “We will do our part to help our community and our world,” she said. She is excited to join a community that enjoys English as much as she does.

The society leaders are currently discussing additional community and service opportunities with various charities. 

The team of faculty advisors for the chapter are Mr. Greg Gagliardi, Mrs. Katie Radbill, Ms. Margot MacKay, Dr. Nicole Lacsamana and Mrs. Stefania Shjarback.