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James Ranum, Jonathon Hart are Mooseheart's 2012 Inductees Into National Honor Society

By DARRYL MELLEMA, Associate Editor, Moose Magazine
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Mooseheart senior James Ranum performs the ceremonial candle lighting that accompanies induction into the National Honor Society. Ranum and Jonathon Hart are Mooseheart's 2012 inductees into the National Honor Society

Mooseheart junior Jonathon Hart signs the National Honor Society registry. Hart and James Ranum are Mooseheart's 2012 inductees into the National Honor Society.

Richard Brink, General Manager of the Lisle/Naperville Hilton Hotel and a member of the National Honor Society, speaks to the House of God audience about the way in which the values of the National Honor Society extend into everyday adult life.

MOOSEHEART, Feb. 28 -  James Ranum is a senior with just under 100 days left in his Mooseheart High School career. Jonathon Hart has those 100 days, plus his entire senior year ahead of him before his 2013 graduation.

But both were on the same exalted level on Monday when they were inducted into Mooseheart’s chapter of the National Honor Society in a ceremony at the campus’ House of God.

“The whole process is a little daunting when you see what you first have to do,” Hart said.

Ranum mentioned how he felt the ideals set forth by the National Honor Society continued after graduation. Hart said he hopes to conduct a football camp at Mooseheart where he hopes he can take time to discuss the four pillars of the NHS: Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service.

“I want to give back to my community in the way I have been helped by Mooseheart,” Ranum said. “The National Honor Society is a way in which I can do that.”

Hart added, “It’s such an honor to be in the National Honor Society, such a prestigious society,” Hart said. “It gives me a chance to give back to the community even more than I have.”

Membership in the National Honor Society requires a blend of academic and community service work. Membership is open to students with a minimum 3.2 grade-point average, an ACT score that is better than the national average and to students who have demonstrated accomplishments in the areas of scholarship, leadership and character. Additionally, members are to have shown a commitment to community service.

Mooseheart’s chapter of the National Honor Society was the very first chartered in Illinois and just the fifth nationwide when it was formed in 1921. The last induction ceremony took place during the 2008-09 school year and both Ranum and Hart will have their names set into a plaque that hangs in the entryway to the campus’ school building.

The featured speaker was Richard Brink, General Manager of the Lisle/Naperville Hilton, as well as a hotel in Wisconsin -- and himself a member of the National Honor Society.

“It is interesting how many times, on a daily basis, that Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service are talked about or thought about through the course of the day,” Brink said, referencing the four pillars of the National Honor Society.

“On a daily basis, I am the least important person in the operation,” Brink said. “The key to success in using these attributes, to always remain humble. If I miss a day of work, everything keeps running. But if one of my dishwashers or if one of my housekeepers or if one of my front desk employees doesn’t make it into work, things don’t operate as they should.”

Brink said he refers to his employees at his hotels as “family members,” and added that it is his job to instill in them those four pillars from the National Honor Society in the way in which he lives his daily life.

“You cannot preach to the choir unless we are singing the same song,” Brink said. “No matter what age you are and no matter what you do, everybody can remember that.”

Brink challenged all in the House of God, and especially Ranum and Hart, to strive to make a difference.  He said he started his hotel career as a bellman; working later in housekeeping and eventually in office management before becoming General Manager. Brink said his goal was always to be the best at each job he worked. But he also said he learned to try to make a difference at each of those jobs.

“That’s what the Moose is all about,” Brink said. “It’s people all around the world making a difference. Many in this room are here because of people making that difference. Giving back to the community means giving back to the whole world.”

Brink closed by reminding the audience that the efforts need not be grandiose. Simple things matter too.

“Don’t be afraid to make the small differences -- because when we all do it, what happens can be overwhelming,” Brink said.

Since its founding, Mooseheart has operated a complete, accredited kindergarten-through-high-school academic program, plus art, music, vocational training and interscholastic sports. It is an extremely nurturing and student-tailored program, with an average student-teacher ratio of 12-1.
Mooseheart students who complete their studies with a 3.0 GPA or better (4.0=A) are eligible for up to five years of annually renewable scholarship funding, covering tuition, room and board in an amount comparable to that required for an in-state student at an Illinois public university.
Mooseheart is currently home to roughly 230 students, ranging in age from preschoolers to high school seniors. Applications for admission to Mooseheart are considered from any family whose children are, for whatever reason, lacking a stable home environment. Mooseheart boasts its own U.S. Post Office and a fully functioning branch of Fifth Third Bank.

In addition to Mooseheart, Moose International also supports Moosehaven, a 70-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, FL founded in 1922; and conducts more than $70 million worth of community service programs annually.



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