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NHS Secret Scholar Breakfast Reveals Student and Teacher Identities [Story+Photo Gallery]


Credit to File Photo

FHN seniors and faculty gather in the learning commons for a past secret scholar breakfast in April.

By Sarah Zimmerman

The big reveal has finally come. The Secret Scholar breakfast on April 28 let NHS seniors reveal themselves to their secret scholar at last. After a year of alias names, anonymous letters and unidentified gifts, the secrecy of secret scholars has been lifted.

“It gives a good opportunity for teachers to learn more about their students,” senior NHS member and secret scholar August Wise said. “It also gives a challenge to some of the teachers who like to figure out who their student is before the breakfast.”

Secret scholars is a program where a NHS senior is paired with a faculty member and this pair exchange gifts and notes throughout the year. The senior student knows the identity of the teacher, but the teacher doesn’t know the identity of the student. Whether or not the faculty member tries to figure out the student’s identity is up to them.

“It’s a cool thing to do,” faculty member and secret scholar participant Jon Travis said. “I wish more faculty and staff did participate because it’s just one way that you can establish a relationship. Personally, I like participating in it because it makes me think about that student.”

Oftentimes, the student and faculty member trade gifts and notes anonymously for special occasions, like holidays or homecoming week. However, the pair can trade off whenever they wish. The NHS seniors reveal their identity at the breakfast, where they exchange gifts for the final time.

“I think you get to be on a more personal relationship with a student that you wouldn’t have normally gotten to have a more personal relationship with,” Donna Malkmus, NHS sponsor and secret scholar, said. “You have a good time learning about somebody that you probably wouldn’t have ever gotten to know on a personal level and it’s fun exchanging presents and seeing what each other likes and dislikes. It’s a lot of fun, and I wish more faculty would participate in it.”