Each year, Pocahontas County High School juniors and seniors who exemplify the four pillars of character, scholarship, leadership and service are invited to join the National Honor Society. Last Sunday, 16 students were welcomed to the chapter by its standing members.
During the ceremony, 1983 PCHS graduate Paul Murphy, who was inducted into the NHS in 1981, shared some words of wisdom with the inductees.
Murphy spoke about his time at PCHS and West Virginia Tech, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.
As a college student, Murphy was part of the cooperative education program and encouraged the students to consider this route when they attend college.
“Those of you who are considering going into any kind of technical field, one of the greatest experiences of my life was participating in the cooperative education program, or being a co-op,” he said. “Basically, it’s a program where you go to school for a year and then you alternate between work and college every other semester. It’s meant to be a five-year program. You get great experiences as a co-op student, but it also allows you to pay for your education. I was able to pay for most of my education by going through this program.”
Murphy worked at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, his first semester as a co-op student.
“I worked in the lab and did the fire control system for the Trident submarine,” he said. “You talk about experience – as a young nineteen-year-old being able to work in a lab like this. What an eye opening and positive experience it was.”
Murphy then moved on to the National Security Agency, where he had another memorable experience.
“I had to have a security clearance to work as a student,” he said. “To have a top secret special intelligence clearance, even at this age, I had to take a polygraph test. I think I pegged the meter when they just asked my name I was so scared. I did pass the polygraph, and I had four tours of work at the National Security Agency in Baltimore, Maryland. What a tremendous experience being there with other students from around the United States and a few students from Puerto Rico.”
Murphy is now the head of the electrical mechanical motion control segment of a company called Moog, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Murphy is in charge of 10 operations globally and is responsible for the decisions which effect those operations.
Murphy is married to Brenda Ricotilli Dilley, a fellow 1983 PCHS graduate, and divides his time between Virginia and West Virginia.
In closing, Murphy reminded the students to take charge of their futures and to seek ways to fulfill their dreams.
“You’ve heard the Latin phrase, ‘carpe diem,’ seize the moment,” he said. “That’s what I’m encouraging each of you students to do as you go on to the next chapters of your lives in education. Remember – you can do this. That’s my message to you.”
The current members of the NHS – Emalee Arbogast, Noah Barkley, Kyle Cohenour, Benjamin Davis, Josey Faris, Brianna Hefner, Jacob Jones, Jarod Liptrap, Colton Massey, Brianna Morgan, Elijah Robertson, Mathias Solliday, Taylor Tegtmeyer and Logan Woodruff – welcomed the new members to the chapter.
Savannah Beverage, daughter of Brian and Holly Beverage, of Dunmore.
Lindsay Browning, daughter of Sheridan and Amy Browning, of Huntersville.
Arianya Cagle, daughter of Teri Cagle, of Goochland, Virginia, and Rasheed Pope, of Richmond, Virginia.
Gabrielle Hoke, daughter of Louann McMillion, of Hillsboro.
Faith Johnson, daughter of Melodie Wallace, of Hillsboro, and Alvin Johnson, of Chandler, Arizona.
Cody Kiner, son of Lawrence and Louisa Kiner, of Edray.
Kira Bircher, daughter of Shannon Barkley Bircher, of Boyer.
Colleen Mary Jamison Buzzard, daughter of James and Diane Buzzard, of Huntersville.
Kylian Rain Dennison, daughter of Tom and Lisa Dennison, of Durbin.
Daphanie Duelley, granddaughter of Franklin Cassle, of Snowshoe.
Myra Sage McLaughlin, daughter of Pamela McLaughlin and Junior McLaughlin, both of Marlinton.
Charity Morrison, daughter of David and Susan Morrison, of Marlinton.
Kelly Renee Pyne, daughter of Audrey Pyne, of Huntersville, and the late Michael Pyne.
Amelia Rose, daughter of Cara Rose, of Marlinton, and Greg Rose, of Hillsboro.
Alexa Taylor, daughter of Allen and Holly Taylor, of Green Bank.
Charity HeatherJo Warder, daughter of Joseph and Tonya Warder, of Arbovale.