Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) represents integrity in action. So says Episcopal High School as they awarded her the prestigious Alan C. Phillips Integrity In Action award this week.
Phillips was a faculty member at EHS for more than 40 years and Dean of Students for 26 years. For the decade preceding his retirement, he served as faculty sponsor to the Honor Committee.
“Allan Phillips epitomized integrity in action, both while he was here and now that he has gone,” said F. Robertson Hershey, headmaster at EHS. “This year’s recipient is worthy of this honor.
“The concept behind this award is that the honor system governs not only your actions while you are in school but provides the foundation for your life that follows,” he said.
The honor code is the oldest honor code that is still practiced at any high school today. Every student at EHS is bound by it and it is overseen by the seven members of the honor committee. Matthew S. Berry is the chairman of this year’s honor committee.
“The honor committee is comprised of seven students,” Berry said. “The committee is chosen each spring and is selected from among the students who will be returning to EHS the following year. People don’t campaign for the job. In fact, campaigning is probably the surest way not to be selected. Members of the honor committee are selected because of the leadership that they have shown during their time at the high school. The tradition is that the honor committee is comprised of seniors but that is not a rule. It has been the case for the past 25 years or so and all of us are seniors.
“We meet with those who have been accused of violating the honor code and discuss the issues with them and make recommendations. Everything that we do is confidential,” he said.
THE HONOR CODE says that students will not lie, cheat or steal and that students will report those who do. Violations of the honor code can result in expulsion.
Pelosi’s son, Paul Jr, attended EHS for three years, graduating in 1987. Pelosi is the first woman to be elected to be the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
“It is quite an honor to be here today and to join the past recipients of this award,” Pelosi said. “America is great because we have understood that it is each generation’s responsibility to make things better for the generations who come after. Bold minds and imagination will help us to do this.
“Each of you is fortunate to have been able to study and reflect in this fine institution and I am proud to be with you who are going to be the leaders of tomorrow. Be true to yourselves and to the values that you have learned here and you will have bright futures,” she said.
The students will graduate on May 31 and, traditionally, 100 percent of the graduating seniors go on to post-secondary education.