NHS Senior of the Month: Billy Panos

Billy Panos dressed up to go to his senior year homecoming on Sept. 24, 2022.

Courtesy of Chris Panos

Billy Panos dressed up to go to his senior year homecoming on Sept. 24, 2022.

Hala Habahbeh, A&E Editor

The room is silent. The class just finished taking a test. Senior Billy Panos taking away his attention, the National Honor Society President Ishika Mishra signals to an email in his inbox. As Panos begins reading the email, the expression on his face slowly bends into a beaming smile. Letting out a victory cheer, Panos is officially the September senior of the month. 

The NHS chapter at Palatine has its own unique way of highlighting specific seniors for their character: Senior of the Month. Each month, members of the NHS nominate and vote on one senior to be highlighted for the month.

“It’s been an ongoing tradition for a long time [at Palatine],” NHS sponsor Megan Gabrielson said. 

This tradition has been part of the PHS chapter for years. It started it as an uplifting way to recognize seniors for their excellence and it continues today. 

This September, Panos was awarded senior of the month. 

“It means I’m doing something right,” Panos said. 

Billy Panos at Milwaukee Bucks basketball game holding up the Greek flag. (Courtesy of Billy Panos)

Before voting for the senior of the month, there are preliminary nominations. Students, in order to be a candidate for senior of the month, need to acquire enough nominations to be put on the ballot. Each nomination is then thoroughly researched before being put on the ballot. During the monthly NHS meeting, students vote on the next senior of the month.

“We do it anonymously, and do it right then,” Gabrielson said. “There’s no, there’s no peer pressure that way.”

This strategy allows for the senior of the month to be chosen because they deserve it, not popularity.

“Senior of the month is a really fun process,” NHS President Ishika Mishra said. “Whoever wins senior of the month, they get to have a treat delivered to the class of their choosing.”

The senior of the month isn’t merely chosen on the most amount of votes, but also why they deserve it. Both the votes and reasonings play into determining who gets put on the ballot.

“They’re supposed to be what represents the school as far as all of those pillars,” NHS sponsor Jaclyn Considine said. “You’ve got your leadership, your scholarship, your service,  and your character.” 

From there, students decide which senior on the ballot best upholds these pillars. By the end of the meeting, the senior of the month is announced.

Panos attributes his win to his friends. Without their support during the nominations and voting, Panos doesn’t believe the win would’ve been possible.  

“We put together a campaign,” Panos said. “Then we got a win and we got cookies.”

However, he doesn’t negate the impact he’s left on the people he’s been around as well. 

“I kind of leave an impact anywhere I go,” Panos said. “[I want to leave a] positive impact.”

Panos, a well involved student, is in the marching band and scholastic bowl. Outside of school, Panos spends his time coaching kids at the Palatine Park District. His positive impact not only spreads within the PHS community, but the Palatine community itself.

Billy Panos and his family during summer vacation of 2022 visiting Paris. (Courtesy of Chris Panos)

“My friends and family [are important to me],” Panos said. “It all goes back to that.”

Ultimately, Panos embodies what it means to be senior of the month. While he may attribute his win to his friends, Panos won because of his leadership, service, scholarship, and his character.

Panos leaves his supporters with one final message regarding the future of senior of the month:

“Vote for William Bryant,” Panos said.