ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury High School’s National Honor Society recently inducted 68 new members to add to the 58 already existing members.

Students inducted pledged to continue to uphold the four pillars that make up the National Honor Society (NHS) which are scholarship, service, character and leadership. Once members, students are required to maintain involvement as well as participate in all National Honor Society activities.

Roxbury’s NHS Recording Secretary Michelle Alvarado spoke on one of those pillars, that of service, saying, “To become a member of the National Honor Society, an individual must demonstrate a commitment to their school and community. Everyone you see before you, both members and inductees, have volunteered substantial time creating a better life for others whether it be helping out at a local food shelter or tutoring younger students and peers. All those hours towards causes they decided to give to. Not many people would think 100 high school students would dedicate hours outside of their school and social life. Of course, there is more than the common reason, that it looks good for college but these students sitting before you have redefined the act of high school volunteering. They are more than just giving to the community than just racking up a number of hours to hold up a certificate. Community service is taught in every individual life lesson that have reshaped their character while simultaneously impacting the lives of those they were helping.”

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Adding, “Since Freshman year, these students have been surrounded by different clubs and activities from gymnastics to debate team, Roxbury High School has it all. Students are given the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to be a part of an extracurricular activity. Members and inductees into the National Honor Society make the decision to extend their school day past 2:07 and represent Roxbury High School in whatever they wish to participate in. This kind of service demonstrates the dedication and character that these students embody and the importance of being an active community member. Members of NHS wish to contribute to the world while learning rather than seeking recognition. Those on this stage have made a mark on the world and have made Roxbury proud to have them as community contributors. Being able to give back is a treat many take for granted and supporting the local community has obviously been a priority to those members and the inductees of the National Honor Society as they have taken advantage of that opportunity. Volunteers exhibit what it means to take the extra step to make someone else’s life better.”

The pillar Service plays a strong role in being a member. The National Honor Society is highly concerned with giving its all to the school and community at large and believes service will enrich the lives of others through dedicating their own time to make a difference without compensation.

In order to fulfill the second pillar, that of Scholarship, students must either be a Junior or a Senior with at least 3.75 grade point average and have a minimum of 60 credits.

Students must meet all the criteria in the third pillar of Character. These individuals must be able to take criticism willingly, consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior, upholds principles of morality and ethics, cooperates by complying with school regulations, demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability, shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others, observes instructions and rules, punctuality, and faithfulness both inside and outside the classroom while actively ridding the school of bad influences.

The final pillar of Leadership looks for students who demonstrate and successfully hold leadership positions of authority in the community and must be dependable and responsible in that role.

This year’s inductee group had a great example to learn from, former principal Jeffrey Swanson, who retired this past June after 15 years of overseeing Roxbury High School. Each year the new inductees nominate a keynote speaker. This speaker is someone who the students believe best represents their group as a whole, and Swanson was their pick.

As keynote speaker, Swanson began by thanking the students “I would like to express my thanks to you students who asked me to serve as your speaker for the ceremony this evening. I consider this to be a great honor.”

While determining what to speak about, Swanson took a look at a series of perplexing and disillusioning experiences over the last couple of months or so which led him to focus on one of the four pillars of the National Honor Society, that of Character.

He began by sharing how he recalled a sermon from his father from the 1980s that touched on integrity. “Whatever happened to integrity?”

He went on to name of few of those experiences like the recent political ads knowingly putting out falsehoods about their opponents all for the sake of getting votes, someone backing into someone else’s car and leaving the scene in hopes that no one noticed, and “not long ago we witnessed a well-known United States attorney declare to the American people in a television interview that the truth is not the truth.

“As I related these experiences to my family and friends they contributed similar events in our conversations. I concluded there is a widespread feeling of bewilderment and disillusionment on the part of many today. How many of us are at an event at school or work and find ourselves asking questions such as these: Where can I find an honest person? Who can I trust? Who can I depend on? Whatever happened to the time that a person’s word was their bond? Where are the people that when they say something they mean it? Whatever happened to integrity?”

Swanson continued in his speech that the lack of integrity doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of one person or one group. There have been instances in government, business and from individuals who put profits above people, self above others.

“We’ve gained the whole world but lost our souls. Where are the people of integrity?" he asked. “We need to discover a new insight into our behavior which will give us a chance to recover the loss of integrity in this fast-moving, shallow living, me first era. Pressed by looking carefully at integrity, we can gain a clearer understanding of the path before us.”

Recalling the definition of integrity from a book entitled A Call to Character, he expounded on how integrity is tested in many ways. Using the examples of Peter Lang from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Freedom Riders of the 1960s and Nelson Mandela, he explained, “All stood up and acted with integrity, choosing the right thing over the easy thing, choosing to make a difference. Be advised that making the right choice in a particular instance will not always make you popular or wealthy.”

“Although difficult these decisions are to make the right ones, in the end, you’ll gain the respect and admiration of people with character. Furthermore, you will influence others with your good example. Acting with integrity can demand all of your strength, yet doing so preserves your fullness and dignity and allows you to live with a clear mind and a free conscious. To be inducted into this prestigious organization you must have already demonstrated significant scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

"Those first three categories are measurable in nature. They can be quantified. Character is more difficult but perhaps more important of an attribute to access. For it is that trait that is always with you and on display at all times. Those first three pillars alone cannot provide a sturdy structure for this National Honor Society chapter without that important fourth one, character.

"The National Honor Society here and across the nation is not the only organization in our society that depends on character for this soundness or structure. Unfortunately, it is the significant lack of character that has weakened some of our most important institutions. It is integrity that defines one’s character and its collective integrity that defines the character of institutions.

"So present and new members of the National Honor Society, I couldn’t think of no better group of young people to challenge with such an important task as the restoration of integrity. So tonight, let your induction into this prestigious organization signify your commitment to strong moral and ethical principles and actions so there may come a time soon we will not have to ask whatever has happened to integrity.”

Following Swanson’s speech, each student was called up to receive their certificate. In doing so, a bit of background and future plans were read for each student.

Roxbury School Superintendent Loretta Radulic closed the program thanking the administration and community. In particular, she thanked the NHS Advisors. “Thank you, Mrs. Kerry Lisa and Mrs. Lisé McLoughlin for creating such a beautiful ceremony to celebrate these special students that exemplify what we should all strive for in life.

“Students, thank you for being who you are and congratulations on your achievements in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Community Service, and Character. Kudos to your parents and educators for setting high standards and providing direction for you to rise and become persons of integrity, diligence, and character. I think it is daring greatly where we can also find our integrity. Imagine carrying that philosophy always.

"The good news is as NHS members, you already do. You are a part of an elite group of individuals because you have been fearless and have acted with integrity. You have focused on your learning, on trying, discovering, and doing it all over again if you didn’t succeed the first time.”

“Kudos to you for carrying on with an attitude of curiosity, compassion, strength, and bravery which are all aspects of integrity. The four requirements of membership into NHS in which you have excelled are also those that lead to a fulfilled and fulfilling life. I hope you continue your path with no missed opportunities and an attitude to dare greatly and have integrity. Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far, may they be only the beginning as you make your mark on the world.”

This year’s ceremony was once again streamed live by Gaelvision and can be seen at the following link: https://goo.gl/uFf7oM.

2018 National Honor Society Inductees

  • Anietie Akpan
  • Jessica Allen
  • Alexis Amendolaro
  • Sarah Attieh
  • Taylor Bailey
  • James Beale
  • Jeffrey Brodhecker
  • Meagan Byrne
  • Antonia Cacopardo
  • Alexa Cleffi
  • Ryleigh Coakley
  • Shane Cummis
  • Olivia DeVries
  • Tyler Doerr
  • Nicholas Elmasri
  • Lauren Ernst
  • Miabella Espaillat
  • William Fultom
  • Arjana Goroveci
  • Lindsey Kaiser
  • Cheng Kao
  • Justine King
  • Dustin La
  • Michelle Lad
  • Christopher Libby
  • Carly Longtine
  • Natalie Lugo
  • Rowan Luppnow
  • Anastasis Marasco
  • Jacob Martinelli
  • Deanna Maugeri
  • Kate McClosky
  • Amanda Melchers
  • Antoinette Melillo
  • Michael Mendelsohn
  • Joseph Millus
  • Landon Monro
  • Zachary Morris
  • Serah Njoroge
  • Marisa Palmucci
  • John Pergolizzi
  • Magda Perrett
  • Mary Piccitto
  • Brennan Poskitt
  • Melissa Priester
  • Jared Raggi
  • Ryan Rattay
  • Olivia Rebernik
  • Taylor Rippon
  • Marcus Roldan
  • Danielle Rosengrant
  • Tara Roumes
  • Marc Sarinelli
  • Spencer Scalamoni
  • Max Schabel
  • Adrianna Smith
  • Hannah Smith
  • Colby Snoke
  • Fiona Sparano
  • Emily Stanich
  • Madison Taggart
  • Maria Alejandra Terrero
  • Lauren Tom
  • Julia Trevorrow
  • Anthony Tye
  • Lauren VanHorne
  • Serena Vizueta
  • Zachery Zoino

2018 National Honor Society Members

  • Michelle Alvarado
  • Talia Atanasio
  • Brianna Belar
  • Brendan Berman
  • Carla Blandura
  • Kayla Bouvier
  • Alec Burns
  • Joseph Busa
  • Gianna Caggiano
  • Emily Cimins
  • Kayla Clevenger
  • Austin Cummis
  • Vanessa Dash
  • Douglas DiDomenico
  • Iley DiBlasi
  • Ryan DiTrolio
  • Bridget Doherty
  • Nataline Elmasri
  • Kayla Eng
  • Grace Gentle
  • Courtney Graf
  • Jonathan Grenot
  • Ian Hachey
  • Erin Hawley
  • Melissa Hughes
  • Andrea Jaeger
  • Daniel Kelly
  • Austin Kurbansade
  • Christopher Lange
  • Carrie Luan
  • Andrew Marino
  • Tyler Marston
  • Emma McDonald
  • Katherine McGowan
  • Caitlin Menor
  • Emily Metje
  • Nicole Miklinski
  • Lauren Milelli
  • Jennifer Motzer
  • Kyle Pasinosky
  • Samantha Pooran
  • Jeffrey Roberts
  • Naria Rush
  • Robert Rust
  • Christopher Scire
  • Eric Silfies
  • Aidan Straut
  • Brianna Suarez
  • Samantha Tedesco
  • Paolo Teodorescu
  • Michelle Vanadia
  • Naviya Varghese
  • Evan Vazquez
  • Andrew Velasquez
  • Meghan Wyse
  • Ashley Yau
  • Kelsey Young