HAWTHORNE, NJ - In a unique demonstration of the times, on Thursday evening the Hawthorne High School students who have been learning online following the closure of the schools, held their induction ceremony into the National Honor Society via Zoom conference.  The ceremony was broadcast on YouTube, set up by Mr. Tamer Memkej, and was conducted by the officers of the National Honor Society, with remarks by Superintendent of Schools Richard Spirito and Principal Billy Cunningham.

Alexander Nadirashvili, President of the HHS National Honor Society, led the ceremony with a flag salute, and delivered his address to his fellow students and their families watching.

Richard Spirito said, "It's truly a pleasure to be here... as we induct these 44 high achieving young men and women into the National Honor Society."  Spirito said that the Society represented the "Highest regard and respect to those who excel in academics as well as a desire to render service."  He further said that, "This achievement also reflects upon the proud parents sitting in our audience who have provided support, guidance, and encouragement throughout their school years... be assured that these students are the shining stars of our future."

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Nadirashvili congratulated the inductees.  "The hard work you've all put in for the last four years has brought you to this exact moment."  He then went on to describe the keystone symbol of the National Honor Society.  The four principles of the Society were expounded upon by Vice President Patricia Jacobsen, discussing character; Secretary Nicole Spirito discussing scholarship; Treasurer Caleigh McCarthy discussing leadership; and Jacobsen again to discuss service and how the inductees are willing to advance academically and uplift their community.

Nadirashvili asked the inductees to "raise their hands" virtually after the recitation of the NHS pledge.

I pledge myself to uphold the high purposes of the National Honor Society to which I have been selected; I will be true to the principles for which it stands.  I will be loyal to my school; and will maintain and encourage High Standards of Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character.

Nadirashvili then read the names of the inductees which included a photo, their favorite subject, and future aspirations.

  • Daniel Aliberto
  • Ryan Alves
  • Jackson Ambrose
  • Alexander Barbarisi
  • Brian Barbire
  • Kayla Brady
  • Gabriel Brevet
  • Casey Campagne
  • Nicholas DeLuca
  • Madison Doyle
  • Emma Fernandez
  • Gianna Foschini
  • Emily Garvie
  • Sean Gordon
  • Dana Hassan
  • Quincy Hines
  • Michael Irvolino
  • Natalie Kane
  • Abigail Kedl
  • Giuliana La Rosa
  • Hailey Liberti
  • Liam McAllister
  • Anthony Mecka
  • Megan Moss
  • Isabella O'Neill
  • Hannah Olah
  • Ella Perini
  • Rebecca Reilly
  • Victorio Riccardi
  • Isabelle Robinson
  • Abigail Roughgarden
  • Gabriela Sandoval
  • Michael Schneider
  • Gianna Scola
  • Mackenzie Scrivens
  • Hava Senman
  • Christopher Slootmaker
  • Brian Tousignant
  • Ava Tower
  • Mersi Tozaj
  • Thomas Tricoli
  • Madison Van Dyk
  • Katherine Vander Brink
  • Jean Walsh

Hawthorne High School Principal Billy Cunningham then delivered his remarks.

"Good evening, and thank you for joining us for this special evening, our first and hopefully last, Virtual National Honor Society Induction ceremony. The 44 young men and women being recognized this evening not only perform in the classroom at a high level, but also contribute in the community, and represent the Bears in sports, and extracurricular activities. Selection to the National Honor Society is based on four characteristics that have been mentioned this evening: Scholarship, Character, Leadership, and Service.

"I can confidently say that the 44 students before us tonight have met the prescribed criteria. I can say this, because I have had the pleasure of working closely with Mr. McMann, the National Honor Society advisor, meeting with him to make positive changes to the Hawthorne High School National Honor Society. Mr. McMann goes above and beyond for the students as a teacher and coach at Hawthorne High School, and I would like to acknowledge him for his dedication and guidance to the students of Hawthorne High School.

"As I look at the list of our 44 new inductees here tonight I see diverse young men and women who come from different places, cultures, religions, and walks of life who achieve regardless of any obstacles they might have faced. However, they are all united in their scholarship, character, leadership, and service. We as a school community have faced many challenges throughout this school closure, but I am confident that these young men and women continue to set the standard, and embody the tenets of the National Honor Society.  I am excited to see what the future holds for the 44 new inductees. I look forward to their suggestions, and input as we continue to move Hawthorne High School forward into the future.

"In closing I want to congratulate the students, families, and teachers who made this possible.  I applaud your accomplishments. In addition, thanks to Tamer Mamkej for his technical expertise in setting up this evening’s induction ceremony. Thank you, and congratulations on this wonderful achievement."

The Zoom conference closed, thanking Superintendent Spirito, the Board of Education, school administration, and faculty committee for their support.

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