SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Memorial Middle School's National Junior Honor Society inducted its largest class on Monday evening. Fifty-four seventh and eighth graders joined the 2018 inductees at Spotswood High School in a ceremony attended by members of the Spotswood Board of Education, Memorial Principal Brian Kitchin and an audience of proud family and friends. The ceremony was moved from the Memorial Middle School to the high school's cafetorium to accommodate the large group of inductees and their families.
Memorial Middle School Language Arts teacher Kristen Rice has been the groups advisor for the last eight years.
"My hope is that NJHS members learn to continually give back to the community and do what they can to make the world around them a better place," Rice said when asked what she hopes members take away from their experience with the National Junior Honor Society. "We strive to find a balance between recognizing the amazing work these students have already done and encouraging them to always look for another opportunity to help or be involved. Our goal as a NJHS is to help students understand the positive impact that they can have on the world around them and their power to make a positive change when they step up to the challenge of leadership."
Kitchin mirrored Rice's thoughts in his congratulatory remarks to the NJHS's newest members.
"This is not the end of a long journey, but the beginning of a new one," Kitchin said. "Because at this point you have established yourselves as leaders in the school and leaders in the community. All the time and effort you've put into everything you've done up to this point shows that you are someone that your classmates can look to for support and you're community can look to for support and you're a huge part of the reason we at the Memorial School have been so successful these past couple of years."
Current National Junior Honor Society members Kayla Louis, Kate Acheampong, Olivia Adiao, Anastasia Awadalla, Andrew Capran and Steven Mastrolonardo spoke about the groups's principals that included scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship and character before each new member was called up to the stage by Rice to receive their certificate.
The eighth grade inductees included Jonah Anis, Ethan Bennett, Brandon Bolger, Hanna Brown, Niejahleene Cajuste, Halie Coffey, Aleksander Lemanski, Salvatore Lewis and Samantha Maldonado. The seventh grade inductees included Simon Awadalla, Gabriella Barasch, Kieran Barlow, Brendan Blekeski, William Buchan, Matthew Carlson, Rosemarie Caron, Isabella Case, Rachel Cohen, Bhakti Craig, Ghanashyama Craig, Mikayla DaRocha, Nicholas DaRocha, Alexa DeStefano, Tabitha Devlin, Shawn Dollete, Jayden Duffy, Kayla Duffy Zeyad Elshazley, Zachary Engstrom, Gabriella Gioffre, Sofia Granata, Abigail Griggs, Emil Habib, Harper Hallerman, Stephen Henits, Juliann Hilse, Clifford Hoyt, Lael Leaver, Ryan Legakis, Nicholas Lewinsky, Joseph Loschiavo, Kimberly Louis, Jenna Maisano, Robert Mills, Jessica Motard, Krishna Nair, Danica Paradiso, Morgan Rubin, Danielle Salvesen, Shailyn Santora, Colton Schmitz, Dominick Spicuzzo, Rishan Vachler, Autumn Walko and Erin Zavala.
The group of 54 new members joined current members Kate Acheampong, Olivia Adiao, Jenna Agostisi, Anastasia Awadalla, Andrew Capran, Cyanne Chan, Kyle Chigas, Aidan Collins, Andrew Dittmyre, Michael Furey, Jacqueline Genthe, Collin Jackson, John Jaworowski, Maggie Keelen, Hamza Khattak, Noelle Lewis, Kayla Louis, Minh-Trang Luong, Steven Mastrolonardo, Corey Miller, Benjamin Palmer, Colin Pfeiffer, Tyler Quesnel, Mateo Rivera, Savanah Rosario, Sadie Schatten Camryn Snyder, Gabriella Spinale, Shane Thaisz, Emily Wallace, Olivia Williams and Victoria Ziegler.
Seventh and eighth grade students are nominated each fall for possible inclusion into Memorial's National Junior Honor Society. Each student completes a detailed application. The individual applications are evaluated by a committee of five Memorial faculty members before the year's inductees are decided upon. Members of the National Junior Honor Society volunteer throughout the school year, assisting at Memorial and Spotswood PTA sponsored events.