SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Family and friends, along with district administrators, board of education members, teachers, and special guests, gathered at South Plainfield Middle School (SPMS) last Thursday evening to honor the 28 students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS).

NJHS recognizes outstanding middle level students and serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. To be eligible, a SPMS student must have maintained a 90-percent overall average, be enrolled in 3 out of 4 honors classes and submit an application detailing their community service and other outside activities.

“Acceptance into this prestigious organization requires more than just academic success,” said SPMS Principal Roger Vroom. “Each candidate must equally excel in the areas of community service, leadership, character, and citizenship. These key areas define what it means to be a well-rounded student.”

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During the March 23 ceremony, Joseph Feeney led the Pledge of Allegiance and Tori Euston and Chioma Ibeku performed the National Anthem; all three students are eighth graders at SPMS who were inducted into the school’s NJHS last year. SPMS Vice Principal Tamekia Grier-DuPiche, serving as Mistress of Ceremonies, welcomed the crowd that filled the school’s gymnasium and South Plainfield Council President Derryck White served as guest speaker.

The first chapter of NJHS at South Plainfield Middle School began in 1964 and after a brief hiatus the chapter was reinstated last year. This year’s inductees were selected by the South Plainfield Middle School NJHS Faculty Council, which includes Marilyn Carney, Marianne Decker, Elizabeth Dorrity, Tracey Gerlitz, Donna Tierney, and Elizabeth Veiss.

According to Grier-DuPiche, this year’s ceremony ‘indicates the continued emphasis on the excellence that represents’ SPMS and the community. “We are proud of the accomplishments of the students here today and we hope our new members will serve as role models for other students today, tomorrow and many years to come,” said Grier-DuPiche before introducing Council President White as this year’s guest speaker.

“It is an honor to be here tonight to represent the governing body as well as to honor our students for their success,” said White, sharing the story of how the shepherd boy, facing a lion and a bear in the field, faced and overcome a bigger challenge than what was expected of him. “To you, I say, remember tonight and the achievements you have accomplished because there will be greater challenges. Look back on this as your lion or your bear to show you that your hard work can and will pay off with in the bigger challenges you are faced.”

White also reminded the students that their induction into the honor society is ‘merely a stepping stone’ of ‘greater things to come.’ “You will impact our world, our community and our country. I look to you when I see our future. I look at you when I see change. And, as I look at you, I see a very bright future,” said White, congratulating the students, their families and school leaders before adding, “This dabs for you.”

Current SPMS students inducted into NJHS last year then lit candles and reviewed the qualities the society stands for and the new inductees joined together to recite the official National Honor Society (NHS) Pledge. Each inductee was then called individually to sign their name in the official South Plainfield High School NJHS register and light a candle.

Congratulations to South Plainfield Middle School’s 2016-2017 National Junior Honor Society inductees Aayush Agnihotri, David Amador, Victor Balewicz, Shannon Csordos, Kirsten Culver, Gillian Elizabeth Delacruz, Giavanna DiFrancesco, Jennifer Giannakis, Olivia Glynn, Anna Gnapp, Brianna Harris, Rebecca Hollo, Sarah Housel, Alyssa Jacome, Kelcy McCoy, Jennifer Nguy, Destiny Nwankwo, Olivia Olano, Hailey Palmer, Ericka Paredes, Gabrielle Petrillo, Alyssa Rivera, Christopher Spadavecchia, Henry Sprigle, Amy Swartz, Steven Twist, Gabriella Vitabile, and Katie Ziga.

As new members, the aforementioned students join current SPMS eighth graders and 2015-20156 inductees Ayesha Ali, Nadia Blouin, Tori Euston, Joseph Feeney, Gianna Glover, Chioma Ibeku, Samantha Jaipersaud, Nicolle Marish, Alyssa Moffitt, and Nicole O’Sullivan.

As members of the NJHS, said Vroom, these students ‘make a commitment to be a positive influence in the South Plainfield community’ and will identify a need in the community and develop a service project to meet that need. Last year, according to Vroom, the SPMS chapter of NJHS partnered with Special Olympics.

“Service projects teach our students the value of supporting others and led them on a new path as they head to high school and beyond,” Vroom said, adding, “NJHS reminds them to ‘honor your future now’ by focusing on their development as leaders and contributors to society.”

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