National Junior Honor Society Welcomes 22 New Members
“Doing the right thing even when no one is watching,” is how Hanover Central Middle School student and National Junior Honor Society member Sadie Naughton, described ‘character.’ There were however, family, friends, and faculty members watching as twenty-two new members of the NJHS were inducted. Current NJHS members described the five characteristics necessary for membership in the NJHS. Reilly Parker addressed ‘citizenship,’ in part by saying “We strive to better our own lives, as well as the lives of others, while Phoebe Tomac quoted John C. Maxwell, “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” Faith Kuhns and Cole Cameron spent a few moments defining ‘scholarship,’ and ‘service.’ “You learn something new every day…knowledge is the key factor to success,” said Faith. “Service isn’t rewarded externally, but internally,” explained Cole. Their words were wise and left no doubt as to why or how these students earned a place in this prestigious organization.
At the request of the students, Hanover Central Middle School English teacher, Stephanie Franco, served as the keynote speaker for the evening. “This program isn’t like any other,” said Mrs. Franco. “These students were selected by the people who know them the best,” adding that she has considered it a privilege to get to know the inductees through their writing. Each 7th and 8th grade student that has a GPA of 3.5 or above receives an application. Applications and essays are reviewed by five faculty members who vote on membership, using the five qualities of NJHS as guidelines. Franco acknowledged and applauded the parents and guardians of the students for their role in raising great students. “These students are being recognized for their greatness,” she said.
Following the NJHS Pledge and the pinning of new members by current members, NJHS President, Brianna Nirtaut, Society Sponsor Mrs. Sandra Kessler and Principal Tony Hiatt presented membership certificates. Teacher Matthew Welsh closed the program by commending the students, and pointing out that membership in the NJHS is far from a “club that just hands out memberships.” He also recognized Mrs. Kessler’s role as sponsor, calling her “selfless and hardworking,” in all that she does on behalf of Middle School students.
Inducted were from the 8th grade: Megan Clark, Brett Driscoll, Rachel Fleszewski, Tyler Heintz, Tiffany Lange, Robert Marciano, Phoebe Ruiz, and Amanda Schreiber. 7th grade inductees included: Niko DeProsperis, Savannah Ferry, Mia Forbes, Stanley Galbreath, Adam Graham, Kathryn Jackowski, Abigail Marciano, Julia Moloney, Madelyn Opilka, Nathaniel Remaly, Madalyn Restauri, Troy Sikma, Madison Victor, and Cade Walker.
While the induction ceremony is important, it is just the beginning of their roles as NJHS members. Annually, the society members host the Angel Tree Program, a food drive, and a fundraiser. Proceeds from the fundraiser are donated to a charity or charities that have been researched and voted on by the membership. Long after the candles were blown out and the cameras flashed, these students will go on to make a difference in the community and open up opportunities for their own futures.
“I really loved the classroom and teaching and I was drug kicking and screaming into administration,” Hiatt says. He credits ‘Project Lead The Way’ (PLTW) with helping direct him toward administration. PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education programs in middle and high schools across the country. “I knew I wanted to find a way to impact more students than I had in the classroom,” said Hiatt.
Moving from the small South Newton school district, where he was Assistant Principal, to take over the reins of the brand new Hanover Central Middle School in 2012 was an exciting challenge. “I have been blessed with a great staff,” says Hiatt. “When I came here as a newbie, there was support all around me.”
His message to students stresses respect as a key element in improving any school’s success. Students should; “Respect themselves first and foremost, respect their fellow students, respect adults and teachers and respect the taxpayers who have made educational opportunities available to them.”
Coming Up At HCMS...
Saturday, November 21
8:30 p.m. - 7th and 8th grade boys basketball at the South Newton Middle School Tournament. This is a change from the original posted time of 9:00 p.m.
Monday, November 23
5:00 p.m. - 7th and 8th Grade Boys Basketball at home vs. Kankakee Valley.
Tuesday, November 24
5:00 p.m. - Wrestling at home vs. Whiting
5:00 p.m. - 7th and 8th Grade Boys Basketball at home in the HCHS West Gym vs. North Newton
Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, November 27
Thanksgiving Break - Have a good holiday.