Fifty-nine students from the Applied Math and Science Academy, Sgt. Dominick Pilla, Veterans Memorial, and Wallace Middle Schools were inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society on Monday at the Landis Administrative Offices.
The highlight of the ceremony was the oath of office, administered to students lining the aisles of a muted auditorium lit only by the candles they held. It was a solemn moment, followed by applause and cheers from the large audience of family members and friends who packed the auditorium.
To be considered for the National Junior Honor Society, students must have an 86 average or higher in all subjects, show outstanding participation in extracurricular activities, demonstrate leadership abilities, have an outstanding record of community service, and an excellent attendance record.
Leadership is based on the student's participation in two or more community or school activities, or election to an office. To meet the service requirement, the student must have been active in three or more service projects in the school and community. Character is measured in terms of integrity, behavior, ethics, and cooperation with both students and faculty. Citizenship is assessed by the student's participation in civic-related organizations and/or activities. These are the same standards that apply to the National Honor Society applicants at the high school level.
After a warm welcome from Ismael Bermudez, principal of Sgt. Pilla School, Superintendent Alfonso Llano, congratulated the students on their success.
The new inductees also heard from Vineland High School principal, Suzette DeMarchi, and VHS National Honor Society President Urvi Patel and treasurer Rodrick-Josh Zapanta, who offered words of advice for the eighth-graders.
Each of the chapter presidents – Dominic Mercado, Pilla; Troy Mercado, Veterans Memorial; Olusayo Sode, Johnstone; and Ty’Jon Kennedy, Wallace - spoke on the organization's ideals and lit a candle signifying their commitment to upholding these principles.
Presenting the inductees were chapter advisors Megan Schultz, Johnstone; Donna DeLouise, Memorial; Renee Carfagno, Pilla; and Michele Chalow, Wallace.
The complete list of inductees:
JOHNSTONE – APPLIED MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY
Rebekah Bermudez, Aalilah Folk, Jaime Garcia , Japuji Jaswal, Colin Jones, Anastasiya Kagdina, David Martinez, Juliana Panco, Kashvi Patel, Cesar Perez, Khloe Rivera, Kylie Rivera, Sarah Santiago, Gavin Smith, Olusayo Sode*, Marissa Strickland, Paulina Tomlin
SGT. DOMINICK PILLA MIDDLE SCHOOL
Mia Bongiorno, Gavin Hendershott, Emily Humes, Nicholas Juhasz, Xavier McGriff, Dominic Mercado*, Joshua Periconi, Nathan Riccio, Lexi Rosado, Francesca Sherma, Carter Siniavsky, Lilly Studstill, Zachary Zavis
VETERANS MEMORIAL SCHOOL
Cynthia Zavala-Beneat, Elizabeth Cardona, Viviany Castro, Guilianna Ferretti, Kylie Flores, Jake Garton, A'Mani Graves, Adam Gonzalez II, Ansh Luthra, Sofie Malecki, Amy Matos, Salvatore Martinelli, Troy Mercado*, Ava Pabon, Sereniti Padilla, Kaliyah Reyes, Alyssa Rolle, Kylie Spickenreuther, Angelli Vaquerano, Ariana Watson
WALLACE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
Michael Cruz-Castillo, Darla Dallett, Jamie Godos Tinoco, Ty’Jon Kennedy*, Akhila Jinan Panickar, Anagha J.Panickar, Jae Juan Rodriguez, Tamia Smith, Christianna M. Velez
Students with a * are chapter presidents
Group photo of inductees
Pictured (L-R): NJHS chapter presidents Dominic Mercado, Pilla; Ty’Jon Kennedy, Wallace; and Olusayo Sode, AMSA. Not pictured: Troy Mercado, Memorial.
VPS Broadcasting was also at the event, and the entire ceremony can be viewed on our YouTube page here: https://youtu.be/5iSGqpTk8nU