By Elyana Schosek

The evening of Nov. 7 was filled with joy and a little bit of anxiety for 36 of Springville-Griffith Institute’s eighth graders who were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS).

The ceremony began at 6 p.m. with students and their parents entering early.

All were welcomed with a smile from the greeter, Madame Landers, though the soon-to-be members of NJHS were surely still nervous.

Along with the inductees and their parents, several teachers and special guest Abby Stressinger, the high school’s president of the National Honor Society, were also present. Kimberly Ploetz, advisor of NJHS, began the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance and leading them in the Pledge of Allegiance. Following Ploetz’s opening remarks, Stressinger spoke to the students, congratulating them on their hard work that has led them up to this point.

Following those two short but meaningful speeches were the Lighting of the Candles. Each candle represents a trait that each inductee has proved his or herself to possess: scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship and character.

Each trait was elaborated upon by a teacher from the middle school who are also committee members for NJHS. Mrs. Lewandowski talked about scholarship, service by Mrs. Krzemien, leadership by Mrs. Ricci, citizenship by Mrs. Canfield and character by Mrs. Valenti. 

Middle School Principal Shanda DuClon and Mrs. Lewandowski, a member of the NJHS committee, presented the membership certificates to the inductees.

The inductees were called up one at a time and escorted by a marshall, who were often parents, older siblings or grandparents. The students then walked onto the stage and waited there until all inductees were called up.

Parents were given an opportunity to take a photo of the group. Friends and family were then invited to stay for cake and cookies in celebration of the accomplishments of these excellent students.

Students were selected for NJHS based on their academics throughout 6th and 7th grade. If they were on the honor roll for every quarter of these two grades then they were given an application.

The purpose of this application was to show that “they have one leadership quality, 10 community service hours, one student activity outside of school, one community activity outside of school, four character forms and two letters of recommendation stating that the inductee has positive leadership and character traits,” Ploetz said.

This chapter of NJHS has been welcoming new members since 2010. Each new member is received by stating the Inductee’s Pledge: “I pledge myself to uphold the highest purposes of the National Junior 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, service, leadership, citizenship, and character.”

The following people and groups were thanked: SGI Board of Education, Superintendent Kimberly Moritz, Principal Shanda DuClon, NJHS Faculty Council, SGI MS Custodial Staff, Middle School Student Council, NHS President Abigail Stressinger and parents and families for all their support and hard work.

Members include: Riley Ballantyne, Ava Beaudoin, Garrett Casey, Brayden Cerrone, Elizabeth Clark, Jackson Crone, Matthew Delasandro, Lily Dziak, Benjamin Einarsson, Cassius Fisher, Sydney Fuller, Simon George, Gracie Gilcrist, Tanner Glass, Teri Iekel, Finn Martin, Marissa Martens, Garrett Maul, Piper Maul, Ayla Oakley, Lucien Oakley, Garrett Reynolds, Ella Robinson, Maria Rumfola, Christian Safford, Samara Schiefer, Justin Simmons, Mckenzie Small, Arianna Smith, Braden Steiner, Joshua Sullivan, Grace Terhune, Bradyn Termer, Julia Uhteg, Ella Underberg, Ella Wittman.