Group photo of inductees

Merton Williams Middle School inducted 44 students into the Hilton Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) during a ceremony held Feb. 15 at Hilton High School.

Principal Marc D’Amico welcomed audience members and addressed the inductees, focusing on one of the characteristics of the NJHS – character. “Show your character every day,” he said. “Look for opportunities to stand up and be a better person. And never stop finding the courage to do the right thing.”

NJHS inductees Bianca Domingues Umbrino and Bryce Warren gave the history of the National Junior Honor Society. Then Anelise Mott, Brody Tydings, Lucas Childs, Macie DeGraeve, Natalie Jarzembowski, Olivia Kuzmanovski, Dakota Antoniou, Lucas Grizzanti, Camryn Griffee, and Samantha Jarvie described the five characteristics of membership – scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship, and character – and participated in the candle-lighting ceremony.

Advisors Kirsten Meyers and Anastasia Stamoulacatos spoke about each inductee’s accomplishments as they stood before the audience, then signed the registry, shook hands with administrators, and received their pin and a special cookie.

To be invited to apply for membership into the National Junior Honor Society, students must first hold an average of 95 percent for the first three marking periods of seventh grade. The rigorous application process includes completing 15 hours of community service, proof of participation in leadership experiences, a personal letter of interest for consideration, and letters of recommendation.  

As the keynote, Todd Scaccia, physical education teacher, told the inductees that to be good leaders, they must persevere. “Not every journey will be smooth and you’ll face obstacles along the way. But remember, it’s okay to stumble,” he said. “What matters is how you get back up and keep moving forward.”                                                             

At the end of the ceremony, the new inductees handed their parents personal letters of thanks.

The National Junior Honor Society Inductees are: Owen Abram, Dakota Antoniou, Paige Batz, Lucas Childs, Macie DeGraeve, Ava DePeters, Jayden DeSimone, Anthony DiBiase, Bianca Domingues Umbrino, Kamille Ehmann, Clara Fili, Liana Filippetti, Jack Gangross, Regan Graham, Camryn Griffee, Lucas Grizzanti, MaryGrace Guest, Annaleigh Guzzetta, Olivia Holliday, Marie Humbert, Samantha Jarvie, Natalie Jarzembowski, Hailey Kasper, Lindsey Kennedy, Olivia Kuzmanovski, Logan Mault , Camden Mischler, Anelise Mott, Brayden Petrosky, Grace Pettine, Abygail Ryan, Rylynn Schrader, Adeline Seifert, Cayden Steinebach, Maia Streb, Jackson Streiff, Alexa Striemer, Ava Tata, Colton Tompkins, Brody Tydings, Mika Vargas, Bryce Warren, Carter Weyrauch, and Audrey White.