NJHS Ceremony Honors Accomplishments of Students

Editors+Miah-Reese+Govan+and+Talia+Shumate+pose+together+outside+the+cafeteria%2C+celebrating+their+induction+to+NJHS.

Editors Miah-Reese Govan and Talia Shumate pose together outside the cafeteria, celebrating their induction to NJHS.

Celebrating the academic and extracurricular accomplishments of WTMS students, the NJHS induction ceremony occurred May 27, 2021 in the cafeteria, awarding certificates to inductees.

“I am incredibly proud of her!” stated Sonetta Murrell, the parent of Victoria Murrell, a student inductee. “She continued to work very hard, despite all the changes and challenges she had to face. She had a goal in mind and was able to accomplish it.”

The work that this organization does is undeniable. You guys are the best of the best.”

— Ms. Kiett

The ceremony began at 7:00 PM inside the cafeteria. The NJHS officers each went over the qualities of membership and the five principles of the NJHS including scholarship, leadership, character, citizenship, and service. Inductees were given their certificates prior to the opening of the ceremony. Afterwards, the inductees recited the NJHS pledge with Principal Stella Nwanguma leading, and at the end of the ceremony, everyone exited the building for outdoor pictures.

“Now that I got into NJHS, I feel more confident when it comes to taking on a challenge,” said student inductee Taryn Mozee. “When I was told that I got in, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep my grades up to stay in, but the fact that I’ve made it this far makes me feel positive about what’s yet to come.”

Students stand to recite the pledge during the ceremony.

To become members of the NJHS, students needed to maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, to have positive attendance and behavior, and to show involvement in the community and school. Due to COVID-19, applications, recommendations, and final forms were all completed online.

 “Creating opportunities for my child was difficult, but my determination to keep things as normal as possible is what got us through difficult times,” claimed Murrell. “ I had to be flexible and figure out ways to get things done and follow the CDC guidelines.”

Despite the restrictions from the pandemic, the NJHS induction tradition was continued. This school year, forty-four students were inducted into the NJHS. In previous years there have been about 60-70 new inductees; however, less community service opportunities and skepticism regarding the participation in extracurricular activities in school because of the pandemic are the primary causes for this year’s decrease in numbers.

“The NJHS membership is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a middle school student,” stated Ms. Kiett, “so I’m so happy we were able to continue it. The work that this organization does is undeniable. You guys are the best of the best.” 

After it was decided that the ceremony was going to be in person, to continue to take safety precautions for COVID-19, seating arrangements were set up with a six feet distance from one another, masks were required, and all attendees were required to exit the building immediately after the ceremony. No food and drinks were served like in previous years, and pictures after the ceremony were not allowed to be taken inside of the building. Students and parents alike still reported being happy about the in-person ceremony.

 “I’m excited for the in person because not only do I get to see my friends,” explained Taryn Mozee, after finding out the ceremony would be in person. “I feel like it’s better to be there in person because it feels more memorable.”

So far in the NJHS, some members have participated in a FAA aerospace program, a chatroom with the Winslow Township High School Leo Club, and a CHAT program with the Camden Center for Youth Development. Next year the school plans to do even more programs and activities for the inductees.

“I am truly excited to see what this chapter in her life will allow her to learn,” Murrell said. “I am excited to see her grow intellectually as well as socially through being a member of the NJHS.”