HHS National Honor Society inducts 59
The Hammonton High School’s Chapter 1274 of the National Honor Society (NHS) welcomed 59 inductees during the annual induction ceremony on January 27 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
Last year’s ceremony was presented virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For health and safety precautions, attendees wore masks and every other row in the Performing Arts Center was closed for social distancing.
“Before we begin, I would like to recognize a number of people who are in attendance this evening. These individuals have profound impact on your children’s education and do a tremendous job for our school district,” Hammonton High School Principal Thomas Ramsay said.
Those individuals in attendance were Superintendent of Schools Robin Chieco, Board of Education President Sam Mento III and Board Members Barbara Berenato and Luke Coia.
Mento’s son, Samuel Mento, was inducted into the society as well as Berenato’s granddaughter, Maria Berenato.
Ramsay also recognized Assistant Principals Dr. Kimberly Rudnesky and Jeffrey Hinson.
During her opening speech, President Nicole Damico mentioned that the 2022 ceremony marks the 90th anniversary of NHS Chapter 1274.
“For the current members on stage and any former members in our audience, we hope this serves as a reminder of the standards of excellence in which we are charged to maintain as members of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious student recognition program. NHS Chapter 1274 has been proudly inducting new members since 1932. In which today’s ceremony will mark the 90th anniversary of the continuing emphasis on excellence that we present in our school and community,” Damico said.
Damico then explained the four cardinal principles of the National Honor Society: scholarship, leadership, service and character.
“The emblem of this society are keystone and flame torch. The keystone bears its face the letters S, L, S and C, which stand for the cardinal principals of this organization: scholarship, leadership, service and character. It is at this time we proclaim to all attendants that the membership in Hammonton High School Chapter 1274 of the National Honor Society has been earned by these candidates through the effective demonstration of the four qualities that serve as standards for the society,” Damico said.
Vice-President Sava Evangelista spoke on scholarship.
“Every student here tonight has commitment to learning in the classroom and surrounding world also known as scholarship. National Honor Society members have dedicated hours of their time to study … Knowledge is a way that we can read the past, the torch guiding us to make meaning of the present and the light that emits our future,” Evangelista said.
Treasurer Carli Caldwell spoke on leadership noting that “true leaders are those who thrive.”
“A true leader stands up for what is right no matter the cost. These are not qualities that the majority of people possess, however, the National Honor Society along with tonight’s inductees are a group of individuals that time and time again have what it is to possess an invaluable quality,” Caldwell said.
“Leaders become great not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others. A true leader, which all members of the National Honor Society should stive to be, seizes every day and leaves the world better than when they found it,” Caldwell said.
Evangelista then explained the pillar of service. Despite having multiple responsibilities as high school students, members of the society spend hours of their day as volunteers, Evangelista said.
“Not only is their service brightening someone else’s path, but it’s also bringing light to their own lives and helping them build character. The inspiring members here today have shown the world the community compassion through their acts of kindness and energy. Their altruistic personalities and everlasting desire to serve others is a gift that society needs,” Evangelista said.
Caldwell spoke on the last principle: character.
“It is a force that compels us to follow a moral compass to make mindful decisions each and every day to act with integrity and honor. The test of true character is what they do when no one’s watching. My advice to incoming members is to simply be a good person. Help pick up someone’s books if they fall. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Spread kindness and compassion. It only takes one action to determine what person you are and what your character is like,” Caldwell said.
Damico then presented the symbols and colors of the National Honor Society.
“As the keystone is placed by the builder to hold a perfect arch in perpetual stability, so the structure of our education must be held firm and true by the virtues represented by this symbol. Our colors, blue and gold, are a symbol of our motto. Blue is the symbol of truth, and gold is the light with which truth radiates through the world,” Damico said.
Next, Ramsay explained the qualification for membership.
“First, the student must be academically eligible, no small feat. Second, all academically eligible students must complete a student activity information form. Third, the entire faculty participates in the completion of a reference for the students who submitted the student activity information form. And finally, five members of the faculty are selected to serve on the faculty council,” Ramsay said.
The faculty council reviews the student activity information forms, results of the faculty reference survey and grade point average of each individual student and then final selection is made by the majority vote of the faculty council, Ramsay said.
“Because of the stringent standards, not everyone who is eligible for membership is always selected. This is unfortunate; but, nevertheless, it delivers and develops a standard that a student must strive to achieve,” Ramsay said.
Damico presented the candidates for membership. As the candidates’ names were called, individuals came forward to the stage to receive their collar of membership and signed the official chapter register.
For the symbolic candle lighting ceremony, unlit candles were placed on the table next to the official chapter register.
Ramsay also recognized the efforts of Myra-Lynn Doughty, the advisor for the National Honor Society as well as members of the faculty for the selection of this year’s inductees.
“It truly is an honor and privilege to accept these students as members of National Honor Society,” Ramsay said.
Current members from the Class of 2022 were John Andaloro, Francesco Angelastro, Emma Barnett, Will Bauers, Anahi Boone, Victoria Borode, Carli Caldwell, Glyza Canovas, Elizabeth Chesebro, Ava Chiofalo, Pat Christopher, Joseph Corma, Nicole Damico, Angel DiGianivittorio, Sava Evangelista, Olivia Falciani, Andrew Gollihur, Kristen Hare, Leigh-Anne Jones, Dylan Kappauf, Alyssa Kelsey, Luke Kozlowski, Joseph Linneman, Victoria Marandino, Madison Markart, Stephen Mertis, Olivia Osborne, Michael Passarella, Anthony Polito, Ashton Richards, Ava Rodio, Declan Roeder, Elyse Ryan, Hannah Santora, Eve Sheehan, Mason Sherman, Donovan Spencer, Ryan Stanziale, Nicholas Stephan, Christopher Volk and Emily Walters.
The inductees from the Class of 2022 were Yesenia Aguina, Miliani Butterline, Ayanna Conde, Angie Funes Ordonez, Adilu Galvez Gonzalez, Brett Hare, Spencer Lee, Gina McBrearty, Kristina Roohr, Domenic Szalabofka, Julian Valentin, Conner Walker and Connor Wright.
The inductees from the Class of 2023 were Kamryn Bagnell, Carter Thomas Bailey, Abigail Baines, Jadyn Barker, Anthony Berchie, Maria Berenato, Alyssa Cicatiello, Taylor Cinelli, Johnna DeNafo, Mary DeRose, Lindsay Dillahey, Dante DiMatteo, Danielle Drialo, Aidan Ellis, Fernando Flores, Jesus Flores, Brianna Gazzara, Michael Gehres, Sofia Grubb, Kevin Haley, Cole Herrmann, Paul Kalani, Thomas Librizzi, Kylie Lipstas, Kimberly Marchowsky, Brandon Martinez, Sophia Matricardi, Giovanni Mendez, Samuel Mento, Giada Palmieri, Adrianna Palmore, Tiffany Paretti, Michael Parker, Emma Peretti, Nicholas Perna, Kaylie Ranere, Sydney Reed, Isabella Rivera, Riley Ruberton, Carla Sabella, Amelia Schirmer, Daniel Sulzner, Jenna Thibault, Sophia Vento, Julianna Villa and Gavin West.
For more photos from the NHS ceremony, call The Gazette at (609) 704-1940.