Arthur A. Richards Junior High School inducted 21 students into its National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) on Friday, April 26, in the school library.
“Today we have the honor of inducting 21 members into our chapter. They will join our current members and will be charged with upholding the standards of excellence of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious student recognition program,” said NJHS Advisor Cicely Ferguson.
Inductees Naima Suarez and Jason Tuitt Jr. shared a brief history of the National Junior Honor Society.
In 1921, the National Association of Secondary School Principal (NASSP) officially established the National Honor Society (NHS). In 1929, NASSP turned its attention to middle state level schools and expanded the scope of its concern for recognizing outstanding students by establishing NJHS. The NJHS has established criteria that parallels the emphasis found in the NHS — leadership, character, service and scholarship, with an added purpose to encourage citizenship.
“There are more than 2,000 NJHS chapters found in all parts of the United States and its territories. Our chapter is proud to have been inducting new members since 1994 and is named after Carlos F. Rodriguez, a former assistant principal [of the AARJHS],” said Jason Tuitt Jr.
The guest speaker, Amarjahan Joseph-Decambra, was a former student and member of the Arthur Richards NJHS. In her speech, she shared the importance of each of the five principles of the NJHS and how they play a role in her educational career. She is currently a freshman at St. Croix Central High School.
Following Joseph-Decambra’s speech was the ceremonial lighting of the candles for each NJHS inductee. They received their certificates of membership and lapel pins and then recited the NJHS pledge that formally made them a part of the Carlos F. Rodriguez Chapter.
In closing, Assistant Principal Lilly Cornelius congratulated students and their parents on a job well done and encouraged them to continue to do the things they’ve been doing that has gotten them thus far.
“It always warms my heart when I come to programs such as these because we do not give our students who are the brightest and the best enough of our attention… Parents, without you this couldn’t happen. I encourage you to continue to do the things you’ve been doing that have gotten your student this far,” said Cornelius.
Students who have and maintain an average of 85 percent or higher all received an application to apply to become a member. Students who were interested then had to submit the application. Advisors reviewed it for approval according to a specific rubric, and students had to demonstrate the qualities of each of the five principals: scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship and character.
Arthur A. Richards Junior High School National Junior Honor Society Inductees:
Jason Tuitt Jr.