Academic excellence celebrated at National Honor Society induction


It was a night to celebrate Johnston High School’s best – 87 academic super stars to be exact – all of whom were inducted into the prestigious local chapter of the National Honor Society.

It was a night when Principal Dennis Morrell told inductees and NHS members – as well as their families and friends inside the nearly full JHS auditorium: “You were selected based on the four criteria inscribed on the honor society emblem: Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service.”

Morrell, who delivered the traditional principal’s greeting, also told inductees, “You have a fire inside you that drives you to share; to share your time; to share your knowledge, to share your energy to those who need help the most. You do not sit back and rely on your ability to study and work tirelessly in your classes. That is not enough for you. You have taken an active role in your lives. You share the belief that the few can help to inspire the many.”

The JHS Principal, who assisted the beloved NHS Advisor Jean Picano with presentation of the Chapter certificates, closed his remarks saying: “It is my hope that you carry with you for the rest of your lives this desire to help others while continuing to better yourselves through education. In this way you will also continue to improve your corner of the world.”

There were many impressive parts to last Wednesday evening’s event, which was nicely accented by the musical talents of JHS students Fallon Davis, Matt Eisemann, Emily Gaye, Sam Gobeille, Malorie Magnone, Lauren Papa, Isabella Parrillo and Olivia Scuncio.

Alyssa Johnson, the NHS Chapter President who delivered a powerful and sometimes tear-jerking speech, served as the night’s Master of Ceremonies while her fellow officers Vice President Jason Cooke, Secretary Philip Jessop and Public Relations Officer Aley Blakney delivered special messages concerning the history of the organization, its emblem and Passing of the Light.

The Faculty Council, which is made up of JHS teachers Jason Achilli, Donna Palumbo, Gregory Russo, Emilia Ruggiero Susan Volante all played a part in helping make the ceremony special.

In the middle of all the pomp and circumstance was Picano, who as Johnson emphasized during her closing remarks “is the person we all owe the success of this society. It goes without saying that she is one of the most hard-working, motivated teachers this school has to offer. It has been an honor to have her as both a (math) teacher and advisor.”

Johnson, who like others became emotional while talking about the Society’s leader, went on: “Every one of you sitting before me knows that if you don’t have Ms. Picano as a math teacher for at least one year, then you’re missing out.”

The NHS President also let it known that “she goes above and beyond both in the classroom and in life, making sure her students are the best they can be. The school will be a little less complete without her next year. Ms. Picano, we love you and wish you all the best with everything you do in the future.”

Picano will retire at the end of this academic year. She has not as yet announced her future plans; however, she sent special messages to each of the three classes that were inducted into the NHS last Wednesday night.

“Sophomores,” Picano began after a thunderous round of applause followed her introduction, “Learn from the upper classmen. Their success is a result of hard work and dedication. Follow in their footsteps, but don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path and explore new opportunities.”

Picano then addressed the juniors, saying: “My one regret; I won’t be here to see how high you can fly. You have so much potential, use it wisely.”

The highly-respected advisor-teacher then concluded saying: “Seniors, I am leaving on a high note. You have given me so much laughter, taught me about life, and have made me proud to be a teacher at Johnston High School.”

It was a night filled with many memories and milestones highlighted the NHS virtues of Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service as well as Picano receiving more accolades after concluding: “So, I am not going to say goodbye because as Tom Petty wrote ‘You and I will meet again. When we’re least expecting it, one day in some far off place, I will recognize your face. I won’t say goodbye my friend, for you and I will meet again!”

The Class of 2018 members are:

Abigail Agnew, Giana Aquilante, James Baccala, Aley Blakney, Benjamin Budway, Lauren Civetti, Jacob Cooke, Fallon Davis, Cheyenne Day, Charles DiMascio, Alexa-Rae DiRaimo, Christopher Vicca, Matthew Eisemann, Emily Gaye, Adam Gobeille, Phillip Jessop, Alyssa Johnson, Gianna Koning, Dylan Lavoie, Alyssa Mazzulla, Taylor Medeiros, Michael Mollicone, Yuvia Morales, Jordan Moretti, Lauren Papa, Madison Plouffe, Taylor Poland, Gabriella Scarcella, Leah Spirito, Katarina St. Angelo, Allison Vassella, Jesse Vigeant, Theresa Villella, Emily Watson and Iranus Wilson.

Class of 2019:

Haya Abeherah, Connor Agnew, Dennis Anderson, Elizabeth Cruz, Jared Curci, Sophia Costa, Nailea Estrada, Ivan Fernandez, Robin Fidel, Nichola Gallo, Leonardo Garofalo, Brenna Guilmette, Maikou Kue, Kayleena Lariviere, Malorie Magnon, Sara Mendez, Lauren Messa, Grace Mueller, Ana Petrella, Emily Raposa, Kelly Sigui, Matthew Silvia, Jessica Watson and Zachary Zambarano.

Class of 2020:

Anthony Andriole, Jenni Aubin, Joel Aubin, Joshua Brien, Daniel Chambrances, Demetri Demetropoulos, David DiIorio, Christopher Flanagan, Carols Fragoso, Samantha Gobeille, Michael Healy, David Iannuccilli, Allison Kane, Juliana Manchester, Stephanie McCoy, Andrew Medeiros, Angelia Parrillo, Isabella Parrillo, Megan Philbrick, Nisa Prasith, Mia Ragosta, Kayla Rogers, Sophie Russo, Olivia Scuncio, Tayla Tanguay-Rossi, Alexander Tum, Madisyn Turcotte and Gianna Vittorioso.

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These talented Johnston High School students who are all members of the National Honor Society enhanced last Wednesday’s Induction Ceremony with four impressive pieces.

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Johnston High School Principal Dennis Morrell delivered the opening greeting for the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony then helped Advisor-Math Teacher Jean Picano present the official certificates of membership.

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Alyssa Johnson (left), president of the JHS Chapter of the National Honor Society, is joined by Public Relations Officer Aley Blakney, Vice President Jacob Coke and Secretary Phillip Jessop at last Wednesday night’s induction ceremony.

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Maikou Kue (left), Class of 2019, will serve as President of the JHS Chapter of the National Honor Society. She’s joined by Vice President Connor Agnew, Secretary Elizabeth Cruz and Public Relation Officer Ana Petrella at last week’s Induction Ceremony.

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Ben Budway, Fallon Davis, Phil Jessop, Aley Blakney and Chris Vicca enjoy a lighter moment prior to last Wednesday’s Johnston High School National Honor society Chapter Induction Ceremony.

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Jean Picano, beloved math teacher at JHS who has served as the long-time advisor of the National Honor Society and is retiring from the school, is joined by Jordan Moretti, so and so

Alyssa Johnson after her final induction ceremony last week.


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