From the time Emilia Ruggiero lit a candle until Tri-M vocalists Trinity Blondin, Melanie Capraro, Destinee Costa, Julie Droukas and Abigail Salas sang the recessional song, Johnston High School celebrated what Principal Dr. Donna Pennacchia called “One of my most favorite nights of the year!”
It was an evening filled with pomp and circumstance, special speeches and a host of academic achievements more commonly known as the JHS Chapter of the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony.
Proud parents — and in some cases grandparents and friends — listened and watched a total of 61 students receive their induction into the prestigious National Honor Society as well as being honored for membership in the Rhode Island Honor Society.
“Membership of the (JHS) Chapter of the NHS has been earned by the effective demonstration of the four qualities held in high esteem by the Society,” Ruggiero, who serves as faculty advisor, began. “We will soon light the candles that represent the four qualities — Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service — held in high esteem by the NHS. “
The middle candle, which she lighted, represents the torch which is the NHS symbol.
Then, one-by-one, department heads Dina Avila (World Languages), Lisa Fresolone (English), Ronald Lamoureux (Music) and Jason Achilli (Mathematics) who serve on the NHS Faculty Council, each lit candles and offered a brief but impressive delivery about their respective academic areas.
In the middle of the exciting evening was Glorianna Crichlow, a senior who served as president of the JHS NHS Chapter during the current school year.
“I have been so proud of each and every NHS member standing before me,” Crichlow told an attentive audience. “It has been an honor to serve as president this year, watching these young people continue to make their community a better place. We spoke earlier about what the NHS torch means, and I see that force burning brightly in you.”
Amid the thunderous sound of applause, she added: “I see such a burning passion that will continue into your futures. Each of you have shown such hard work and dedication and we thank you. We thank you for being the very definition of what honor is.”
Crichlow’s speech was what many people said was nothing less than “extraordinary as well as an example of the NHS members who tonight have been inducted into the National Honor Society.”
She then emphasized: “I would also like to give a thank you to Mrs. Ruggiero, to who we owe many of our successes. She is the reason that this organization is what it is, with her constant dedication and planning. All of her successful outreaches and communication have allowed each of us to serve our community to our fullest potential.”
Ruggiero later offered: “Members, may the positive attitude, strength and good will that you have demonstrated over the few years remain with you throughout your lives. You are a resilient group and have made everyone here tonight very proud. Congratulations!”
To which Dr. Bernard DiLullo, superintendent of Johnson Public Schools, offered: “We are all so proud of the students who were honored here tonight. These students are serious about their studies but also their interest in civic affairs and leadership opportunities. They fully deserve this recognition. It was pleasure to take part in such a special occasion and to be able to congratulate our students and their parents in person.”
DiLullo and Assistant Superintendent Julie Zarrella helped present the prestigious NHS awards while Greg Russo, who is steeped with as much history in JHS from his days as a student to serving as Science Department chairman and faculty advisor, SADD and Student Council, had the honor of inducting 61 students into the RI Honor Society.
Likewise, three other students — namely NHS officers Emily Patenaude (Vice President), Mackenzie Hanna (Historian) and Nicholas Harrington (Parliamentarian) — also played a part in the night’s success.
The same held true for juniors — President Talia Laflamme, Vice President Charles Curci, Historian Allison Benoit and Parliamentarian Jackson Troxell — who will lead the JHS NHS chapter in 2023.
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