The newest members of Clermont Northeastern Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society chapter take their oaths during ceremonies March 2 at the school. (Photo by Dick Maloney.)

CNE Middle School inducts 31 to National Junior Honor Society

By Dick Maloney

Arm in arm, two students at a time entered from the back corner of the Clermont Northeastern Middle School gymnasium, proceeding past the bleachers filled with their fellow students, then down the aisle between rows of folding chairs occupied by proud friends, family members and others.

When they got to the front, one student would sit, preparing for the morning’s events, the other would go into the hall and return again a few minutes later. That’s how it goes when a group’s membership expands by 31 from one year to the next. Six returning members of CNE Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society got a bit of a workout escorting the newest inductees at the March 2 ceremony.

National Junior Honor Society, or NJHS, is similar in mission to its high school counterpart, National Honor Society, though there are differences. For one, NHS has four principles – scholarship, service, leadership and character – while NJHS has a fifth, citizenship.

Eighth-grader Erica Thompson, the chapter president, welcomed the new members. Ceremonies include NJHS officers and members describing each of the principles, then lighting a candle on a table, symbolizing that principle. Jenna Brown discussed scholarship; Alexis Lung, service; Makena Jones, leadership; Isabella Morrow, character, and Julia Best, citizenship.

New members were then introduced, signing their name in the NJHS book and taking their oath. After the ceremony, they gathered for a group photo, then enjoyed a selection of donuts, pastries, cookies and drinks with family.

Middle School Principal Laura Nazzarine said chapter adviser Joni Bacon deserves much of the credit for the increase in membership.

“In order to be a (Junior) National Honor Society contender, you have to write an essay and tell why you are a good candidate for NJHS.  This year, Mrs. Bacon had the ELA teachers assign this topic as an essay in their classroom for credit.  Each student was expected to complete the essay, and the students who wanted to be considered for NJHS handed it in to the NJHS committee,” Nazzarine said.

“The essay was one of the criteria used to decide who would be invited to join. Grade point average and service hours were also considered,” Bacon said. A committee of faculty members evaluates all applicants.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed just watching the kids work together and putting their ideas into action. They are making this community a better place.” Bacon said.

Those service projects include raising and donating more than $500 to Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash and collecting items for CNE CARES (Community Alliance for Resources, Care and Support), which runs a food pantry and provides services throughout the community. NJHS members are also active during Teacher Appreciation Week in the spring, washing cars and helping teachers in other ways.

Nazzarine said NJHS members also help plan field trips, PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Support) rewards, and are planning a talent show for later this month. 

“NJHS students have gone to homerooms and talked to our kids about events - what's happening, what's coming up and character traits. They also do our announcements in the morning and Pledge of Allegiance. They do our joke of the day. The kids planned and implemented the NJHS ceremony today too! The kids did all of it. If you notice, no adults spoke today. It was a great display of leadership and confidence.” Nazzarine said.

CNE Middle School National Junior Honor Society Inductees

Eighth-graders – Allison Adkins, Ember Athey, Addisyn Baker, Edan Cordes, Olivia Havrilla, Clarissa Hoskins, Alaina Mckenzie, Lila Ritter, Aiyanna Skinner, Makaylee Slover, Kennedy Smith, Elizabeth Woeber and Kaeleigh Workman.

Seventh-graders – Nella Campbell, Olivia Carney, Linda Couilbaly, Kruse Cunningham, Addison Fishback, Bailey Grace. James Hinson, Josie Johnson, Alexis Layton, Abby Moore, Grace Pangallo, Kamdyn Ryan, Audrey Schmidt, Ericka Stitzel, Ellie Taylor, Alexi Walters, Kayden Williams and Sawyer Woods.