(Submitted by Julia Bitkowski, NJHS Public Relations Co-chair)
Fifty-seven seventh grade students were inducted into the Independence Middle School’s Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), in a ceremony held at the school on May 19. The new seventh grade members replaced 48 charter members. The event was hosted by NJHS advisors, Mrs. Kathleen Foster and Mrs. Rachelle Schaum.
Independence singers, directed by Mrs. Tricia Quinque, sang “A Million Dreams.” Parker Walton, public relations co-chair, led with the Pledge of Allegiance. Co-chairs of the Induction committee, Mallory Gramm and Alisa Basile, welcomed listeners. School Board Member, Kimberly Walsh Turner introduced the guest speaker, Mr. McElvenny, a Marine Corp veteran and Paralympian.
Mr. McElvenny, the proud husband and father of three children, spoke inspirationally about perseverance, grit and determination. His injury, a result of an IED in Afghanistan, has not deterred him from competing in eight Ironman Triathlon. In fact, his experience presented the opportunity to represent Team USA in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Kuon Verbosky, Callee Dalbon, Grace Perdziola, Kiley Flanigan, Gavin Edkins, and Sarah Jakel introduced and spoke on the five pillars of NJHS: scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship. Mr. Jason Turka and Mrs. Elisa Schuerle read new member names during the pinning ceremony.
Director of Student Support Services, Mr. David Muench, gave the NJHS oath, Mrs. Racquel Sutton, principal of Independence Middle School, gave closing remarks.