Elm Welcomes 2021-22 National Junior Honor Society Members

Logo of the National Honor Society

Elm Middle School's chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) recognized 11 new members during an induction ceremony held Tuesday, May 25, in the main tent at Elmwood Park High School.

Congratulations to this year's inductees, all of whom are in 7th grade:

  • Eva Bucknell
  • Camilla Budzyna
  • Isabella Martinico
  • Fathima Safdary
  • Ewelina Swiderski
  • Margaret Utter
  • Jose Velazquez
  • Paulina Waz
  • Izabella Weiss
  • Isabella Wernsing
  • Maximilian Ziuzia

The NJHS is open to students who have met five criteria:

  • Scholarship
  • Service
  • Leadership
  • Character
  • Citizenship

This was Elm's 30th annual induction of NJHS members. English teacher Ms. Molly Hong and Spanish teacher Ms. Emily Obrecht are the school's NJHS advisers. 


NJHS ceremony

PHOTOS: Above, new NJHS member Jose Velazquez receives a fist bump from adviser Molly Hong as co-adviser Emily Obrecht looks on during the May 25 induction ceremony for the 2021-22 membership class. Below, Elm chapter co-president Viktoria Castillo welcomes the new members. D401 photos by Dave Porreca (click images to enlarge).

NJHS ceremony


The basic scholarship requirement is a cumulative average of B or better. Students must demonstrate appropriate conduct, and they can have no suspensions from school (in-house or out-of-school suspensions).

Academically eligible candidates are notified and informed that for further consideration they must complete the Student Activity Information Form (SAIF), in which they are asked to outline their accomplishments in the areas of service, leadership, character and citizenship.

Selection is made by a faculty council consisting of five Elm staff members.


NJHS ceremony

PHOTOS: Above, adviser Emily Obrecht congratulates new NJHS member Maximilian Ziuzia. Below, new member Isabella Wernsing commemorates the moment. Elm Principal Ashley Groeneveld presided over the ceremony. NJHS student speakers were Viktoria Castillo, Jamie Boch, Olivia Shipinski, Lana Aljaradat, Kathleen Castillo, Andrea Aguirre and Natalia Ciura. D401 photos by Dave Porreca (click images to enlarge).

NJHS ceremony


The 2021-22 class of inductees was actually Elm's second NJHS class to be inducted this school year. The ceremony usually occurs each spring, but last year's event was postponed because of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

In October, in a drive-in ceremony held in the Elm parking lot, the following 8th graders were inducted as the 2020-21 NJHS class:

  • Andrea Aguirre
  • Lana Aljaradat
  • Alyssa Andersen
  • Jamie Boch
  • Ilianni Castellanos
  • Kathleen Castillo
  • Viktoria Castillo
  • Natalia Ciura
  • Carlee Dillon
  • Sean Johnson
  • Matthew McClain
  • Matthew Pritt
  • Emma Riggs
  • Sarai Rivero
  • Sophia Rodriguez
  • Olivia Shipinski
  • John Michael Sison
  • Gianna Velazquez

Since 1929, NJHS has been the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding middle school students. 

Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

Each year Elm’s NJHS chapter completes one or more community service projects in which all the members of the chapter are involved.

Projects can be oriented toward improving student leadership, working with senior citizens, providing some learning about other cultures or performing some school service.


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