Franklin County Middle School will induct selected eighth graders into the National Junior Honor Society on March 19 at 6 p.m. at the FCMS Gym. 

Membership in the NJHS is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a student. The national guidelines require students to maintain, at minimum, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Each school chapter is allowed to require a higher cumulative GPA. FCMS chapter requires students have and maintain a 3.5 GPA.    

Students are not just accepted for high academic performance though. The NJHS also requires students to tell about four other areas they show exemplary behavior required by NJHS. These areas include service, leadership, character and citizenship. Students were required to provide examples for each pillar. Examples of this would include volunteer work they have completed, how they have maintained good character and overall why they are a good fit for NJHS.  

Chad Gutzwiller is the chair for the local chapter of NJHS and emphasized the importance of selecting students that are well rounded and stood out for more than just their academic performance.

“We want to look at the whole student,” Gutzwiller said.  “That is why I added an essay element to the application process. I wanted them to have an opportunity to put in extra spice about who they are, that they might not be able to describe in the application.”

During the six-week process, Gutzwiller said several students talked to the language arts teacher for direction with their essays, which is what Gutzwiller had hoped for.

Once the students completed their applications and submitted them to Gutzwiller, he then turned them over to two eighth grade teachers for review.

“I wanted to make sure what the students had written in their essays matched up to how they behave in class,” Gutzwiller said. “I wanted to ensure these were students that were respectful and leaders in the classroom. Once I got those back it was a green light for students that applied.”  

For the 2019-2020 school year the following FCMS students were accepted:

Ben Becker, Makenna Bell, Grant Blades, Olivia Bradley, Kendal Cain, Crystal Calihan, Chloe Clark, Madison Eversole, McKensee Ferman, Audrey French, Branson Galyen, Sophie Garrett, Hannah George, Carson Gibbons, Kelly Glardon, Lillie Graf, Jacy Grimmeissen, Elizabeth Higginbotham, Kristen Ison, Baylee Johnson, Karlie Jones, Marcus Kemp, Bella Lee, Isaiah Lee, Lola Mann, Briana Meyer, Drew Meyer, Morrea Nobbe, Savannah Noble, Aydyn Patterson, Lillian Ralph, Makayla Reece, Veronica Reeves, Maggie Riffle, Luke Rosemeyer, Nikki Scott, Shannon Stenger, Piper Twiggs, Austin Voegele, Macey Ward and Jonathan Weaver.

In celebration of the achievement, students and their immediate family are invited to the induction ceremony. After the ceremony, light refreshments will be served in the cafeteria that IGA has volunteered to donate. Immediate family planning to attend should RSVP to Chad Gutzwiller, National Junior Honor Society Advisor.

The celebration is the kickoff to what else Gutzwiller has in store for the local chapter of students.

“I have an expectation that they continue to do the things required of them, post induction,” Gutzwiller said.  “I never said it was going to be easy, but I want to remind students you owe it to the school and the community.”

Gutzwiller will also pull students that were accepted to work on a service project at the school for the next two months. His initial idea is to potentially create a “hygiene closet” for situations where a student may lose everything or not have access to things they need.

For parents interested in helping their children achieve NJHS status in the future, Gutzwiller offered advice.

“It is never too early to start putting this in the mind of a child,” Gutzwiller said. “Those five pillars required by the NJHS are kind of great pillars for parents to keep in mind and engrain into their parenting.”