Higher learning

WAIMEA — While many of Kauai’s high schools have chapters in the National Junior Honor Society, Waimea Canyon Middle School will be the first middle school on Kauai to launch the program.

“We’re really excited and so are the students,” said Cara Clarke, Waimea Canyon seventh-grade teacher and advisor to the school’s NJHS chapter. “It’s really an honor to be selected because it’s not just GPA.” 

Clarke will be inducting 37 sixth, seventh and eighth graders into the honor society Thursday evening.

In order to be inducted, these students needed to earn a minimum GPA of 3.5 and have filled out an application that lists their accomplishments and shows their exceptional leadership and citizenship skills.

Students also need to involve themselves in community service projects.

“We wanted to give them a forum to recognize their achievements and put those good character qualities to use since one of our focuses in the honor society is service to the community,” Clarke said. 

Having been part of the NJHS when she lived in New York, Clarke wanted to honor high achieving students in a national way.

Kauai high schools offer the program, but her hope is having a chapter in the middle school will inspire students to be involved in their communities.

The National Honor Society and the NJHS have chapters in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico and other U.S territories with 1 million students estimated to be participating in honor society activities.

The formal induction ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. at the school’s cafeteria, where the students will receive a certificate of membership in front of their parents and school officials. 

“That’s a recognition that stays with them even if they change schools or move out of state,” Clarke said.

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