Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
A room used mostly for school board meetings was filled with excited high school pupils from various Clayton County Public Schools.
There were about 200 students, accompanied by their parents and loved ones, who attended the National Technical Honor Society induction ceremony, on Thursday evening, in the board room, at the Clayton County Public Schools Central Administration Complex, in Jonesboro.
The students represented eight out of 10 high schools in the county, which are Forest Park High School, Jonesboro High School, Morrow High School, North Clayton High School, Riverdale High School, Lovejoy High School, Mundy's Mill High School, and Mt. Zion High School, said Betty Jones, director of the Career Technical and Agricultural Education Department for Clayton County Public Schools.
"It makes it extraordinary because the National Technical Honor Society is ... America's highest academic award for career and technical education for high school students," said Jones.
Alfred Lee, 18, a senior at North Clayton High School, said he was excited to be a part of the induction ceremony.
"It's an honor to be here, in such a prestigious program," said Lee. "I wanted to be a part of community, and to be in a program that I could give back to the community."
Akosua Wiafe, 17, a 12th-grader at Riverdale High School, said she also was honored to be part of the induction because the society is selective regarding its members.
"Just the experience -- the experience of being in a community...and belonging to something," said Wiafe of her interest in the honor society.
Imani Vickers, 18, a senior at Mundy's Mill High School, said she enjoys induction ceremonies and was excited about the event. After high school graduation, her goal is to major either in computer engineering, or computer science, she said.
"I hope to meet new people and learn new traits that I can take on to college," said Vickers.
Teree Moore, mother of Rajaun Moore who is a senior at North Clayton High School, said she is proud of her outgoing son's accomplishment.
"It [society] will keep him motivated and [on] the right track," said Moore.
Edmond Heatley, superintendent of Clayton County Public Schools, said he is proud of all the honorees, and congratulated the parents and mentors for supporting the students in their paths towards success.
"There are great things going on in Clayton County, and you [inductees] are proof of that," said Heatley to the students, during the ceremony.
Director Jones said the inductees received a membership pin, a custom certificate, an identification card, a window decal, a graduation tassel, a National Technical Honor Society diploma seal and a customized letter of recommendation for their student portfolio.
Members are mostly 11th-, and 12th-grade students, she said. Students interested in various careers, including business, engineering, broadcast and video production, information technology and accounting, join the society, she said.
The honor society will hone members' leadership skills through various activities, such as public speaking, debate and business-writing competitions, said Jones.
Jones said there are several criteria students must meet to be invited to join the society, including having a minimum GPA of 3.0, good attendance, good disciplinary record, and students must be enrolled in career and technical education.
Students must also belong to certain clubs, including DECA, Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Healthcare Occupation Student Association (HOSA), SkillsUSA and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
"As a director, I am extremely proud of the students, who have worked rigorously to achieve this level," she said.