Return to Headlines

Learning Center Students Inducted into Middle School Honor Society

Two students from the PNW BOCES Learning Center Program at Somers Middle School were among the 85 sixth grade students inducted into the National Junior Honors Society this month.

“My parents were really proud,” says Maggie del Puerto-Vitti, who was inducted along with classmate Francisco Duran.

Students are invited to apply for the NJHS based on their excellence in leadership, scholarship, attendance, effort, and character. Seventy-nine seventh-grade students and 74 eighth-grade students were inducted this year as well.

“The students who were inducted into the NJHS this year continue to excel in school and embody the five pillars of the NJHS,” says Jenna Schettino, NJHS co-advisor. “This year was especially challenging, and the students worked hard to get to this point. We are very proud of them.”

The Learning Center program operates in partnership with Somers Middle School, and is led by PNW BOCES teacher Brian Bucchignano, who runs a dedicated classroom for students in the program. The partnership aspect of the program is key, said Bucchignano, whose students also participate in the middle school’s academic classes and specials.

Although the students’ school structure is slightly different, the standards they must meet to become part of the NJHS are not.

Del Puerto-Vitti excels in science class, which she takes with teacher Joe Savastano.

“Part of why I like science,” says del Puerto-Vitti, “is because I like doing labs where I can touch and experience it.”

Del Puerto-Vitti and Duran earned their induction into the honor society through their hard work and dedication, said their teacher.

“I am extremely proud of Maggie and Francisco for this amazing accomplishment,” Bucchignano said. “They approach each day with a positive attitude and drive that has resulted in them becoming dependable and respected members of our classroom, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, parents were not able to attend the NJHS ceremonies this year but were able to watch their children’s induction on video.