MMI Preparatory School recently inducted 43 new members of the Andrew J. Stofan Chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony at the school.
MMI Interim Head of School D. Scott Wiggins welcomed guests and adviser and faculty member Donna Titus gave opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker, Captain Charles Stoffa ’88.
During the induction ceremony, chapter officers gave presentations on the criteria of the National Honor Society for its membership. Historian Gabriella Kupsho presented the history of the National Honor Society, Secretary Stephanie Zellner spoke about service, Treasurer Nicholas Young talked about scholarship, Vice President Lois Polashenski gave a speech on character and President Samuel Sessock spoke about leadership and inducted the new members.
Adviser and faculty member Katherine Zucco recognized the junior and senior members and gave closing remarks. MMI senior Gabriella DeMelfi provided musical accompaniment.
Seniors: Catherine Matyas, daughter of Michael and Wendisue Matyas, Sugarloaf; and Elizabeth Pinto, daughter of Karen Pinto, Mountaintop, and John Pinto, Maplewood, NJ.
Juniors: Jaclyn Braunstein, daughter of Dr. Larry and Kimberly Braunstein, Mountaintop; Benjamin Lloyd, son of Stephanie and Christopher Uricheck, Freeland; and Jakob Schwabe, son of Marybeth Hayden, Hazle Township, and Scott Schwabe, New York, NY.
Sophomores: Mahum Ahmed, daughter of Dr. Asad and Dr. Bina Ahmed, Mountaintop; Kaitlyn Bellizia, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Bellizia, Sugarloaf; Elliot Blasko, son of Mark and Susan Blasko, White Haven; Elizabeth Borchick, daughter of Lance and Cynthia Borchick, Drums; Nicholas Carrato, son of Dr. Anthony and Carmine Carrato, Hazleton; Andrew Decker, son of Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf; and Aaron Decker, Kingston; Tyler Degenhart, son of Dr. John and Janet Degenhart, Hazleton; Daniel DeMelfi, son of Daniel and Esme DeMelfi, Hazleton; Madeline Dryfoos, daughter of Llewellyn and Maura Dryfoos, Sugarloaf; Summer Evancho, daughter of John and Joan Evancho, Sugarloaf; Wesley Guarneri, son of Vincent and Sop Guarneri, Wilkes-Barre; Lauren Herman, daughter of Michael and Stacy Herman, Freeland; Keefer Hoover, son of Jai and Ninotchka Hoover, Mountaintop; Elise Hreha, daughter of Eric and Elizabeth Hreha, White Haven; Kelisa Hysenbegasi, daughter of Sezai and Lirie Hysenbegasi, Hazle Township; Julia Jenigen, daughter of Christine DiPasquale, Freeland, and Kevin Jenigan, Freeland; Amanda Kalada-Kania, daughter of Kevin Kania and Susan Kalada, Drums; Alexander Kline, son of Dr. Gerard and Caterina Kline, Mountaintop; Morgan Long, son of David and Theresa Long, Mountaintop; Matthew Marchetti, son of David and Andrea Marchetti, Freeland; Lauren Matyas, daughter of Michael and Wendisue Matyas, Sugarloaf; Jessica McClellan, daughter of Bruce and Patricia McClellan, Freeland; Kaitlyn McGeehan, daughter of Thomas and Sandra McGeehan, Drums; Frederick Mejia, son of Carlos and Esperanza Mejia, West Hazleton; Heaven Merenich, daughter of Michael and Cindy Merenich, Freeland; Emily Mundorf, daughter of Thomas and Patricia Mundorf, Mountaintop; Christine Park, daughter of Jae and Young Park, Hazle Township; Brian Payne, son of Brian and Marie Payne, Sugarloaf; Tessa Peluso, daughter of Chandra Keyser, Hazleton, and Daniel Peluso, Coatesville; Desiree Petrick, granddaughter of John Petrick, Freeland; Ariah Saeed, daughter of Zubeen Saeed, Mountaintop; Alexander Sessock, son of Jennifer and James Denion, Freeland, and the late John Sessock; Bailey Slusser, daughter of Atty. Christopher Slusser, Sugarloaf, and Amy St. Pierre, Drums; Coleman Smith, son of Keith and Laura Smith, White Haven; Alyssa Sweda, daughter of John and Jacqueline Sweda, Hazle Township; Ethan Warner, son of Stanley and Heather Warner, Drums; Justin Weiksner, son of Mary Ann and William Flyzik, Freeland, and Daniel Weiksner, Coaldale; and Zachary Young, son of Christian and Nicole Young, Freeland.
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. NHS honors those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.
Membership in the National Honor Society recognizes students for their accomplishments and also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.
Guest speaker Captain Charles Stoffa ’88 attended Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He received his Navy commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1992. After flight school, he was designated an unrestricted Naval Aviator and he trained to fly the SH-60B Seahawk multi-mission helicopter. After leaving active duty in 2002, he was commissioned in the Naval Reserve and served a two-year active duty mobilization in support of Operations Iraqi & Enduring Freedom. Returning to active duty, Captain Stoffa served as the Executive Officer of the Navy Air Logistics Office in Naval Air Station New Orleans, LA, overseeing the daily validation and scheduling of the US Navy's air logistics fleet. He presently serves as the Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, coordinating between the Navy and Commonwealth authorities in the Defense Support of Civilian Authorities mission. He is also a commercial airline pilot and lives locally in White Haven with his wife and two daughters.