It was a pleasant surprise to learn that JCMS educators, Steve Cox and Natalie Hill, have re-established an Honor Society for the middle school students here in our community. You see, we had the Madras Junior High School Honor club for around 20 years until in 1995 when it was dropped as the school was transitioned into a middle school.
Following each academic quarter, the MJHS Honor Club Faculty Committee invited those students who met the Honor Club academic and citizenship standards to join the club. This was followed by an initiation ceremony conducted by the Honor Club officers where the new inductees pledged to uphold the standards of Honor Club. Upon completion of the ceremony they were presented with a nice certificate signed by the principal and the club advisor.
The rationale for having an Honor Club was to motivate students academically. We were plagued with the attitude that it wasn't "cool" to be a good, well-behaved student. So, we really attempted to reward these kids. For example, each year the Honor Club members went on two Saturday field trips. Each fall we went to the High Desert Museum, Lava Lands Visitor Center, Lava Butte, and Lava Caves. On the spring field trip the club alternated every other year between two different trips. One year we toured the State Capitol in Salem in the morning followed by a great fun time at the Enchanted Forest. I found out that at least 70 percent of our students had never been to the State Capitol and very few had been able to go on a guided tour of the Capitol. The next year we'd go to the Portland Zoo and OMSI. All of these outings involved parental support and attendance.
Hundreds of these former club members have gone on to become outstanding members of our community and the various communities around the world. It's indeed gratifying to know that many of these former students are highly skilled, well-educated, professionals today. Perhaps, being a member of the Madras Junior High School Honor Club had a small motivational part in their success. So, I applaud the Jefferson County Middle School staff's efforts to further the kids' academic progress.
Harold H. Moore