Eleven seventh and eighth graders at Holy Trinity Catholic Academy have earned national recognition.

Alexander Balko, Jeremy Benton, Brianna Chiaro, Ella Dunford, Connor Fahey, Amanda Gardecki, Isabella Gracia, Angelina McKenna, Sara Parker, Gabriella Pereira and Thomas Perotta were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a special ceremony in front of classmates, friends and family on Nov. 21.

The students were selected for induction into the Holy Trinity Catholic Academy chapter of the National Junior Honor Society by the school’s faculty. Students with a grade-point average of 3.9 or better were invited to apply. The students filled out an application that speaks to the five society’s five standards: scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship.

“This is a real big deal,” said Holy Trinity Catholic Academy Head of School Lisa Lanni, “because it shows strength, it shows academic excellence, it shows that we take academics seriously.

“We are not just looking for numbers of students. We are looking for quality students that represent their school for themselves and their families in a positive and unique fashion. (The National Junior Honor Society) is not a come one, come all organization,” added Lanni.

Last year, Lanni said four students were inducted.

"Not everyone makes it,” said Lanni. “This sends a message that we take our programming seriously and our students seriously. We have high expectations for them.”

The new inductees will participate in events throughout the school year to aid in promoting Holy Trinity Catholic Academy within its walls as well as out in the community, according to Lanni.

Lanni said the school continues to expand its programming, with improvements in middle school math, and art and Spanish classes in all age groups. The school is one of six schools of the Diocese of Bridgeport to use the Personalized Learning Initiative — a program which uses technology and data to design lesson plans aimed at the needs of each student.

Lanni said students take a series of tests — Edmentum Progress Monitoring Tests — three times during the school year, and the results are used to develop a “learning path for each student by pinpointing each students’ strengths and weaknesses.” Lanni also said the school provides a Chromebook for each student.

“We also use a station rotation model for math and English Language Arts students,” said Lanni. “Students are broken into small groups, and they rotate through various activities in the classroom for learning in math and ELA. It is student-driven.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com