Photo Courtesy of We Are Teachers (weareteachers.com).

           As we all know, this year has been tough. Between a global pandemic, online school, and just balancing a high school life in general, this year has been full of surprises for many. Though many were able to prepare for this school year over summer and get situated with their new learning environments, there is one group that had to pretty much reinvent themselves in order to make things work out for the better. 

           This year, clubs at Westfield High School have had to scramble together in order to find new ways of bringing engaging activities and meetings to students while on an online platform. From country wide honor societies to Westfield originated groups, everyone involved played a part in orchestrating a wonderful year event throughout these tough circumstances.

           The National Honor Society, for example, was able to bring monthly meetings to over 150 student participants this year through their Schoology page. Not only did this nationwide organization succeed in conquering the challenges brought by schools by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they showed powerful results with multiple drives and activities in which participation was above what was expected. 

           The Westfield National Honor Society had its last meeting on May 11 where members were introduced to next year’s officers and prospective middle school students participating in NJHS were able to have a Q&A session with sophomores and juniors about high school and beyond.

           The Westfield chapter of DECA also had an exciting year. DECA is a global organization that prepares students to go into the world of business, finance, and entrepreneurship. This school year the club had many accomplishments both with the club overall and with participants. 

           DECA participated in multiple events throughout the county. Within this club, multiple students won awards for outstanding presentations and projects at local competitions. 

           Alongside multiple Westfield clubs and chapters are special events that took place this year under much different circumstances then they normally would. The Westfield Science Fair, which usually fills the cafeteria with students and cardboard trifolds, was much smaller this year due to the pandemic. However, this did not stop some amazing projects from being completed and even moving up to higher levels of science fairs in our district and county based off of their hard work throughout the year. 

           Sahil Patel, 12, says “…it did take a lot of past knowledge about programming and time to code. After I read some literature relevant to this field, I wrote my code and it was just a matter of waiting for it to finish running over the course of a few weeks.”

           Patel’s project was The Effect of Encryption Schemes on Computational Solving Time and was in the Systems Software category. He managed to receive an honor mention and move onto the next round of competitions within our area. 

           “When I got my award I was very happy to see that I was recognized for something that I did and it proved to me the importance of this project in the real world. ” says Patel. 

           Though this year presented multiple challenges, Westfield clubs were able to continue to provide students and staff with opportunities to reach the community along with new levels of success.