National Honor Society
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the leading organization in the nation that was established in 1921 to recognize the exceptional high school students. Apart from honoring bright students, NHS distinguishes the candidates who have excelled in the fields of service, scholarship, character, and leadership. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) established NHS officially in 1921 and it was headed by the principal of the Fifth Avenue High School, Dr. Edward Rynearson. The Alpha Chapter was the first to be established, and by 1930, more than 1,000 chapters had been formed. The four primary purposes guide the NHS chapters. First, stimulate the need to offer service. Second, establish the enthusiasm for scholarship. Third, develop the character of high school students, and lastly promote leadership.
NHS has established a set of standards and the locally implemented processes that are being used to select the candidates who intend to join it. First, the NHS holds an informal meeting where the academically qualified candidates are requested to complete a Student Activity Information Form that is issued by the National Organization. The qualifying students should have scored A 93 weighted average, during the process, the candidate is requested to provide information that can assist is his/her selection process based on the other criteria such as scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Students are requested to have the required information at the onset of the entire process, the student should demonstrate skills in other areas that may include the ability to lead, service, and honorable and admirable character and talents that can be utilized to improve the status of the society.
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The next step is to complete the Student Activity Information Form, however, completing this form does not guarantee that the candidate will be selected, again, it does not serve as an application for membership. The names of the eligible students are then given to the faculty and the staff of the high school to complete information on the student’s leadership, character, and service to assist the Faculty Council to make a more informed decision concerning the candidacy of the applicants. At this stage, any member of the faculty may take part in the initial evaluation of the applicants who qualify for membership. No specific criterion is conclusive. The members who are selected to join NHS are chosen through the majority vote of the Faculty Council. However, the candidates who are not chosen are entitled to an informal hearing before the Faculty Council.
The students who have been selected as NHS members have access to various benefits that the organization has to offer. For instance, a student member can engage in the service projects that are organized by the chapter and the individual to enhance teamwork capabilities, and access NHS scholarships. Leadership development is another area that a student member can gain benefits, the LEAD conferences and the NHS State summits can form good avenues where the student can get inspiration and motivation. Again, the Society has an organized annual award plan for the most outstanding chapters and advisers. NHS is an organization that recognizes members for their achievement also challenges them to further demonstrate their commitment to the four pillars by actively engaging in the community service, school activities and local community. Apart from the chapters that have been established in different schools across the United States, students can access information about NHS on their official website www.nhs.us where more details about the society can be found. For example, information concerning NHS scholarships, chapters, activities, awards, and how to start a chapter can easily be accessed through their website.