National Honor Society

The National Honor Society (N.H.S.) was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) both to recognize and to encourage scholarship, character, service and leadership in the nation's secondary school students. Membership in local chapters of the N.H.S. is not a right but is an honor bestowed upon a student based on his or her actual demonstration of all four of these characteristics. Moreover, once named to the Society, a student has a continuing responsibility to demonstrate excellence in these areas.

At Immaculate, candidates to the Saint Thomas Aquinas Chapter of the N.H.S. must be juniors or seniors who have maintained a 3.500 cumulative grade point average and they must have attended I.H.S. for a minimum of one semester in order to be invited to provide the five members of the Faculty Council with information about how they have demonstrated excellence in the other three areas. Their invitation to submit data on Student Activity Information Forms will be made shortly after class ranks have become available. It should be noted that the chapter adviser is an additional but non-voting member of the Council.

In addition to the information supplied by the students, all faculty and staff members who interact with students have the opportunity to provide the Council with their assessment of the degree to which candidates meet the criteria of membership. Faculty ratings and comments are a guide to the Faculty Council in making its decisions. In the event of a candidate's receiving a low rating, the Council verifies the reasons for the rating with the rater before making its decision.

When the Council has finished its deliberations, both selected and non-selected students will be notified of their status. Non-selected students will be invited by the adviser to discuss privately the area or areas in which the Council determined they did not meet or could not be judged to have met the standards for membership. It is particularly valuable for non-selected juniors to take advantage of this opportunity to learn what the Council recommends before they are again eligible on the basis of their scholarship at the beginning of their senior year.

NHS TIME LINE

Late September: Based on their cumulative GPA, qualifying candidates receive their Student Activity Forms

Mid-October: Student Activity Forms and additional materials are due.

Early November: The Faculty Council makes its determinations.

Mid November: Both selected and non-selected students are notified of their status. Non-selected students will be invited to confer with the adviser about the Council's decision and recommendations.

Early December: New members are inducted.

Below are items adapted from the descriptions of Leadership, Service and Character which can be found on pp. 27-29 of the fifteenth edition of The National Honor Society Handbook.

Leadership, a highly important criterion:

Leadership roles in both the school and community are considered provided they can be verified. The Council is interested in a student's leadership of adults and peers. The student who exercises leadership:

  • Is resourceful in proposing new programs, applying principles, and making suggestions.
  • Demonstrates leadership in promoting and participating in school activities.
  • Exercises positive influence on peers in upholding school ideals.
  • Contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school.
  • Is able to delegate responsibilities.
  • Exemplifies positive attitudes.
  • Inspires positive behavior in others.
  • Demonstrates academic initiative.
  • Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility; conducts business efficiently and effectively; demonstrates reliability and dependability.
  • Demonstrates leadership in the classroom, at work, in the community and in school and extracurricular activities.
  • Is thoroughly dependable in any responsibilities accepted.
  • Is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude.

Service (at least 75 hours (juniors) or 100 hours (seniors) of documented, voluntary unpaid service for school and/or community by the time forms are due):

The criterion of service is often defined in terms of value of contributions. Common questions are: What contributions has this candidate made to school, classmates, and community? What is the student’s attitude toward service? The student who serves:

  • Volunteers and provides dependable and well-organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance.
  • Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities.
  • Cheerfully and enthusiastically renders any volunteered or requested service to the school.
  • Does committee and staff work without complaint.
  • Participates in outside volunteer activities: Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, volunteer services for the aged, poor, or disadvantaged.
  • Mentors persons in the community or students at other schools.
  • Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students.

Character:

The National Honor Society is a member of the Character Counts! Coalition. Through this activity, the society supports and recommends the use of a multi-faceted definition of character known as the “Six Pillars of Character.” A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship. In addition, it can also be said that the student of character:

  • Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously.
  • Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, dress, programs, office, halls, etc.
  • Observes instructions and rules, is punctual and faithful both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability, and unpretentiousness).
  • Upholds principles of morality and ethics in school and community.
  • Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability.
  • Has powers of concentration, self-discipline and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies.
  • Regularly shows courtesy, concern and respect for others.
  • Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, is neither guilty of nor condones cheating or plagiarizing in any written work and shows unwillingness to profit from the mistakes of others.
  • Actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment.

NHS CANDIDATES

Handbook

Constitution

ByLaws

Selection Procedure

N.H.S. Selection Procedure Description

  • Guidance provides the faculty moderator(s) with the GPAs of juniors and seniors whose GPAs are at least 3.500 (September).
  • Faculty moderator(s) prepare student information materials for junior and senior candidates and set a date for an after-school meeting at which to distribute them. At the meeting, new candidates and returning senior candidates each receive specific details regarding the information which the faculty council will review. Returning senior candidates need only to update their forms, giving particular attention to the item(s) which were of concern to the faculty council the preceding fall. (September)
  • An optional meeting is scheduled at which candidates may ask for help and clarification regarding their submissions. (October)
  • All faculty, staff members, and coaches are provided with machine-scorable sheets on which to rate the students whom they know on the basis of their assessment of a student’s leadership, character, and service. Ratings range from Excellent to Below Average. Any rating of Below Average must be signed and must be accompanied by a written explanation of the reason for which it was given. (October)
  • The moderator(s), with the help of the principal if necessary, invite(s) five faculty members who, by virtue of their contact with various constituencies among the students, have a broad knowledge of the current juniors and/or seniors to be members of the faculty council. (October)
  • All student materials must be submitted in their final form on or before the date and time specified on the Requirements sheet which students receive at their first candidates’ meeting. (October)
  • The packets returned to the moderator(s) by students are divided equally among the members of the faculty council. Each packet includes a Checklist & Comments sheet (blank form available upon request). On it, the reviewer notes whether each of the required submissions has been included with the appropriate signatures. The reviewer then summarizes his/her assessment of each category (leadership, character, and service) based on the information provided. Late, incomplete, or inaccurate packets may disqualify a candidate from consideration. (October)
  • The council considers the qualifications of each student individually as described and attested to in his/her paperwork. Council members look for excellence in all areas and pay particular attention to a student’s description of his/her demonstrated leadership of peers and/or adults. (October/November)
  • There are no quotas. Every student whose submissions are on time, complete, and that indicate that s/he has met all the requirements of membership is invited to become a member through a letter received in homeroom. (November)

Officer Duties Information

Listed below are the job descriptions for the N.H.S. officers.

  • If you are interested in running, please take note of the duties of the officer.
  • Vote for officer candidates based on their ability, initiative, available time and willingness to be effective N.H.S. leaders through next May. It is vital that our officers be self-motivated individuals who do not need to be reminded to do their jobs.
  • Officers are elected at the beginning of June and are effective immediately

The duties of the President include but are not limited to:

  • presiding at chapter meetings
  • determining the accuracy of the record of members’ contributions to NHS
  • contributing new ideas for service projects and fundraisers
  • chairing ad hoc committees when appropriate
  • assisting with more than the required three NHS sponsored activities
  • attending and running the induction ceremony
  • obtaining a substitute for the office or substituting for another officer when needed

The duties of the Vice President include but are not limited to:

  • presiding in the absence of the president
  • contributing new ideas for service projects and fundraisers
  • chairing ad hoc committees when appropriate
  • assisting with more than the required three NHS sponsored activities
  • attending and running the induction ceremony
  • obtaining a substitute for the office or substituting for another officer when needed

The duties of the Secretary include but are not limited to:

  • recording and distributing promptly the minutes of chapter meetings
  • keeping an accurate record of attendance at meetings
  • being responsible for official chapter correspondence
  • chairing ad hoc committees when appropriate
  • assisting with more than the required three NHS sponsored activities
  • attending and running the induction ceremony
  • obtaining a substitute for the office or substituting for another officer when needed

The duties of the Treasurer include but are not limited to:

  • keeping an accurate record of dues and other financial transactions of the chapter
  • chairing ad hoc committees when appropriate
  • assisting with more than the required three NHS sponsored activities
  • attending and running the induction ceremony
  • obtaining a substitute for the office or substituting for another officer when needed