Eight Chinook High School Students Take National Honor Society Pledge
April 17, 2019
On Tuesday, April 9, Chinook High School's Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) met for the induction of eight new members. By the ceremony's conclusion, Damon Hannum, Crystal Hofer, Delaney Kellam, Jayden Miller, Garrett Pruttis, Allyssa Schoen, Lily Surber, and Grace Ymzon had pledged to uphold the principles of the honorary organization.
To qualify for membership, students must distinguish themselves in four areas, which are considered the pillars of the NHS: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. In the area of scholarship, national guidelines state that, at a minimum, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or an equivalent standard of excellence. Each school chapter is allowed to require a higher cumulative GPA. For example, at Chinook High School (CHS), students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in order to be invited to apply for membership. Service involves voluntary contributions made by a student to his/her school or community. These are actions performed without compensation. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others. Student leaders are resourceful problem solvers and idea contributors. Finally, the national guidelines define the student of good character as cooperative; demonstrating high standards of honesty and reliability; showing courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintaining a clean disciplinary record.
During the ceremony, existing members presented the meaning of these four tenets of the NHS. Following the pillar presentation, the group conducted a lighting of the candles during which the new inductees recited their pledge to uphold the high purpose of the NHS, to be true to the principles for which it stands, to be loyal to their school, and to maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. After the reciting of the pledge, those gathered were treated to cupcakes and punch.
According to Laura Kellam, who is the NHS Advisor at CHS, all students in grades 10–12 who meet the scholarship requirements for membership outlined by the school's chapter are invited to apply. These eligible students then complete an application detailing their involvement in community service, school activities, and employment. Additionally, all teachers receive an evaluation form on which they rate each student using a 1-4 scale regarding each of the four main tenets of the NHS. All of these aspects are considered by the advisor who makes the final decision to officially invite a student to join. In short, securing membership means an individual excels academically, serves, seeks out challenges and accomplishments, and upholds ethics and integrity.
The activities of the NHS at CHS mainly involve community service. Among the group's service opportunities are shopping for Angel Tree gifts at Christmastime and wrapping all donated gifts before distribution, decorating Centennial Park with holiday lights, providing and staffing the blood drive canteen in January, serving at the Wildlife Museum banquet, and helping with the 4-H Carnival. Members also engage in individual service opportunities in the community.
"The best part of working with NHS is the time I get to spend with students who are committed to becoming their best selves," Kellam said.
Considered the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students, the NHS is dedicated to recognizing and encouraging these students through membership and scholarship opportunities. Founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, it was the first nationwide honor society and now has chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and many other US territories.
Being a member of the NHS distinguishes individuals as among the best in their class. It shows a commitment to community service projects and provides members the opportunity to network with like-minded peers. College admissions committees like to see anything that sets a person apart as a top student, and NHS membership is one of those indicators.