National Honor Society

What is National Honor Society (NHS)?

The National Honor Society recognizes students who are not only successful in the classroom, but are also active in both their school and their community. Selection is indeed an honor and a plus on college and scholarship applications. Membership is based on the following four criteria: scholarship, leadership, character, and service.

How are students selected?

Students are eligible their junior year for selection. Seniors that were not selected as juniors are also eligible.

The selection process begins at the end of January after semester grades are submitted. Current juniors and seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.2* (who have been in the district at least a semester) will be eligible for consideration. The GPA serves as the scholarship requirement needed for membership. Also in January, all juniors and seniors fill out a form in seminar listing all the clubs, sports, service, academic competitions, etc. that they have been a part of since freshman year. All of these activity forms are returned to Mrs. Monahan, the advisor for National Honor Society.

During the month of February, all of the activity forms for the juniors and seniors that meet the GPA requirement are pulled and alphabetized. Two Excel spreadsheets, one for juniors and one for seniors, are produced by Mrs. Monahan listing the names of the students and all of their high school activities (using the forms filled out in seminar).

When March arrives, the Hempstead faculty and staff finish the selection process by rating only students they know on their leadership, character, and service. Names of all eligible juniors and seniors are typed into electronic surveys. Only 30 names fit into one survey, so normally there are several surveys for the juniors and several surveys for the seniors. All names are entered into the surveys alphabetically and contain a 1-5 rating for leadership, a 1-5 rating for character, and a 1-5 rating for service for each student. A 1 rating is the worst and a 5 rating is the best.

ALL surveys for juniors and ALL surveys for seniors are emailed to ALL Hempstead faculty and staff. Faculty and staff only rate the students they know (have taught, coached, advised, counseled, etc.) For example, a teacher may know only 85 of the 152 eligible juniors and only submits ratings for those 85 students. Obviously, the more teachers a student knows, the better. The teachers are given at least a week to complete the surveys. The teachers use the activity spreadsheets (that were compiled by Mrs. Monahan a month earlier) as supplementary knowledge to assist them while completing the surveys. Teachers are also provided characteristics of leadership, character, and service; along with a reminder that 1 is the worst and 5 is the best rating.

Mid to late-March, all data from the surveys is retrieved. The data is organized so that all rankings for leadership, character, and service entered for a student are beneath the student’s name. All of these numbers are totaled and averaged. For example, a student will have an average number for leadership, an average number for character, and an average number for service. Since the rating process is based on a 1-5 scale, a student with higher averages is more likely to be selected for NHS.

Lastly, the three averages for leadership, character, and service are added to a student’s GPA. For example, 3.8 + 3.7 + 3.7 + 3.8 (GPA) to get a sum of 15.0. This sum is then divided by 4 to get a final average. In this case, the final average would be 3.75. A student needs a final average of 3.4 or higher to be selected for National Honor Society.

The Faculty Council consisting of five teachers from all disciplines and the faculty advisor meet to double check all of the numbers and to verify that all students selected for NHS are worthy of the honor.

How are students notified of their selection?

By the first week in April, all students selected for NHS have been sent a congratulatory letter requesting their presence at an induction ceremony held in mid to late-April. Formal invitations are also mailed to the parents of all selected students detailing the induction date, time, and place.

What is expected of all NHS students?

A junior inductees are expected to fulfill 20 hours of service their senior year. As a group, NHS students perform a highway clean up in the fall and serve a breakfast or lunch to the faculty and staff of Hempstead High School during fall conferences. NHS also assists the Leadership Club adopt a Hempstead family during the winter holiday. Selected students are expected to uphold the characteristics of scholarship, leadership, character, and service, and if deemed necessary by the Faculty Council, can be stripped of their NHS honor.

*Due to rising standards, the preliminary GPA has been raised from 3.0 to 3.2.

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  • Mrs. (Angie) Noel