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OH National Honor Society Inducts 115 New Members

Olympic+Heights+National+Honor+Society+adviser+Ms.+Vanessa+Koher+%28left%29+with+NHS+officers+at+the+2018+induction+ceremony.
Olympic Heights National Honor Society adviser Ms. Vanessa Koher (left) with NHS officers at the 2018 induction ceremony.

Olympic Heights National Honor Society adviser Ms. Vanessa Koher (left) with NHS officers at the 2018 induction ceremony.

Olympic Heights National Honor Society adviser Ms. Vanessa Koher (left) with NHS officers at the 2018 induction ceremony.

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The Olympic Heights National Honor Society (NHS)  inducted new members into its exclusive organization in a ceremony held on Monday, March 12. Select sophomores and juniors were inducted based on of four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The class of 2020, which contains more than 500 students, was represented with 97 inducted sophomores. Eighteen juniors were also chosen for induction for the graduating class of 2019, illustrating how selective the organization truly is.

According to NHS adviserr Ms. Vanessa Koher, the standards for membership have been raised from a required 3.75 HPA needed last year to a 3.8. If invitees were interested, they had to complete an application that asked them about their community involvement. Finally, the faculty affirmed students who met the four pillars of NHS.

So what exactly is the National Honor Society? The National Honor Society claims that they are “the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students.” They acknowledge that being admitted is more than just an honor roll, and that they only recognize students who display excellence in all four of the major areas. Eligibility requirements vary at each school, but generally only students in grades 10-12 who have very strong grades are accepted. Essentially, NHS, which was actually created in 1921, is a prestigious society designed to improve student performance and recognize students who exceed boundaries delineated by the average teen.

To provide further elaboration, NHS is a renowned society complete with scholarships, leadership conferences, and college admission and planning services, including webinars, virtual events, and an NHS-customized scholarship search tool. NHS is also not a recently established organization as it was founded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in 1921, making it almost one hundred years old. Over the decades, celebrities and other famous individuals such as Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, and Cindy Crawford joined this elite society.

Now it was time for OH students to make history. Monday’s ceremony was attended by current Oh principal Dave Clark and current NHS officers surrounding a yellow table covered with torches in the center of OH’s auditorium stage. The ceremony commenced with the two presidents of NHS giving a short introduction, and then Clark extended warm wishes for everyone in the theater and challenged students to work even harder and overcome new obstacles.

Clark also extended thanks to all the parents in the room for being so supportive of their children. After Clark’s remarks, the NHS graduating officers led the traditional torch lighting ceremony. They discussed the four pillars of NHS, including scholarship, leadership, service, and character, and the young scholars enlightened listeners on the importance of those criteria.

Once the officers were finished speaking, all 115 inductees stood up and took the National Honor Society pledge, making them official members of the Gold Chapter of NHS. Each of the new NHS members walked across the stage, shook hands with Clark, and were given a certificate of acceptance. Then, Koher gave a heartwarming speech to all and specifically addressed the active NHS officers on the stage. In a surprise twist, she gave all the officers their yellow graduation cords. After the ceremony, all students and parents were invited to have refreshments, including cake and beverages.

Inductees must be aware that meetings for NHS are once a month, and that members are encouraged to remain active members over time. To stay in NHS, Koher explains that “students must complete volunteering activities, pay dues, and attend at least three meetings to remain active members and wear the cord for graduation.”

As for eliminating irresponsible members, Koher says, “Since this is only my second year as club sponsor, I luckily haven’t had to formally dismiss a member, but I would imagine a student would have to make a major grievance for that to happen.” To elucidate, some students accept membership but do not fulfill the requirements to stay active, which include completing 25 hours of community service, paying dues, and attending meetings. Members who do not meet those requirments will not wear a cord on graduation day and are considered inactive members of NHS.

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OH National Honor Society Inducts 115 New Members