CHS National Honor Society

Established in 1921, the National Honor Society (NHS) is the oldest and most respected student recognition organization in the United States. Membership in NHS distinguishes students who have committed themselves to the pursuit of academic excellence, community improvement, and personal development.

NHS is primarily a service organization, so service is one of the most important criteria for selection.  Students who wish to be selected for membership must already be involved in service activities through other organizations either at school or elsewhere in the community.  According to the NHS Handbook, a 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 requested service to the school
  • Does committee and staff work without complaint.
  • Participates in some activity outside of school (i.e., Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, religious groups, volunteer services for the poor, elderly, or disadvantaged)
  • Mentors persons in the community or students at other schools
  • Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and other students

On the Student Information Form, students are asked to list all service activities in which they have participated since beginning 9th grade AND the number of hours they spent doing each activity.  Students may include activities completed individually or through other organizations such as those listed above.  Students may NOT include activities that were required for a class (such as graduation project) or activities for which they were compensated (paid) in any way.

Please note that all service activities must be verified with the signature of the supervising adult.  Parents may only verify those activities for which they were the ONLY adult present.

The NHS Faculty Council understands that not all students are able to hold leadership positions (such as being an officer in a club), due to the limited number of available positions, so we have a very broad definition of leadership.  In order to meet leadership requirements, students must show evidence that they REGULARLY and CONSISTENLY demonstrate leadership skills, such as:

  • Resourcefulness
  • Organization
  • Positive Attitude
  • Reliability
  • Dependability
  • Efficiency
  • Ability to contribute constructive ideas
  • Ability to delegate responsibilities to others
  • Ability to inspire positive behavior in others
  • Ability to successfully hold school offices or other positions of responsibility
  • A leader in the classroom, at work, or in other school or community activities

Students do not have to show evidence of ALL of these skills - they just have to show leadership potential by demonstrating that they have SOME of these. 

On the student information form, students are asked to describe specific situations in which they regularly and consistently demonstrate these specific skills.  These could include activities from church, other school groups, scouts, or even work.  Students can include offices they hold in other organizations (such as being a club officer or a representative on a church youth council), but it isn't necessary for a student to hold an office in order to demonstrate some leadership skills.  The most important thing is that they REGULARLY and CONSISTENTLY demonstrate these skills - it can't be just an isolated incident, but something they have done many times.

Please note that all leadership activities must be verified with the signature of the supervising adult.  Parents may only verify those activities for which they were the ONLY adult present.

The NHS Handbook defines a student of character as one who

  • Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously
  • Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (e.g., cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability)
  • Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc.
  • Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability
  • Regularly shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others
  • Observes instructions and rules, is punctual, and faithful both inside and outside the classroom
  • Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing an unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others
  • Actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment.

In order to evaluate a student's character, the Faculty Council reviews school discipline records, student essays, and three (3) teacher recommendations submitted with the student information form.

School discipline records are reviewed for all infractions of school rules.  Minor discipline issues will not automatically prevent a student from being selected, but they will be factored into the Faculty Council's decision.

The student essay is a required part of the student information form.  Students are given a list of character traits and are asked to write approximately 500 words discussing three traits they feel they have mastered and one which they need to improve.

Teachers are requested to complete recommendations for students interested in joining NHS.  The teachers are selected from a list of classroom teachers who have taught a student for an entire semester, preferably within the past year (2 semesters).  Teacher recommendations are only completed by teachers in academic areas, and no member of the Faculty Council is allowed to complete a recommendation.  Students are allowed to request that specific teachers complete their recommendations.

In order to be eligible for NHS selection at Clayton High, a student must have a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.800.  Students who meet this requirement are invited to complete a student information form which allows the Faculty Council to evaluate their performance in the other three areas. 

Please note:

  • Receiving an invitation does not guarantee selection!
  • Completing a student information form does not guarantee selection!
  • Students must demonstrate excellence in all four (4) criteria in order to be selected!

For more information on National Honor Society, please click here.

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