National Honor Society

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character.  These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in activities of the NHS. NHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. Territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

The Four Pillars of NHS

  1. Scholarship : Membership eligibility is available to the 20 percent of the senior class as ranked by GPA.  These students are then considered on the basis of service, leadership and character. New members are inducted at the end of their junior year.
  2. Leadership : Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, promoters of school activities, idea-contributors, dependable and persons who exemplify positive attitudes about life. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.  Further, NHS members are expected to demonstrate leadership in class.
  3. Character : The NHS handbook states, "Any member who deliberately violates a school (code, regulation, rule) or civil law or acts in a manner unbecomning as a member of National Honor Society should be dismissed. For flagrant violations, the member does not necessarily have to be warned. Sponsors and their advisers will review the discipline and attendance records.”
  4. Service : This quality is defined through the voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation and with a positive, courteous and enthusiastic spirit.

NHS Membership Requirements at H-F High School

  • At all times members of H-F High School are expected to be exemplary models of the four pillars of the NHS organization.  They are also expected to participate in undertakings of the H-F chapter.  The following constitute the basic requirements for all members.  Failure to comply is grounds for removal.
  • Communication: Members will provide the organization with contact information. Members should understand that it is their responsibility to be certain that contact information, particularly their e-mail address, is correct.  Should a student feel they are not receiving communication, they should immediately rectify the situation with a sponsor or officer (where appropriate).  The primary means of communicating with members is e-mail.  It is the member’s responsibility to regularly check and read all e-mail, responding as necessary.  
  • Service: All HFNHS members must complete a mandatory 25 hours of service work.  Specific requirements for service are:
  • A minimum 10 out of the 25 service hours must be completed for H-F High School, commonly referred to as “in-school” hours.  When service opportunities are announced, their in-school or outside-school status will be identified.  Members should not assume hours are in-school unless directly informed of such, in writing, by a sponsor.  Note: e-mail announcement of service as in-school shall meet this requirement.
  • Members may seek out and create their own service opportunities within the community.  In order for these to qualify as part of the membership service requirement, the student must first obtain a sponsor’s signature on the service log.  They should then proceed to have the service work verified, following its completion, by the adult responsible.
  • All service must be documented on service logs.  Students are asked to submit their logs at each monthly meeting.  Students should always get a service log signed.  Sign-in sheets located at a service event will not satisfy this requirement, as we do not maintain these records.  Only the signed service log is acceptable documentation.
  • The deadline for graduating seniors to complete and submit their hours is the April NHS meeting.  The deadline for juniors returning the following year is the Friday before Memorial Day.
  • Grades: It is expected that all NHS members excel in their coursework.  Members who are struggling in classes and repeatedly receive poor quarter and semester grades will be placed on probation, and possibly removed in the future.  All members must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Dues:  Members are asked to pay annual dues of $60 in order to cover the organizational costs of their membership.
  • General Participation: Members are expected to attend all meetings and regularly work toward meeting their service obligations.  Meeting times are provided both before 1st period and at the end of the school day to accommodate the members’ schedules.  Generally, members will not be excused from meetings except in the most demanding circumstances, which will require documentation.  Practice/other activities, transportation issues, and the like will not, in most cases, constitute and excused absence from meetings.  Required travel, such as a state tournament, is acceptable, but the student must inform the sponsor ahead of time.
  • Probation and Removal
  • Probation: Members may be placed on probation in an attempt of correcting issues interfering with adequate participation and compliance.  Probation is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the sponsor.
  • Removal: Members may be removed at any time for failure to comply with the requirements of membership or violation of the Activity Code of Conduct.  Removal will often be preceded by probationary period although that is not required.  
  • The following are grounds for automatic dismissal:
  • Failure to submit the Activity Code of Conduct form by its due date. Technically, membership does not begin until the Code of Conduct is submitted. Students will receive one letter if this is not turned in.  If the Code of Conduct is not submitted following the letter, it will be assumed the student does not wish to remain in NHS.
  • Unexcused absence from meetings.  Meeting dates are provided in May of the previous school year and are available from that point forward.  Posting of meeting dates constitutes warning.  Students do not receive a probationary period for missed meetings.  Generally, meetings are clarified in writing in May of the previous school year, are posted on the sponsors teacher web page, the activity web page, on a bulletin board in the econ wing of north building, in the sponsor’s classroom, and communicated verbally at the new members meeting.
  • Failure to maintain a GPA of 3.0.  Students will be placed on probation and will be expected to maintain a minimum of 3.0 or better on a quarter and semester basis from that point forward.
  • Failure to complete and appropriately document service.
  • In all cases, of pending removal, the student will be mailed a letter stating such pending action. The student will have a period of at least 1 week to address any issues with the sponsor. If the student does not contact the sponsor (email or face-to-face), they will be removed. All information available will be considered by the faculty council in making a final determination.
  • Responsibility:  Participation and membership is the responsibility of each individual that joins NHS.  It is expected that members at all times take full responsibility and ownership of their participation.  The member should attempt to resolve all problems and issues that may arise by first contacting the sponsor.  As young adults, NHS members should recognize the inappropriateness of communicating via surrogates such as other members, family members, etc.  In some cases these may become necessary, but as a general rule the students should make the attempt to address problems and solve them by their own accord.  Finally, it is asked that students work diligently to foresee and address issues as early and quickly as possible.  Procrastination typically complicates problems.
  • Graduation: Members meeting all requirements will be recognized with gold chords to be worn with their cap and gown at graduation.  These will be distributed at the spring induction ceremony 


How do I get more information?

Contact club sponsor: Dave Kush, 708-799-3000, ext. 5585