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 recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.
Today, 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 challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.V
In the spring each year, juniors whose GPA is 3.5 or higher are invited to apply for the East High Chapter of the NHS. The application is rigorous and requires candidates to:
complete an academic and activities resume,
provide proof of community service, and
get recommendations from teachers or other adults to verify character and leadership qualities.
Once the applications are submitted, each candidate is scored by the faculty committee, based on a rubric (provided to candidates with the application). Those that meet or exceed the minimum score set by the committee are invited to become members.
One unique tradition at East High is “The Tapping,” which is the members are informed that they have been selected to be on the NHS. Current senior NHS members walk silently around the building in single-file lines. They go into the classrooms of the new members and “tap” them to join the line. The new member(s) tapped in one classroom stay with the line, and join the parade of students walking to tap members from each class. By the end, all new members have been gathered and are in line with the current members. The entire group comes back to the media center, and the junior members are greeted with notes of congratulations, treats, and information about the upcoming ceremony.
East High holds an Induction Ceremony, run by current members, to formally induct the new members. New members are asked to pledge to do their best to exhibit the four pillars of National Honor Society: Service, Character, Leadership, and Scholarship. Families and friends are present to help celebrate this momentous accomplishment for students.
Annually, students participate in volunteer and service activities. At East High, NHS members help with Siouxland Humane Society fundraisers, assist with elementary school family fun nights, volunteer at the Crittenton Center, and much more. Members are also required to complete fifteen individual community service hours in the community.