Words: Nicholas Klein
National honor societies have been a major aspect of extracurricular activities for decades now. At Centennial High School, there are nine of these, ranging from core subjects to fine arts to world language. Each honor society is a symbol of competence and perseverance in that field of study and is often a factor in setting students above others when applying for colleges. They are involved throughout the year, and meet at least once every quarter. Each honor society is sponsored by one or more teachers and is held after school.
The general goal of these societies is to help the school community and expand on the knowledge of the students. They explore the subjects they focus on to a deeper level and work to help students attain their highest possible level of achievement. Many of these societies also perform school community tasks, such as helping teachers get organized and complete tasks and tutoring students struggling in the area.
Each NHS has specific requirements to join, and normally only allow sophomores and above to apply. A form must be filled out, answering questions such as what your GPA is, classes you have taken in that subject, and why you are interested in further pursuing knowledge of that subject. Though these societies are difficult to get into, teachers in all schools, and even some employers, take participation in them into consideration. This boosts the chance to get into harder classes, top-tier colleges, and even better jobs.
“We focus on four main pillars,” says Mrs. Bagley, co-advisor of the National Honor Society (NHS). “We focus on leadership, character, service, and scholarship.” Members of the National Honor Society must complete a certain number of service projects each year, and they also help to organize and carry out large events. The NHS meets once per quarter, and is one of the largest honors societies held at CHS.
There are other honors societies in addition to the NHS. The National Art Honor Society (NAHS) is advised by Nan Collins, Mark Hanssen, and Jo Tulkoff. The NAHS meets every Thursday after school, and focuses on the artistic talents of the students. Members help set up props and gear for theatre, assist in creating posters for other clubs, helping teachers with bulletin boards, and many other artistically focused activities.
The National Math Honor Society (NMHS) is another popular honor society, and it is sponsored by Elaine Whalen. The main goal of the NMHS is to tutor students that are struggling in the field. The society meets on Thursdays once every month, and requires its members to have completed Algebra 2. Even though there are regularly scheduled meetings, the main focus is on helping students in need.
There are also several World Language Honors Societies (WLHS) held at CHS. The various societies recognize the achievement of students in the area of world language. There are WLHS for languages such as French, Spanish, Chinese, and German, and the WLHS is sponsored by Shanna Grimes and Danielle Callender.
Although many of the honor societies are focused mainly on the core subjects, there are honors societies for almost every field. There are societies for English, history, science, technology, and even music. If you are proficient in the area and are devoted to learning more about it, as well as teaching others that are struggling in the area, don’t be shy. Ask the sponsors what is necessary. Though it may seem as though it is a lot of work (and it is), it will pay off in the end. The national honor societies offered at Centennial will help with your future, and will definitely make it worth the time and effort.
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