Pillars of NHS





For many students, selection as a member of the National Honor Society is the pinnacle of their achievements in school. This honor, recognized throughout the nation, is both the public recognition of accomplishment and the private commitment to continued excellence on the part of the new member.

Selection to NHS is a privilege, not a right. Membership is granted only to those students selected by the NHS Board in each school. Students are selected according the following criteria:



The leadership criterion is considered highly important for membership selection. Leadership roles in both the school and community may be considered, provided they can be verified.

The student who exercises leadership:

  • is resourceful in identifying new problems, applying new principles, and making suggestions;
  • demonstrates initiative in promoting school activities;
  • exercises influence on peers in upholding school ideals;
  • contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school;
  • is able to delegate responsibilities;
  • inspires positive behavior in others;
  • demonstrates academic initiative;
  • successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility; conducts business effectively and efficiently; demonstrates reliability;
  • is a leader in the classroom, at work and in school or community activities;
  • is thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted;
  • is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude.


Leadership positions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • positive role model in the classroom (does not talk out inappropriately, completes work regularly and responsibly, etc.),  or in group settings, such as Boy/Girl Scouts, religious education classroom, teams, etc.
  • teacher/teacher’s assistant (religious setting, afterschool program, dance, etc.)
  • lead position in music, band, chorus, dance, drama, etc.
  • head of a committee, either an elected or self-initiated position
  • captainship:  junior varsity or varsity sport, Relay for Life, etc.
  • elected office:  president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, representative
  • Eagle Scout; Gold Award for Girl Scouts
  • babysitting with primary responsibility for younger children
  • supervisor at job (lifeguard, assistant supervisor, shift supervisor, etc.)
  • peer role model who inspires positive behavior in other students


Service is generally considered to be those actions which are done for or on behalf of others (outside the immediate family) without any direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service.  These hours must be completed during high school, ninth through eleventh grades, and must be completed before the information form is submitted.  Service is the backbone of the NHS.  It is desired that students find an organization whose mission they support and contribute their time serving within that organization.  

 The 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;
  • is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class and inter-scholastic competition;
  • does committee and staff work without complaint;
  • participates in some activity outside of school, for example, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, volunteer services for the elderly, poor or disadvantaged;
  • mentors persons in the community or students at other schools;
  • shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers and students.



The NHS Board is mandated to consider positive as well as negative aspects of character.

A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities of National Honor Society:  respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship, as well the additional NHS Core Values of integrity, involvement, and achievement.

In addition, it can also be said that the student of character:

  • takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously;
  • consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability);
  • upholds principles of morality and ethics;
  • follows school rules and civic laws;
  • 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;
  • has powers of concentration, self-discipline, and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies;
  • manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others;
  • actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment.