The National Honor Society is a recognition program for outstanding high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the United States. The program was established in 1921, and since its creation, it has gained over one million members nationwide. The NHS constitution states that the society was formed to “create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.”
Mountain View High School’s administration has been keen on creating a NHS branch since Los Altos High School created its own chapter a few years ago. The NHS was brought to MVHS during second semester of the 2011-2012 school year, and counselor Marti McGuirk was appointed head of the organization. The new club advertised heavily to students during second semester last year in order to garner more attention from potential members. McGuirk calls the NHS “an exciting way to empower leaders on campus.”
The club is built upon what McGuirk calls the “Four Pillars of the National Honor Society”: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Club president and senior Nick Wang says that members must perform community service activities with “at least 4 hours of service each month” and club members “meet once a month [to]discuss and plan future community service projects.”
So far, the club has created an after-school Academic Support group, in which NHS members tutor MVHS students who are struggling with their coursework. In addition, NHS’s Fall Service Project is to pass out cards to children at El Camino Hospital and bring holiday cheer to rest homes. More community service projects involving MVHS are being planned for later this year. Senior Teddy Heidmann says that he’s gotten to know a lot of “really smart people” through his involvement with NHS. He recommends that students apply if not only for the leadership experience, then for McGuirk’s “awesome homemade desserts.”
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have attended Mountain View High School for at least one semester are eligible to apply. In addition, applicants must have a total non-weighted GPA of at least 3.5 and demonstrate outstanding service, leadership, and character on campus. Interested students are evaluated by a group of teachers called the Faculty Council; the Faculty Council decides whether or not each applicant exhibits the qualities of a person belonging in NHS.
Even though the application deadline for the 2012-2013 school year has already passed, students are encouraged to apply next year. Wang says, “I believe that NHS will truly benefit the community with all of its service projects. Aside from getting to know a lot of people with similar interests, students can gain a passion for community service work, and a compassion for [the]less fortunate.”