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Veteran Contributor

National Honor Society..NHS

Well this year my dd is a jr. in school and was able to apply for this, I don't know all the details about how a student gets in or what they do afterwards.  There must have been about 20-30 kids at the school who qualified to apply for it, dd was one.  She filled out the app., list volunteer work, jobs, acheiments for and out of hs...etc.   Well to make it short here she got in (yeah) there was 10 of them.  Her grades are all over the board right now A-D...so its not a grade thing, but they are usually A + B's....well 2 girl's 1 being probably the top student in the class and an over achiever in everything she does did not make it...Parents are on school board, volunteer time for school functions, and 1 even a substitute teaches...They were upset..resigned their volunteer positions....might even home school their kids next year.  One already came in with reg. papers for another school.  I think one of the girls, the 1 that does really well, and is a very sweet girl and is a bf to my dd is embarrassed now of her parents.  The kids are over it now but not the parents.  

 

Truly what is this showing their kids...good to (stand up for yourself) throw a fit when not choosen..or should they have made a good lesson out of it?

 

S.

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12 Replies
Advisor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

I never heard of anyone having to "apply" for NHS.  Must be some reason that school does that, or the society's policies may have changed since 1969. 

We were eligible as tenth graders, and the society "tapped" us at a school assembly.  Of course, you knew if your grades were good enough, but the rest of the requirements were sort of nebulous.  I guess I should say they were more subjective, where a GPA is a totally objectiv number. 

 This supposedly left some room for them to pass by a kid who was brilliant but ill-behaved, for instance.  The idea was to elect balanced people, I thought.  It should not be a popularity contest, though. 

You are right about it not being all grades, since character is also typically a requirement.  I would wonder how the selection process advances once applications are submitted. 

As always, I feel sorry for he child.  She would not want to be in the group now, even if they did admit to a mistake in overlooking her.  Her parents had every right to ask why she was not included...it sounds like she woud be an asset to the organization, and a good example for others to follow. 

Now, she will eventually feel like the "reason" her family's obviously important relationship with school is forever altered.  NHS is a nice line to put on your college applications but that is about it, honestly.  It is one of those things that in the general context of my life, I feel did not change me one way or another, and I was president of the group my senior year.  The kid would have been fine - maybe hurt feelings for a day or so -  if they'd just said, "Maybe next year...."

What lesson is there to learn here? 

No matter how much you give of yourself to a group, they may not appreciate it, and may not be fair to you or your children.  We've been there and done that, haven't we?  It is a part of life - not the prettiest one - but, coping with such slights on a small scale, with things that don't really matter all that much, is good rehearsal for dealing with disappointment when something does. 

People can be petty, and you can either rise above it with your head held high, or let them drag you down to their level...the choice is yours.  I think this family is choosing to overreact. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

Congrats to your daughter! The application process does sound a little strange, though ... maybe they've changed the way they do things, but I was just told in high school that I was a semi-finalist, and the 3 or 4 out of my class that were National Merit Scholars were just informed of that at the same time. I don't know who made the recommendations or what, but I'm sure it was a combination of grades and test scores. My grades in high school weren't outstanding, but I had really high test scores. I know a few of my friends with better GPAs weren't too thrilled that I was a semi-finalist and they weren't, but we figured it was because of the test scores and it wasn't an issue. Even being a semi-finalist helped in my college application process, I think, and on my resume for those first few jobs. Good for her, and it's too bad the other kids' parents are so upset ... but I would probably be pretty unhappy if I were in their shoes too. Not enough to threaten to switch schools, though! Good grief!

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Senior Contributor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

Congratulations to your daughter.  she is very active in her activities.  I am not a fan of NHS.  My daughter was 5th in her class of 63.  She was active in FFA and was not chosen for NHS.  I think there needs to be a point system in place.  i feel that ours is a popularity contest and the more sports and drama your are in make you more eligible.  Our school is so sports and drama oriented it is sick.  We are an agriculture community and obviously ag doesn't mean much to them.  THey have a hallway in their new school right by the gym that is lined with students pictures that have exceled in drama and sports, but do you think they could put up pictures of students that excelled in Agriculture class such as recieved their Iowa Farmer Degree or American Farmer Degree or got district awards...no.  Proof.

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Senior Contributor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

NHS wasn't really active in our school. Was in it, but in name only. Maybe the membership was mostly based on GPA than other activities here. By the senior year, the top 15% was a member.

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Senior Contributor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

Back in the 70's it seemed like if you were an A or B+ student, and not an "attitude"  problem you got into the NHS.   It was an organization in name only.

 

I know that my DD was given an application to fill out.    And I think it had an essay to do too.   Of course she got in.  She was president Sr. Year.   And I think they had a volunteer program and something they gave the money to.   I'm thinking there was a committee of teachers, administration and counselor that did the choosing.   Small town politic would dictate that you didn't rock the boat much.   But,  still allow school personel to say, "we are sick of your attitude and we want it to stop".

 

Since it had an application to fill out and an essay my DS  never bothered.  

 

Nice to put on an application but made no difference in my life.  

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Re: National Honor Society..NHS

The high school I attended was very competetive and valued academics.  I don't recall any application process just a selection committee of teachers and administrators.  It could not have been too political because I was selected and I sure wasn't one of the "in-crowd". 

 

I don't remember any of my kids mentioning it when they were in high school but their school was way more competetive than mine.  They were all honor roll students throughout high school but none were in the top ten percent of their class.  Rarely did a kid not attend and complete college coming out of that high school. 

 

The only time I recall mentioning it in 35 years since I graduated was on my college applications and just now on this post! 

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Advisor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

Your post brings forward a couple of thoughts:

A lot of how well a kid does in high school comparatively depends upon how demanding the school's programming is, and the standards there in general.  Even a super student from a so-so achool will have harder adjustments to make in college, than a more middle-accomplishing one from a tough prep program. 

The "every-kid-wins- a-trophy" madness has probably resulted in more hollow "achievement" than ever now.  When we earned an honor in school it was an honor, but as you say, but as crucial as it seemed at the time, you hardly remember it today. 

We can all look back at a lifeitme of chairing this club or receiving that certificate of accomplishment.  If you sat down to write a new resume' today, what would be important to include, and what would you feel you might just as well not mention? 

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Re: National Honor Society..NHS

I have a relatively new staff member who just seems to need constant positive feedback.  She is fairly young, bright and a hard worker.  But she constantly needs affirmation that she is doing a good job.  Constantly seeking attention for what I consider routine aspects of the job. 

 

After months of frustration on my part I finally told her that she might get one or two compliments from me a month in the course of performing her job.  But when she gets one she will know it is sincere, that it was earned fair and square and that it comes with respect and appreciation for a job well done!  No "everyone-gets-a-trophy" in my management style. 

 

She is beginning to adapt and I notice that positive feedback seems to mean more to her rather than just another entitlement. 

 

Kids know when it is fake.  We are doing them a grave disservice when we don't reconize outstanding achievement and correct mediocrity.  Real life is not that way.  (Well one could argue that our county is certainly going that way.....very quickly) to the detriment of our country and society.

 

In some places the world of work and college is still competitive and the gap between the high achievers and the rest of the country is widening.  Unless we reverse course and try to bring the bottom up instead of dumbing everyone down we will see more and more class warfare. 

 

I believe we are sinking into a society of mediocrity and entitlement.  All you have to do is look to China and India and Japan to see where we have gone wrong in the total leveling of the playing field.  Before long we won't even be invited to the game!

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Senior Contributor

Re: National Honor Society..NHS

Kids like challenges. It is as much a compliment to keep giving harder and harder schooling as it is to give an award. Boredom is the child's worst enemy. I always liked new levels to learn, but when I felt held back because the rest of the students didn't understand, it was easy to lose interest.

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