How Do the National Honor Society Values Apply to School Boards?

Response from “Ask Former Trustees – Clear Creek ISD Chapter”: Joanna Baleson, Ken Baliker, Jennifer Broddle, Bob Davee, Glenn Freedman, Ann Hammond, Charlie Pond, Page Rander, Dee Scott, Win Weber

The NHS is an honorary organization, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, that recognizes outstanding high school student achievement and “elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.” (NHS)

The NHS’ everyday values mirror the everyday values and behaviors one would expect from each school board member. One might say that one way to assess a board member or a school board candidate is to apply the NHS standards. The values are:

  • Everyday Scholarship is a commitment to learning and growing on an educational path. It means making the most of the educational opportunities provided and seeking out learning, not only in school or similar settings, but also personally. Everyday Scholarship doesn’t require a minimum GPA—but it does require effort. More importantly, it stems from a desire to contribute to this world in a positive way by building on one’s own knowledge, skills, and talent through different experiences.

 

  • Everyday Service is seeking out and engaging in meaningful service. It calls for a service mindset, the desire to seek opportunities to help others as well as acts of service. As Honor Society students, teens and young adults at local chapters are required to meet minimum service participation requirements. Although hours are important, everyday service is seeing a need and fulfilling it voluntarily. Sometimes it’s driven by a passion for a specific cause or people in need. Other times, it’s driven by personal or family need, like taking care of siblings or other family members, or maybe even working part-time to help with family finances.

 

  • Everyday Leadership builds on Everyday Service. Service and leadership oftentimes look very similar. Everyday Leadership is carrying oneself with dignity and taking ownership and responsibility for one’s own actions and participation. Being a public speaker, playing quarterback, or having an official title is not required for Everyday Leadership. Everyday Leadership means being an agent—someone who takes action and responsibility—of your own pathway.

 

  • Everyday Character is valuing diverse cultures and building relationships that reflect love of self but also concern for others. There are endless attributes to good character: perseverance, respect, integrity, honesty, sacrifice—the list goes on. Good and noble character is a high calling. Often, we don’t “see” character unless there is a public display of self-sacrifice, or more frequently, a very public mistake. Everyday character is about a personal commitment to ethical and compassionate decision making that affects oneself and others. It is not about praiseworthy or blameworthy behavior. (Adapted from: https://www.nhs.us/parents/student-membership/everyday-pillars-of-nhs/ )

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