National Honor Society
Westminster's National Honor Society (NHS) chapter is called the John Knox Chapter, named after the great reformer of the faith. The NHS is more than an honor roll. Grades are not the only factor considered for membership, but grades are the threshold which triggers the student's consideration for membership. Information on how the membership selection process works is provided below. Not everyone who makes application to NHS is accepted. This is not meant to be a poor reflection on any student or family. Instead, it is a positive reflection on the high standards for membership in NHS.
Selection is based upon the four principles behind National Honor Society. These principles are Scholarship (grades), Leadership, Service, and Character. While the last three principles are admittedly somewhat subjective, we try to establish some benchmarks which will assist you in helping your student represent himself or herself well should they make application to the NHS.
Being inducted into the National Honor Society is a three-part process. A student's grade point average must first be considered. Students must have a 3.4 GPA or better to be qualified for membership. First, students who have the appropriate GPA are invited to fill out an informational questionnaire. In this form, we seek to discover information that would show levels of leadership and service which would establish evidence that your student does in fact meet standards for admission to NHS. It is important for you to help your student list all school, church and community activities, but the form should be filled out by the student. The beginning point for measuring these activities is the start of the freshman year. Obviously, the older your student is, the more chances he or she has had to satisfy this requirement. Sophomores are often unable to satisfy this requirement but easily do so as juniors.
Next, we send out a narrative form, together with a short numerical evaluation, to all of the teachers in our upper school. These are returned and are used as an additional character evaluation tool. Leadership and character in and out of the classroom are considered. This includes exemplifying positive attitudes and desirable qualities of behavior, inspiring positive behavior in others, demonstrating academic initiative, being dependable, being punctual, and observing rules (including dress code) and instructions. Finally, the council reviews the information forms and faculty evaluations. Normally, students who achieve at certain levels in each of the categories, barring additional information or objection, are admitted into NHS. If a student has a good record of service and leadership but has committed a flagrant violation of the law or violation of school rules, etc., then the council would further consider the effect of such on membership standards.
Those students who do not have a significant amount of experience or involvement in each category are further reviewed as well. Perhaps good cause can be shown why the amount of experience or involvement does not reflect the achievement levels of the students. The council, as in all cases, has the final decision.
If you still have any questions, please contact our chapter advisor, Gwen Seuell by calling the school office or emailing her at Gwen.Seuell@wca-hsv.org. Mrs. Seuell is not a voting member of the selection committee and can never discuss the results.