The NHS inductees at the 2019-20 induction ceremony. Photo contributed by Becky Konz.
The NHS inductees at the 2019-20 induction ceremony. Photo contributed by Becky Konz.

National Honor Society Sees Drastic Changes

March 28, 2021

As the National Honor Society starts up again this spring with the upcoming induction ceremony of new members and new community service opportunities, the organization sees many changes this year, including new leaders and modified requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the big changes comes as former chapter advisor, Mr. Eli Johnson, steps down to focus more on his growing family. Johnson became the chapter advisor in 2015 when “the position opened and [he] saw it as a way to get involved with an extra-curricular.” 

Throughout his six years as the chapter advisor, Johnson implemented some changes and traditions that continue to take place after he’s stepped down. One change he made in his second year was the anonymous application rubric. Johnson says this was essential to “ensure a fair and balanced review of applications.” 

A tradition that Johnson implemented was having students recognize an influential educator at the induction ceremony. Johnson had participated in this tradition when he was a student at Middletown High School and a member of their National Honor Society.

Current senior Laney Konz hugs her influential educator, Mrs. Stephanie Johnson. Photo provided by Becky Konz.

Senior and National Honor Society member, Jacob Schenck, says that his favorite memory from the National Honor Society was choosing and recognizing his influential educator. Schenck says, “I was so glad to see my teacher at the induction ceremony and how my relationship with my teacher was influenced because of [my recognition of them].” 

As Johnson steps down as the chapter advisor, he passes on these traditions to the new leaders, Mrs. Centers and Mrs. Conley. Johnson says that he is “thankful for the time that [he] got to highlight some of Edgewood’s best through NHS,” and that Centers and Conley “are both stellar leaders who are great with details.” He encourages them to work hard on the induction ceremony because it “is worth it when you see the pride on the students and families faces, as well as the smiles on the faces of the influential educators who come to support their students.” Conley is excited to start and is looking forward to “having the opportunity to work with these students.”

Another change this year stems from the effects of COVID-19 on community service opportunities and large gatherings. Because of COVID-19, Schenck says, “It has lessened the available opportunities to give back to the community and get involved.” Conley says, “The requirement for service hours has been reduced due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on service opportunities.” In the years prior to the coronavirus, NHS members were required to get 30 hours of community service. This year, only 15 hours of community service will be required.

The induction ceremony will be modified this year because of COVID-19 as well. The induction ceremony is tentatively scheduled for April 29, significantly later in the school year than previous years, and will likely require masks to be worn and social distancing guidelines to be observed. The later start to NHS this year was due to Conley and Centers taking over after the start of the school year, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Regardless of how COVID-19 will impact the induction ceremony and the community service opportunities in the near future, the current NHS members and new advisors are ready to welcome the 22 inductees that will be honored at the ceremony.

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