National Honor Society (NHS)
The purpose of West High’s National Honor Society is to recognize academic achievement while developing characteristics essential to citizens living in a democracy. In addition to a student’s academic record of 3.6 grade point average (beginning in the 2024-25 academic year), these qualities include leadership skills, strong character and commitment to public service. In the spring of each year new members are added at a celebratory Ceremony of Induction. All NHS members are expected to follow the NHS honor code, the Madison Metropolitan School District Behavior Education Plan and MMSD Athletic Code. Membership in the National Honor Society is NOT AUTOMATIC and is not determined by 3.5 GPA alone.
NHS Advisor: TBA
NHS Selection Committee Chair: TBA
NHS Selection Committee:TBA,Emily Miller, Andrew Norderhaug,Lindsey Tyser and TBA.
There are several steps in the selection process, which is conducted after the end of first semester of the junior year.
STEP #1 Service and Activity Records
West High’s NHS Chapter emphasizes service. One of the requirements for joining NHS is the completion of at least 60 hours of service after the student’s 8th grade year. . No more than half of the hours can be in any one project. Students should begin to accumulate service records after 8th grade. SERVICE is defined as volunteer work on behalf of community, society or the planet, for which a student does not receive compensation. It CANNOT be an activity for which a student receives pay or a grade, part of a class or club requirement, hobby, of trivial impact (ie. cat sitting), a family responsibility (mowing the lawn) or questionable service (watering a neighbors' yards) that doesn't fundamentally help to make society a better place. Membership in a club or on a team, belonging to a scout troop, participation in artistic performances, or work on school projects are NOT considered service. Local volunteer opportunities are plentiful to get students ready for NHS.
Service forms are available from the West High webpage and should be completed for each service activity.
STEP #2 Academic Achievement and Self-Nomination
Juniors who have been at West for at least one year, who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher (3.6GPA beginning 2024-25) at the end of five semesters of high school work and have no unresolved behavioral issues or negative behavior record will receive a letter notifying them of their eligibility. A qualifying student interested in NHS will submit an application consisting of two short essays addressing the topic of character and leadership and at least two service forms documenting the 60 hours of service. The deadline for submitting completed applications as stated in the letter from the NHS Faculty Committee MUST be adhered to. This will typically be around the end of March. LATE MATERIALS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
STEP #3 Final Selection
Students interested in applying for membership in NHS must demonstrate good character and leadership by complying with school regulations and the school honor code. Any documentation of a violation of school rules, particularly a suspension, may become a factor in a student’s application. West High Faculty will have the opportunity to review the list of students with the appropriate GPA and will provide feedback to the NHS Selection Committee. The Committee will review all materials submitted by students seeking admission to NHS and feedback from the West High School staff. The NHS Faculty Committee will then make the decision on membership and notify all students in writing. Anyone who has questions about the decision should contact the West High School Principal’s office.
STEP #4 Final Acceptance
Once accepted into NHS, members will receive letters of acceptance in the first weeks of April and will be honored at the Induction Ceremony, which is required to attend. Members must continue to adhere to the written NHS Code of Conduct, maintain a 3.5+ GPA, be responsible for the service hours required during their senior year and commit to NHS club activities.
History of NHS
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, the NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. Since 1921 those four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning: "To create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools." (from the NHS Constitution) With more than 1,000 chapters by 1930, NHS quickly developed into one of the country's leading educational groups. Today, it is estimated that over one million students participate in activities of the NHS and its middle level counterpart, the National Junior honor Society (NJSH). For more information, such as scholarships for members, visit www.nhs.us