National Honor Society

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The National Honor Society, or NHS, is a nationwide organization in the United States and consists of many chapters in high schools. Selection is based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The NHS requires some sort of service to the community, school, or other organizations. The projects help students meet the required service hour total monthly. The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The Alpha chapter of NHS was founded at Fifth Avenue High School by Principal Edward S. Rynearson in Pittsburgh, Penn.[1]

National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities.

In addition, NHS chapters typically elect officers, who, under the supervision of the chapter adviser, coordinate and manage the chapter as a student organization.


It is estimated that over one million students participate in the National Honor Society. NHS and NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. Territories, and Canada. They can also be found in areas of Asia; Pakistan, being one with three schools maintaining an active chapter. They further can be found in International and American schools throughout the globe.

District 49[edit]

The Vista Ridge High School Wolf Chapter of National Honor Society has determined that outstanding achievement in the area of scholarship requires a 3.6 GPA.[2] To meet the service requirement for selection, candidates must have been active in an area of service to the school or community. Each year, according to NHS bylaws, members are required to remain active in the area of service by completing additional individual hours, group hours, and a fundraising project. To graduate with NHS honor cords, a member must be active for three semesters, one of which must be in the senior year. Transfer students already having membership in National Honor Society will automatically be accepted into membership at Vista Ridge High School and will be subject to the same established guidelines as current VRHS members. Vista Ridge High School will not admit students to NHS during their senior year unless they are transfer students with membership from their previous schools.


The NHS motto is noblesse oblige.[3] This is French for nobility obligates. According to the French Wiktionary, it has these meanings:[4]

1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.

2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms with one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned.


  2. "VRHS 2014-2015 Course Registration Guide." Falcon School District 49, 24 Mar 2014. Web. 24 Mar 2014. <>.
  3. NASSP. "History of NJHS and NHS". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  4. "Definition of Noblesse Oblige". 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 

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