Membership in National Honor Society is by invitation only based upon a candidate's demonstrated excellence in the four pillars--scholarship, leadership, service, and character--as documented on a form called the Student Data Form. In order to provide a concrete starting place for evaluation of « demonstrated excellence », the Kiev International School chapter requires a minimum cumulative high school grade point average of 3.5 and a residency of at least one semester. These two criteria are consistent with the National Honor Society Constitution that governs local chapters.
The KIS chapter also calls for faculty comments and specifies candidates' class status as Secondary 2, 3, or 4.
A five-member Faculty Council reviews the Student Data Form, a current transcript, and faculty comments, evaluating them with a rubric consistent with the standard of « demonstrated excellence ». Candidates recommended to membership are then invited to join the society. Those who accept are installed in a formal ceremony.
Requirements for members focus on 1) commitment to the society's purpose to promote scholarship, leadership, service, and character in KIS students, 2) commitment to other KIS members, and 3) active participation in all society functions including general meetings, committee meetings, group service projects, fund raisers, the installation ceremony, and an activity honoring senior NHS members.
2. In what ways can NHS benefit a student?
To fulfill its purpose, NHS is to provide school leadership through service. This affords members opportunities to groom their own leadership potential by learning to see needs, plan and prepare to meet them, and serving others. Immediate benefits include personal growth, a sense of fulfillment, and recognition as a school leader.
3. What is usually discussed in these meetings and how often do they take place?
General meetings occur monthly. They are business meetings at which members are kept current of society activities through the reading of the minutes and reports from the Executive Committee (officers) and from the standing committees on their activities and proposals for permission to act. General meetings can also include a « program » in the form of a speaker or special activity that meets members' needs and/or inspires them as school leaders.
Standing committees also meet once per month while their activities occur outside that time on a more informal basis.
4. Does the NHS do anything to help the community around them?
I would say that NHS is often a very « invisible » organization whose motto is « Noblesse oblige ». In the context of the NHS Constitution, it is apparent that this is interpreted to mean the obligations of honor to serve others rather than the converse as was the case in monarchical France : NHS members serve the student body, usually behind the scenes. Their service is honorable; there is often little glory, as is the case with service.
5. How has the NHS impacted you?
This is my twelfth year as an NHS advisor. On the structural level, I find the NHS Constitution a wisely formulated document that specifies a system that works. Each year I appreciate its wisdom more and more. On the personal level, annually I have the privilege of working with students who are literally tomorrow's leaders, a very humbling experience for a classroom teacher.