National Honor Society

National Honor Society logo of candle burningThe National Honor Society (NHS) is a selective organization based on the characteristics of Scholarship, Character, Leadership and Service. Students who meet the criteria established by the national organization and the Goshen chapter are inducted in either their junior or senior year.

After induction, NHS members attend meetings, participate in chapter projects and activities, and perform a minimum of 25 hours of community service during each year of membership.


The required cumulative academic average is 90.0 %


Students are expected to demonstrate good character as evidenced by their overall interactions, including respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship.


To be a leader does not necessarily mean that a student must hold an office in an organization. Leadership may be demonstrated by consistently being a good role model, by initiating and following through on projects and by leading by example. A good leader is thorough and dependable.


Service is described as a willingness to work for the benefit of those in need or to serve the school or community in a variety of ways, without compensation of any kind. In considering service, the selection committee will evaluate contributions the candidate has made to the school, classmates and community, as well as the candidate’s attitude towards service.

Candidates must document evidence of community service performed 2-3 years prior to his or her consideration for selection into NHS. There must be a minimum of 60 hours of verified community service for juniors and 90 hours for seniors. Letters of verification must be submitted. Service must be done from the time that the candidate entered high school and be verified by an adult supervisor. The selection committee looks for continuous involvement in several different school or community activities. Candidates should participate in service activities for a minimum of six months out of every school year. Juniors who do not meet the service qualification must be sure that they complete 90 hours of service before September of their senior year and participate over the course of at least six months if they would like to be considered as seniors.

Acceptable service opportunities/locations

  • Hospital
  • Nursing home
  • Senior center
  • Animal shelter
  • Public library
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Goshen Summer Recreation
  • Summer Bible Camp
  • Service for church or synagogue
  • Volunteer for non-profit organization
  • Mentor for school programs
  • Non-profit camp
  • Tutoring in school or through NHS
  • Volunteer through scouting
  • Any other volunteerism should be checked with the NHS advisor

Please note that these are examples; there are many other volunteer opportunities not listed here. Questions may be addressed to NHS Advisors Amy Quinn and Jennifer Viscardo.

Selection process

In September, eleventh and twelfth grade students who have earned a cumulative academic average of 90.0 throughout their high school years will be offered the opportunity to present documentation attesting to their character, service, and leadership. Supporting documents must be completed and submitted by teachers, coaches and any other adult who has supervised or taught the candidate for at least one semester. Due dates on the candidate-submitted paperwork are absolute. No late papers are accepted.

A list of candidates is then presented to high school staff for input concerning past experiences with the candidate. A faculty council of five teachers will evaluate each submission. Determinations for selection are based on a numerical scale (1-5) as well as evaluations by supervisory adults. Any numerical evaluation of 1 or 2 must be accompanied by a comment that justifies a low evaluation.

Letters are distributed to notify students who are/are not selected for membership. Any student not selected has three days to appeal the decision, in writing, to the high school principal. If the principal believes that there has been a procedural error, he may ask the faculty council to reconsider. By the charter of the national organization, reversals of non-selection may be made only by the faculty council.

Dismissal from NHS

A National Honor Society member may be dismissed for the following reasons:

  • Repeated failure to follow written school rules
  • Drop in academic average below 90%
  • Failure to do class work or disruptive classroom behavior
  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Behavioral referrals
  • Misuse of NHS pass
  • Failure to perform required community service
  • Failure to participate in NHS activities or projects
  • Civil crimes

Process for dismissal

  • For academic average, students will be given one marking period to improve.
  • Any behavioral referrals will result in the forfeit of NHS pass for three weeks.
  • Student will arrange verifiable service activities at specific times to commence immediately.
  • Students and parents will be notified of the problem in writing and will meet with the advisor to plan a solution.
  • Failure of student to correct problem will result in a hearing to consider dismissal from NHS. The student and his or her parents will have the right to present their case to the faculty council.