Advice from Bogart: National Honor Society


Thompson Wakefield

Many academically excelling students at LHS participate in National Honor Society.

Thompson Wakefield, Staff Writer

Football, debate, gymnastics, photography, theater; students excel in their education in a multitude of ways. One less recognized way is through academia: taking AP classes, maintaining a perfect GPA, etc. Even less applauded is simply being an admirable person, such as volunteering or showing initiative. Although there is no trophy for these actions, LHS does offer a space where excelling students can thrive. According to the National Honor Society website, “it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities” around the world, including LHS’ very own students. Hosted by English teacher Shawn Bogart, NHS creates a collective of students who uphold the four pillars: scholarship, service, leadership, character.

“It’s a celebration of a lot of the work that kids do that might go unnoticed,” said Bogart. “It’s to honor the accomplishments of people who have worked really hard to represent the four pillars of National Honor Society throughout their entire high school career.”

Not only does NHS reward the members; it also helps other people through volunteer work hosted by the organization.

“In addition to just celebrating those things, it’s a good way to do good in the community,” said Bogart. “We’re really centered around the service aspect of things, so looking outward to see how we can make the community around us better.”

Colleges and universities as well utilize NHS to identify students that display scholarship, service, leadership and character. 

“There’s also elements of it’s a good thing to have on your resume; it’s a little added boost to have that gold stamp on your diploma that says you’re a member of National Honor Society,” said Bogart. “They do offer some scholarships through NHS themselves.”

But how exactly does a student join the National Honor Society? The process has a multitude of steps to ensure the highest quality of students participate, beginning with scholarship.

“The scholarship aspect of it comes from maintaining a 3.5 weighted GPA,” said Bogart. 

If students meet this requirement, they will receive an invitation to apply for NHS in early Spring of their junior or senior year; however, this invitation does not guarantee membership. Students will still have to show they uphold the other three pillars of NHS, including service.

“[Students will be] asked to show proof of community service in the last four years,” said Bogart. “[They will be] asked to write essays about their service and about their leadership.”

The third and fourth pillar requirements are a bit less cut-and-dry, involving some determination from the NHS board. 

“They have to establish they’re taking leadership roles,” said Bogart. “Whether they’re a team captain or some other leadership role.”

Last, but certainly not least, is character. This pillar represents the behavior that a student exhibits while at school.

“With the grade report we get, we also get a behavior report,” said Bogart. “We make sure their character represents the high standards of our building and the organization.”

The application is only one part of the process of enrolling a student in NHS. LHS faculty are invited to give their input of whether or not a student is worthy of membership based on their personal experiences. 

“In addition to the application itself, a questionnaire goes out to all the teachers and all the staff in the entire building and we ask for teachers to basically vouch for students,” said Bogart. “Conversely too, if a teacher has experienced something that runs counter to the ideals of NHS they are asked to point that out and provide some specifics.”

For students hoping to join NHS in the future, it is a good idea to plan how to meet the requirements and uphold the four pillars.

“The biggest thing is to start keeping track of service and looking for service opportunities,” said Bogart. “That’s often the hitch in the plans of a lot of students who would like to be members of NHS but haven’t acted with a lot of foresight.”

Some students naturally stick out to the NHS board members through their excellent display of scholarship, service, leadership and character. For Bogart, one thing in particular makes him know when to accept a student right away. 

“It’s that student who is clearly going above and beyond in the class,” said Bogart. “The ones who you don’t have to push because they are pushing themselves.”