OHS has a chartered local chapter of the National Honor Society, and the OHS Student Handbook explains this honor:
The objective of the National Honor Society is to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership and to encourage the development of character in all students at OHS.
Criteria Used in the Selection of Members: To be considered as a candidate for membership in the National Honor Society, Juniors and Seniors must have been enrolled at OHS for one semester and have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average based on 5 or 7 semesters [their high school semester grades]. Candidates shall then be evaluated on the basis of service, leadership, and character by the faculty as a whole and reviewed for final selections based on service, leadership and character by the National Honor Society Faculty Council.
The selection process begins each year in January, when juniors and seniors whose grades qualify (3.0 high school GPA) are invited to a meeting to provide them instructions and information so they can decide whether to participate in the selection process.
The four areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character carry equal weight in the selection. The standards and procedure at OHS follow the requirements established by the National Honor Society, as explained in the official website at . If a student was a member at another high school (not the same as Junior National Honor Society, which is for junior high students), their membership transfers to the OHS chapter when they come here.
Evaluations from all faculty members in the areas of service, leadership, character, are averaged with the grade point. In this process, faculty members are advised to base their evaluations on first-hand knowledge, not on hearsay. These averages are substantiated or enhanced by information provided by the students about their activities and accomplishments in and out of school, along with a personal essay.
The faculty members are given the list of guidelines that appears at the end of this article to help them focus on the students’ qualifications, but this is not a checklist or total picture. Faculty members serve anonymously on the faculty council to prevent unfair influence, on a rotating basis.
How can this information help students?
National Honor Society fits some of the goals we have as educators and parents for our students and children, and the recognition is intended to encourage growth in these areas. Often students have reached high levels of growth in one or more of the areas but not yet in others. For example, we see students with strongly ingrained values and character, who have not yet developed their confidence in leadership, or perhaps students who are headed in the right directions but who haven’t matured into ownership of these qualities for themselves. Some of the factors that matter are how they conduct themselves, make choices, interact with others in the classroom and out, show respect and caring for others’ welfare, and work toward goals.
We hope that this process can encourage valuable discussions about what is meant by leadership, how we can demonstrate and apply our character traits and values in service to others, and of course, that even if others don’t know or understand all that we do and are, the most important thing is that we are true to ourselves. As an educator and adviser of the OHS NHS chapter, it is my sincere hope that all kids know they are valued for who they are, and that recognitions of any kind do not change that.
LEADERSHIP: The student who exercises leadership:
- Is resourceful in proposing new problems, applying principles, and making suggestions.
- Demonstrates leadership in promoting school activities.
- Exercises influence on peers in upholding school ideals.
- Contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school.
- Is able to delegate responsibilities.
- Exemplifies positive attitudes.
- Inspires positive behavior in others.
- Demonstrates academic initiative.
- Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility, conducts business efficiently and effectively, and is reliable and dependable without prodding.
- Demonstrates leadership in the classroom, at work, and in school activities.
- Is thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted.
SERVICE: The student who serves:
- Is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude.
- Participates in some outside activity: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups; volunteer services for the aged or disadvantaged; family duties.
- Volunteers dependable and well-organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance.
- Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities.
- Cheerfully and enthusiastically renders any requested service to the school.
- Is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class and interscholastic competition.
- Does committee and staff work without complaint.
- Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students.
CHARACTER: The student of character:
- Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously.
- Constantly exemplifies desirable qualities of personality (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability).
- Upholds principles of morality and ethics.
- Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc.
- Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability.
- Shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others.
- Observes instructions and rules, punctuality, and faithfulness both inside and outside the classroom.
- Uses powers of concentration and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies.
- Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others.
- Actively helps to rid the school of bad influences or environment.
(Character is not based on mere personality, nor on minor incidents unless they are repeated so as to indicate a definite pattern of behavior. We must always be conscious of adolescent growth and development.)