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National Honor Society Selection Process


The Saint Vincent DePaul Chapter of the National Honor Society of Peninsula Catholic High School is a duly chartered and affiliated chapter of this prestigious national organization. Membership is open to those students who meet the required standards in four areas of evaluation: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Standards for selection are established by the national office of NHS and have been revised to meet our local chapter needs. Students are selected to be members by a 5-member Faculty Council appointed by the principal, which bestows this honor upon qualified students on behalf of the faculty of our school each May.

Scholarship: Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades may be eligible for membership. A student must have a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students who meet this criterion of Scholarship are invited to complete a process that provides the Faculty Council with information regarding the candidate’s leadership and service.

Service: Students must have completed a minimum number of service hours performed on their own initiative or as part of their Christian Service requirements, club service, etc. The minimums for accumulated service are 10th grade (50 hours-earned in Grades 9 and 10); 11th grade (75 hours-earned in grades 9-11); 12th grade (95 hours-earned in grades 9-12). Confirmation by supervisor signature is required and letters of reference are strongly recommended.

Character: To evaluate a candidate’s character, the Faculty Council uses two forms of input. First, school disciplinary records are reviewed. Students with a total accumulation of 15 or more demerits (1st and 2nd terms combined) at the time of consideration for membership jeopardize their candidacy. Second, members of the faculty are solicited for input regarding their professional reflections on a candidate’s character, service activities, and leadership. These forms, the Candidate package, essay, and letters of recommendation are carefully reviewed by the Faculty Council to determine membership. A majority vote of the Council is necessary for selection. Candidates are notified regarding selection or non-selection according to a predetermined schedule.

Leadership: Students must provide evidence of leadership since NINTH grade. This should include formal leadership in school (offices held, team captain, chairperson, etc.) as well as informal leadership roles (spirit week, athletics, classroom, clubs). Leadership roles outside of school should also be included. Because this is a national high school organization, it is expected that at least half of your most notable leadership be clearly evident at Peninsula Catholic High School. Your leadership at Peninsula Catholic should also be evident in the input (see above) by the faculty and staff.

Essays: A maximum of 500 words is required and essays should be typed. Student essays should follow all the expectations they would for any formal essay: grammar, mechanics, spelling, etc.

Letters of Recommendation: Include a minimum of three letters of recommendation; two from school employees and one from someone outside of school. Your outside letters should come from a coach, Priest, Youth Minister, employer, service coordinator, Troop Leader, etc. You should not solicit letters from “family friends.” Letters should focus on your leadership and service.

Only the candidate can explicate and inform the Council as to his or her leadership, service, and character through a professional and thorough Candidate Packet. Additional information provided after the due date will not be considered. Packets submitted later than the due date and time WILL NOT be accepted.

**Candidates are urged to be forthcoming as well as accurate in their submission. “Toot your own horn!” Neatness and completeness count.

Following notification of selection, a formal induction ceremony is held at the school to recognize all new members. Once inducted, new members are required to maintain the same level of performance (or better) in all four criteria that lead to their selection. This obligation includes regular attendance at chapter meetings during the school year and participation in chapter service project(s) and peer tutoring. Students or parents who have questions regarding the selection process should please contact NHS Faculty Council Chairperson, Mr. Batkin. If you have questions about membership obligations, please contact the NHS Moderator, Ms. Whitchurch