More than a Nod

Scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These are the four values that guide the National Honor Society and its members throughout the entire nation, according to Here at Miami Country Day School, several students are inducted into the Kenneth Harris Chapter of this highly esteemed organization every year. This year, however, the panorama is quite different.

Due to the previous sponsor’s departure from MCDS last year, Mr. Brown and Ms. Martinez have taken the wheel as co-sponsors and plan on making the NHS more apparent throughout MCDS life. “We certainly want to be more active in the life of the campus, maybe working in concert with some of the already existing organizations like the Community Service Board and Sapere Aude to promote the values that are most important to the organization,” Mr. Brown says. One idea the sponsors are planning to pursue this year and next year is starting a program where NHS members help and support students in need of tutoring during semester exams and throughout the entire school year as well.

“I want NHS to be an organization that is more visible, more vocal, and more of a presence in our community. In my past it wasn’t very much more than a nod and something to put on a résumé. That’s what we’re aiming for it not to be. We want it to be more than that!” Ms. Martinez said. In an effort to show what NHS really is, students that are chosen must portray the qualities of character, leadership, service, and scholarship. As a result, individuals who are nominated, have to then turn in an activity form and a short essay to be reviewed by a group of faculty members and administrators.

In the past, sophomore students were not eligible to be part of NHS. The previous sponsor believed that these students could not be nominated because of their inadequate records, however this year the bulk of the nominees are in the tenth grade. Some requirements for being nominated include at least a 3.5 GPA, a flawless disciplinary record, and an up-to-date service record. “They are not sufficient, but they are necessary for being considered for this society,” Brown said.

In recent years a controversy has been discussed, debating whether students inducted to this society should be recognized in a casual assembly in front of the entire High School, or in a more sophisticated setting for mainly for students and their families. Based on information gathered from other faculty and administrators at MCDS, Ms. Martinez and Mr. Brown believe it would be best to have an elegant evening ceremony to show the importance of this accomplishment. As Ms. Martinez explained, “It is appropriate for students to be recognized later in the year in front of entire student body as well.” They both believe it essential for other students to understand what their peers have done to accomplish such a large feat.

“I think, right now, they’re not really known to many of us. We don’t really know who NHS members are. That’s definitely something that I’m excited about seeing, just their presence on campus.” Brown and Martinez plan on making these members visible to the MCDS community so that others can look up to them as role models or for help in any situation. “I really like the idea that this is an honor society that taps into various facets of what it means to be a student who really represents the ideas of service and altruism, but who is also a representative, guiding the student body,” Martinez said.

The new co-chairs of NHS, Ms. Martinez and Mr. Brown, seem to be very confident in a promising future for this organization in Miami Country Day School. As members of this group become more active throughout campus life, NHS will begin to more strongly demonstrate their positive and influential presence on the student body.