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News and Notes

#BestYearEver: National Honor Society

Guest Contributor: Jill Henry, Director of Instruction

The members of the Whitmore Lake chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) work to make every school year the best year ever. Once you’re familiar with the values that NHS members are committed to — scholarship, service, leadership, and character — it is easy to understand why our students are so passionate about helping others. Read on to learn more about the National Honor Society as well as how NHS members work to give back to the local community during the holiday season. 

NHS Induction Ceremony

Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities. NHS chapters are found in all 50 states, US Territories, Canada, and around the world. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. 

Whitmore Lake Middle and High School is the proud home to two local chapters of this organization — National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). 

National Honor Society is open to students in grades 10-12 who uphold the four pillars:

  • Scholarship: At a minimum, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5. 
  • Service: This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.
  • Leadership: Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.
  • Character: The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.
Speakers from the 2018 NHS and NJHS Induction pose with candles they lit during the Induction Ceremony. Each candle symbolizes one of the pillars of National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.

Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement to fulfill the pillar of scholarship have an opportunity to complete a form detailing their accomplishments in and commitment to service, leadership, and character. Then, a faculty council made up of five staff members uses the form along with teacher recommendations to evaluate the membership potential of each candidate. Students who are accepted into the organization must continue to uphold the highest standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character to remain members of NHS. Students who are not admitted to the organization are eligible for future consideration as long the minimum GPA requirement continues to be met.

NJHS follows a similar process for membership for students in grades 8-9. In addition to the four pillars of NHS, students are also evaluated for membership on the basis of citizenship. 

NHS and NJHS are scheduled to hold their annual induction of new members on Thursday, November 21, in the high school theater. The event will include an introduction of new members, the recitation of the NHS pledge, and speeches by the NHS Executive Board. This year, NHS will induct 16 new members, growing the chapter’s total membership to 38 students. NJHS will induct 9 new members, growing the chapter’s total membership to 20 students.

New and current members of both NHS and NJHS will be hard at work in the coming weeks to make this the best year ever. Read about our upcoming initiatives below. 

Holiday Food Drive

Members of National Honor Society and the varsity boys basketball teams pose outside of Northfield’s Human Services on December 20, 2018 after delivering 4,617 items donated by middle and high school students.

Every year from mid-November to mid-December, NHS coordinates a school-wide drive to collect and donate non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and toiletries to Northfield’s Human Services Food Pantry. 

Northfield’s Human Services is in need of donations of canned food, pasta, baking ingredients, breakfast foods, snacks, plastic wrap, dish soap, cleaning products, personal hygiene products, baby food, diapers, and formula. (Please note: donations of water bottles are not accepted.)

National Honor Society sponsor Candy Huddleston shared how meaningful it is for students and staff to contribute to an organization that benefits members of our local community. “It’s such a joy to see so many students come together to help others. They work hard and truly want to help.”

Students can bring in donations beginning Monday, November 18. The holiday food drive will conclude Thursday, December 12. On the 12th, members of the National Honor Society, along with support from Coach Casey Livingston and varsity boys basketball team, will transfer the items from the school to Northfield’s Human Services. 

After last year’s delivery, Maria Dellaugh, Northfield Human Service’s Pantry Coordinator,  offered her thanks for the donations: “Thanks to your generosity, our low-income families and seniors will have a variety of food choices in the months to come over and above what they usually do from our regular food sources. For many of our families, the food we provide makes the difference between paying a heating bill or going hungry. Please know that because you cared enough to collect this food, you are helping to combat hunger in the Whitmore Lake School District/Northfield Township area.”

This year we’ve set a school-wide goal of 4,000 items. If you don’t have a student in high school, but you would like to make a donation, please feel free to drop your items off in the main office between 7 AM and 3:30 PM from Monday, November 18 to Thursday, December 12. 

Holiday Giving Tree

National Honor Society also partners with Northfield’s Human Services to support the Adopt-A-Family program to provide gifts and a holiday meal to a family in Whitmore Lake. 

In order to involve the entire school, NHS members create a giving tree and fill it with ornaments from the family’s wish list. Children are always provided with socks, an outfit, pajamas, and a toy. NHS also adds ornaments to the tree for shoes, boots, mittens, and a winter hat, along with extra books and toys. Junior Madison Clay said, “The Giving Tree is a great opportunity to help others in need.”  

Student Council typically votes to support the giving tree by purchasing gift cards to provide the family with a traditional holiday meal. Staff often gets in on the giving too. Spanish teacher Kathy Coleman stated, “I love that our students can feel a part of something good in their own community. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself than helping other people.”

Leading a Leadership Organization

The National Honor Society (NHS) elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Our members excel, serve, lead, and succeed. 

The officers of NHS and NJHS deserve special recognition for the dedication and hard work they demonstrate toward all of our initiatives.

NHS Executive Board

  • Presidents: Halie Pechette & Eveliina Taylor
  • Vice President: Carissa Stanley
  • Secretary: Delaney Peters
  • Treasurer: Cassidy Brimer
  • Historian: Jacob Medina

NJHS Officers

  • President: Brooke Craven
  • Vice President: Annika Taylor
  • Secretary: Heather Davis
  • Treasurer: Kendall Everard 

Spirit of Giving

The close connection between the WLPS and the local community is one of my favorite things about Whitmore Lake. Members of NHS and NJHS look for ways to give back — both big and small — throughout the year. Since this summer you might’ve seen our members volunteering at the Classic Boat Show, the Washtenaw County Clean-Up Day, Red, White & Blue Color Run, the Michigan State Fair, Junior Football games, The Foundation Cornhole Tournament, WLES PTO meetings, Trunk or Treat, or the WLES Fall Fun Fest.  May we all take a little inspiration from the bright and generous students who make up the Whitmore Lake National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society by finding a way — big or small — to give back this holiday season and make this the #BestYearEver. 

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