Has the NHS become less exclusive?


Valeria Gómez, Writer

At the beginning of this year less than 20 members were a part of the National Honor Society Saint John’s School chapter. Ever since the NHS induction at the beginning of February, more than 60 sophomores, juniors and senior make up the NHS. Many have asked themselves “Did the students get smarter or did the NHS become more lenient?” 

What many of the students, faculty and parents don’t know is that the GPA requirement for the NHS lowered form a 4.1 to 3.75. Yet, as NHS president I can say that fulfilling the pillars of the NHS has become as important as ever. Scholarship goes much deeper than getting straight A’s, it includes a students decision to explore and remain curious in and outside the classroom. Leadership goes beyond being elected to a school office or club board and emphasizes a student’s attitude with which they approach their role. The pillar of service involves a realization that you did something worthwhile because you understood it needed to be done. And finally, the one pillar present in all others, character, is evidenced by your daily choices, attitude, actions, manners, educational drive, but most importantly to your mentors. This year, Saint John’s School decided to focus on another aspect of grading; one that includes the type of student you are in a classroom and how you apply it elsewhere. 

With a larger group, the NHS is able to have a bigger impact. We have recently begun providing after school tutoring for students who need extra help catching up with their school work. Through a larger group, the NHS hopes to expand this program in order to provide assistance for students during the classes and for help to become more approachable for struggling students. 

This has certainly become a controversial topic for the students.

Jacqui Glago, class of 2019, claims, “I do not believe that the changes that were made were the ones that had to take place. I believe that students each bring different virtues to the table; some excel in the class room, reflecting in a 4.1 (or higher) GPA. Others serve the community, devoting weekend after weekend to helping others. Some spend their time strategizing and planning as leaders in student government or clubs. Rather than lowering the standards of each requirement, I believe that the NHS should require members to embody a certain pillar of the club.” She brought up the concern of students being molded into what many believe is a “perfect student.”

Mr. Sanabria, the secondary school principal, believes that a 4.1 GPA requirement “created an urge among more students to try to beef up their GPA taking honors and AP courses that they should not necessarily be taking or cared to take, just to qualify for NHS.” With this change he aimed to create a selection process that focused “equally on academics, leadership, service and character qualities.” Sanabria also presented the fact that since the change, students have begun delving into other areas of interest such as fine arts and research, rather than just taking AP and honors courses that would raise their GPA.  

As a prestigious society, the club has certain standards that must be upheld, yet there is more value in the quality of a students work than in the quantity of causes that the student takes part in with a mediocre effort level. As Mr. Sanabria asserted, “the NHS is now more exclusive than ever.” This might not be the last of changes to the NHS requirements, as Sanabria admits, “that the process is imperfect, but we are confident we have made strides in the right direction; we will continue to take feedback, learn from experience and find ways to optimize the process.”