The National Honor Society (NHS)is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. NHS honors those students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning. Today, more than one million students annually participate in activities of NHS. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but also challenges them to develop through involvement in school activities and community service.
In 1921, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established the National Honor Society. Four main purposes outlined in the NHS constitution have guided chapters from the beginning: "To create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools." These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.
The NHS establishes the national standards for all NHS chapters. Rider High School NHS abides by the the by-laws and constitution established by the National organization (see link below). NHS is more than just academic recognition. The NHS chapter establishes guidelines for selection that are based upon a candidate's outstanding performance in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.
At Rider, students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or above at the end of the first semester of their junior year fall within the scholarship requirement for membership. These students are then eligible for consideration for membership.
This quality is defined as the voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, without direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service. Chapters may establish criteria that stipulate specific quantities or projects or service hours for candidates, as well as expectation of service obligations once a student is selected as a member. Members of Rider NHS are required to participate each year in its major service project benefiting the Wichita County Humane Society.
Student leaders are often viewed as those students who are resourceful, good problem solvers, promoters of school activities, contributors of ideas, and who are very dependable. Experiences to be considered under the leadership criterion can include activities that originate in the school or community or both, as determined by the local chapter.
The student of good character can be said both to be one who upholds the principles of morality and ethics, is cooperative and responsible, demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability, shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others, and is a good citizen. Local chapters consider the values and traditions of both the local school and community when defining the character criterion.