National Honor Society

Charter | History |



Name and Purpose

SECTION 1. The name of this chapter shall be the Sayre Senior High School Chapter of the National Honor Society of Secondary Schools.

SECTION 2. The object of this chapter shall be to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership, and to encourage the development of character in all students of Sayre High School.

SECTION 1. Any member whose-marking period average of all major subjects falls below an 85, shall receive an “advisory notice” indicating that the grade will have an adverse effect upon the member’s cumulative average. Should that cumulative average fall below an 85, the procedures outlined in SECTION 2 of this Article shall be followed.

SECTION 2. Any member who falls below the standards, which were the bases of his selection, either scholastically cumulative major subject average) or otherwise, shall be promptly warned. If during the next marking period the member fails to meet the standards used as a bases for his selection to the Society, said member may be dismissed. All cases, however, shall first be reviewed by the faculty council before any dismissal or disciplinary actions are taken.

Selection of Members

SECTION 1. To be eligible for-membership in this chapter, candidates shall have a minimum scholarship average of B. or 85 per cent, or its equivalent. The average for seniors shall be the average of all major subjects of the tenth and eleventh years which count toward graduation; for the Juniors, the minimum average shall be determined from the average of all major subjects of the tenth year which count toward graduation. This scholastic level of achievement shall remain fixed, and shall be the required minimum scholastic level of achievement for admission to candidacy. Candidates shall then be evaluated on levels of service, leadership, and character.

SECTION 2. New members shall be inducted into the chapter during the first semester of each school year.


SECTION 1. The officers of this chapter shall be a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

SECTION 2. A majority of votes cast shall be necessary to elect any officer of this chapter. If the first vote does not yield a majority, the second vote shall be taken on the two candidates who have received the highest number of votes on the first ballot. Elections shall take place at the first regular meeting in each year.

SECTION 3. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all meetings of the chapter

SECTION 4. The vice-president- shall fill the chair of the president in his absence.

SECTION 5. The chapter secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings, a record of all business, all records on file, and shall be responsible for all correspondence.

SECTION 6. The treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds of the chapter, with -the approval of the adviser, and shall keep an accurate account of all receipts and disbursements in accordance with school regulations.


SECTION 1. The regular meetings of this chapter shall be held at least four (4) times during the school year.

SECTION 2. Special meetings, approved by the executive committee and/or adviser, may be called by the president.

SECTION 3. All meetings shall be held under the supervision of the chapter adviser, or the principal, or some other faculty member selected by the principal.

SECTION 4. A simple majority of the chapter’s total membership must be present; otherwise no business procedure can be contracted or voted upon. If this quorum is not filled, adjournment is necessary.

SECTION 5. Attendance is required at all meetings unless excused by the chapter president or adviser.


SECTION 1. Each active member of this chapter shall pay annual dues, which shall be subject to the approval of the executive committee of the chapter. In no event shall the chapter due-s exceed $5.00 per year per member. No candidate shall be denied membership because of his inability to pay said dues.

SECTION 2. Dues may be paid in a one lump sum or in installments subject to the approval of the executive committee.


SECTION 1. This chapter shall choose at least one (1) of the following service projects for the school year Red Cross Blood Mobile, Salvation Army Christmas Food Collection Project, Assist with the valley Spelling Bee, National Honor Society Exchange Program with other chapters, Participate in new-student orientation, as well as other projects approved by the executive committee.

SECTION 2. All members shall participate in the project or projects selected for the school year.

SECTION 3. In addition, each member shall be responsible for choosing and participating in a service project which reflects his own particular talents and interests.


SECTION 1. This by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the chapter, provided that the proposed amendment has been approved by the executive committee, and that notice to members has been Given at least two(2) weeks prior to the meeting at which said amendment is to be voted upon.


If a society with many chapters commends itself to the schools of a certain district because each is helped by the other, a nationwide society ought to be a stronger organization and receive the support of all of the schools that believe in such a society. Will not one common badge for the entire country be more valuable than many different local badges? In other words, if the fundamental principal of the honor society is sound, it should be national in its application; a national honor society of secondary schools is a logical outgrowth of the wisdom and experience of the past fifteen or twenty years.

Edward Rynearson, often considered the founder and father of the National Honor Society, made the above remarks in support of the proposal of .J.G. Masters, principal of Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska, to form a national honor society. At the time, Rynearson was principal of Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., which was awarded charter number one of the National Honor Society. Masters made his proposal in 1919 at the annual convention of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He and many others attending this convention were concerned about the growing movement to emphasize athletic and academic activities. This emphasis was often regarded as detrimental to programs designed to stimulate leadership and character. To be sure, members of local and regional organizations were required to meet predetermined standards of citizenship, leadership, and scholarship. Others included service as a criterion for membership. But until 1921, when the National Association of Secondary School Principals passed the resolution to form the National Honor Society, there was no national organization whose objectives were to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership, and to encourage the development of character in the students of the secondary schools of the nation. The determination of Society standards was no easy task, according to Rynearson, who presented the report of the Committee on Constitution and Organization, which had been appointed at the 1920 NASSP convention.

This group presented its findings in 1921, when the NASSP met in Atlantic City, N.J.: In drawing up the constitution, the committee was fared with the necessity of providing an organization broad enough to meet all the varying needs of these numerous societies. Scholarship alone seemed too narrow: where tried, the society had, in the words of Dr. Powell, “got the stigma of being high-browish.” On the other hand, there was great danger of according too little recognition to scholarship. After considerable discussion, the committee fixed upon character, leadership, scholarship, and service as the fundamental virtues most worthy of encouragement. The resolution to form the National Honor Society was passed in the hope that unification of effort might lead to improved national standards: The organization of the National Honor Society in the high schools, as recommended by the committee on that subject, would have a strong tendency to improve scholarship and to place the regular and faithful performance of academic work in its proper place in the estimation of the student body.

The resolution also mentioned the need to “counteract a prevalent tendency among secondary schools to place undue emphasis upon individual performance in the various athletic events by giving excessive and expensive awards.”

The formation of secret societies was also to be condemned, even made illegal in all the states, according to the resolution. ‘The chief business high schools is to make the greatest possible contribution to the realization the American ideal of democracy,” the resolution stated. “Whatever interferes with this function is an obstruction to education and inimical to the public welfare.” All organizations should not only satisfy a social need but also “be devoted to the purposes of worth to the individual and of profit to the school” Thus, the National Honor Society was regarded from its inception as concrete way to promote high school academic standards, a means of ensuring the continuation of democracy, and an instrument for the betterment of the individual and the school.

Establishment of the National Junior Honor Society

The earliest mention of an honor society for students in the lower grades of secondary schools or in separate junior high schools was recorded at a meeting of the National Council in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 22, 1925. The National Council took the matter under advisement and in 1926 assigned Merle Prunty, the principal of Central High School in Tulsa, Okla., to report on the subject at the 1927 meeting. His report was extensive and included a plan for the organization of junior honor societies. Although the report was adopted by the Association, it was not until February 24, 1929, in St. Louis, Mo., that the National junior Honor Society was authorized by the Executive Committee of the (then) Department of Secondary School Principals. The first charter was issued to Webster Grove High School, Webster Grove, Mo., in December 1929, in the lower grades of that six-year high school. The first charter to a junior high school was granted in March 1930 to Clarinda Junior High School, Clarinda, Iowa.

Since the inception of honor societies, secondary schools have grown with increased. pupil population at every level of educational organization. Throughout this period of growth within the United States, the honor societies have also enjoyed a steady increase in the number of charters issued to public and private schools in the United States and abroad. The Board of Directors of the National Association of Secondary School Principals serves as the governing board of the National Junior Honor Society. The National Council and its secretary are responsible for the operational control of the Society. The NASSP Director of Student Activities serves as NJHS secretary.

The national office of the National Junior Honor Society is the office of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, based in Chicago until 1943, then relocated to Washington, D.C. In 1973 the Association moved to its own building at 1904 Association Drive, Reston, Va. 22091-1537. The NASSP Division of Student Activities’ staff is responsible for the daily operation of the National Junior Honor Society, to which all National Junior Honor Society correspondence should be addressed. The Division of Student Activities staff handles chartering of National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society chapters as well as inquiries regarding the Constitution of the Society. The Division of Student Activities’ staff also works closely with the National Council of the National Honor Society regarding the rules and regulations governing the Society and the selection of the National Honor Society Scholarship Awards.

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