Tampa Preparatory School National Honor Society

Selection Process

While membership in NHS may be seen as a valuable addition to a resume or college application, it should not be seen as the only reason to seek membership. Membership in NHS is not only an honor for students, but it is also a responsibility and no student has a right to be selected for membership.

Who May Be Considered for NHS Membership?

Tampa Preparatory School students who are in 10th, 11th, or 12th grades may be eligible for membership in NHS as long as their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher and they have been in attendance at the school for at least one semester when the selection process begins. Selections are made from eligible students twice each school year: from 12th grade in mid-November for induction in early December; and from 10th, 11th and 12th grades in early April for induction in late April or Early May.

The Four Qualities of NHS

In considering students for NHS membership, there are four key qualities that are considered equally. They are scholarship, service, leadership and character.

Scholarship is a commitment to learning. We should continue to learn even when formal education has ended, for education ends only with the end of life. Knowledge is one great element in life that leads to the highest success, and it can be acquired in only one way – through diligence and effort. Candidates have the charge to continually expand their world through the opportunities inherent in scholarship. The minimum cumulative grade point average allowable for NHS membership is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

In the routine of the day's work, many opportunities arise to help others outside our family. Service is generally considered to be those actions undertaken by the student that are done with or on behalf of others without compensation including the waiving of fees. In considering the service requirement for membership, the contributions the candidate has made to school, classmates, and community, as well as the student's attitude toward service can be reviewed. It is not important to travel halfway around the world to participate in community service. Some of the best service opportunities are those that occur close to home, for example: Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; church groups; volunteer services for the elderly, poor, or disadvantaged; mentoring persons in the community or students at other schools; showing courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students.

Each NHS candidate should exert a wholesome influence on the school. In taking initiative in class and school activities, leadership can be shown by striving to train and aid others to attain the same objective. The price of leadership is sacrifice – the willingness to yield one's personal interests for the interest of others. A leader has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate. No matter what power and resources may exist in a country, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader. Leadership is always needed; thus, to lead is a substantive charge to each of our members.

Character is the force within each individual that distinguishes that person from others. It gives each of us individuality. It is that without which no one can respect oneself, nor hope to attain the respect of others. It is the product of constant action, daily striving to make the right choice. We must be in reality what we wish to appear to others. By demonstrating such qualities as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship, we may hope to prove by example that we value character. Major infractions of school rules may delay a student's qualification for membership by a year.

Selection Process

The selection process begins by identifying those students who meet the scholarship eligibility requirements. Each of these students is notified through their advisor and are provided a "Candidate's Resume Form". It is important that each qualifying candidate reads through and thoroughly understands the material provided here and then completes the "Candidate's Resume Form" by listing ways they have shown leadership as well as all service activities they have completed while in high school. If you have submitted a "Candidate's Resume Form" in the past, you still need to complete one each time you are considered as though it were the first time you are being considered.

The selection of students for NHS membership is made by a council consisting of five voting members of the faculty and overseen by the NHS Adviser. Once it has been determined that a student has met the scholarship criterion, that issue can be put aside and the remainder of the Faculty Council's attention directed to the remaining three criteria: service, character and leadership. Since it is not possible for the members of the Faculty Council to know all candidates equally, faculty evaluations are used to supplement the "Candidate's Resume Form" gathered from each candidate. These evaluations ask the adult members of the school community to provide input into the character of, leadership abilities of and service provided by the candidates. Candidates are then chosen for membership by the majority vote of the Faculty Council. If any of the areas is not met, the student will not be selected. While all decisions of the kind involved in the selection process have some subjective aspects, the decisions are derived in a fair manner based on sound, professional judgment.

If Not Selected

When considering a candidate's character, leadership and service, it is possible that a student excels in some of the areas but not necessarily all, which is necessary for selection. If a student is not selected for NHS membership, they will receive a general letter in the mail indicating that they were not selected based on the criteria considered by the Faculty Council. This process is not intended to disappoint or discourage students, but rather give them the opportunity to improve themselves as a whole person. As such, the NHS Advisor is always happy to counsel students as to why they were not selected to give them an opportunity to improve themselves before the next selection. Should a student not be satisfied with the feedback, an appeal may be filed with the Head of School no later than one week prior to the induction ceremony. The Head of School will evaluate the situation to determine if a technical or procedural error may have occurred that would warrant overturning the Faculty Council's decision. In the absence of specific evidence to the contrary, the Head of School must assume that the members of the council are exercising their discretion in a legitimate manner and with the good faith expected of them. At no time will a new Faculty Council be assembled to reconsider a candidate.

If Selected / Member Expectations

If selected for membership, students will receive a letter in the mail to congratulate them and to invite their family to the induction presentation during a Friday morning upper school assembly. At the induction presentation, those students selected will be called down to be recognized and will receive a certificate commemorating their achievements.

Once inducted, students are expected to maintain excellence in scholarship, character, leadership and service. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary letter or hearing before the Faculty Council. Each semester, current members' cumulative GPAs will be verified that they have maintained 3.0 or higher. It is also expected that members will not be involved in disciplinary action as evidence of their continued excellence of character and leadership.

Students are also expected to continue making contributions to their school and community. The Tampa Preparatory School Chapter of the National Honor Society provides tutoring services to students at no charge. At the start of each school year, NHS members provide information as to which classes they would like to tutor and when they are available. Members should also take advantage of other opportunities to volunteer to help with school events.

NHS members meet as a group once a month, on the last Friday during lunch. These meetings are intended as a time to provide updates on various activities, seek volunteers for school events and plan ways to promote our group and its ideals. Members are expected to attend at least three of four meetings each semester. (Please refer to the Chapter Bylaws for further information on member expectations.)

National Honor Society, NHS and the logo are trademarks of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Unauthorized copying or use of said trademarks is strictly prohibited.

Assembled with some excerpts from "National Honor Society Handbook"