September 27th, 2019
National Honor Society adapts amidst COVID-19
MON. | 10-26-20 | NEWS
SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS
One of Rose’s many organizations is the National Honor Society (NHS) that is made up of the top academic students at Rose. Its members participate in a number of volunteer and service activities around the community and at Rose. This year, COVID-19 has impacted how the honor society has to run to a degree, but they are still working to continue to benefit the community in any way possible.
The biggest change for the National Honor Society this past year is a change in advisors. This year, Health Science teacher Angie Byrne, had stepped into her new role as the NHS’s advisor. For the past ten years, the advisor was English teacher Ashley Hutchinson, but she decided to step down this year due to taking on numerous professional commitments. As the advisor, Byrne has to facilitate the application process, meet with the application committee and help students coordinate volunteer and service opportunities.
In order to remain in the National Honor Society, members usually had to get fifteen credits, but due to the virus affecting credit opportunities, members only need ten points this year. Credits can be achieved through community service opportunities that the organization provides, such as donating blood or going to a charity event. The most common way members obtain credits is by participating in the NHS’s biggest service projects each year, Rally for Ally and Project Elf. Project Elf is a program
Photo by Emma Hastings
that provides Christmas gifts for children in the foster care system in Pitt County. It was started by the Schmidts, former Rose student Emily Schmidt’s family, to help better the community. Rally for Ally is an organization that does multiple events including barbecues, raffles, and an annual tennis tournament.
“Rally for Ally is an organization that was founded by a former Rose family, who had a kid, [Ally Hart], that had a rare type of brain cancer,” Byrne said. “The organization raises money for brain cancer research.”
This year COVID-19 has caused many of the NHS’s events to be either cancelled or rescheduled. The organization does have confirmation that Project Elf will happen this year, but their other big event, the Rally for Ally tennis tournament, is still up in the air. Realistically, Byrne believes that the Rally for Ally will not happen this year, but since it is not until spring, she is hopeful it will happen.
“This year with COVID, we are trying to find as many virtual volunteer opportunities as possible since a lot of organizations are not hosting face-to-face events,” Byrne said. “The organization has done a lot of service work in the past, and we have to get creative and find some virtual activities.”
One big thing that changed due to the virus was that they had to make the application virtual, which students must have a 3.6 weighted GPA, a 3.0 unweighted GPA and no final grade lower than a C to fill out. Students also must have leadership and service participation through extracurricular activities in the community and at Rose as well as a teacher recommendation. The application is scored based on a point scale, and students need 50 points.
“[NHS] recognizes kids for their academic achievements and leadership roles that they have had,” Byrne said. “The students then participate in community service all around Rose and the community.”
Once students get into the NHS, they have the option to become a leader. The NHS has student leaders that are voted in at the beginning of each school year, and this year's elections are coming up. With the help of Byrne, they will find credit opportunities for the members.
Rose’s National Honors Society participates in many service activities throughout the year, and it’s members are leaders of the community. Although this year may be different, the NHS is doing everything they can to make it as normal as possible and present their members with as many service opportunities as possible.