National Honor Society

2021-2022 Application

Catonsville High School

National Honor Society

The National Honor Society (NHS) is a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The purpose of this organization is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, promote leadership, and develop character in the students of secondary schools. At Catonsville High School, the NHS is available to juniors and seniors. NHS is an honorable distinction and the selection process is adhered to in a strict manner. If selected for membership, students are required to complete 10-15 hours of service per year towards the betterment of Catonsville High School and the community.  The service hour requirement may change as our situation with COVID evolves. 

Membership Requirements

In order to be invited into the National Honor Society students must meet the following requirements:

Scholarship: Students must have a minimum un-weighted GPA of 3.3 or higher. This is a mandatory requirement.  Students who have not earned a 3.3 un-weighted GPA will not be permitted to apply.


The student who serves:

  • Volunteers and provides dependable and well-organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance
  • Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities
  • Cheerfully and enthusiastically renders any requested service to the school
  • Is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class or inter-scholastic competition
  • Does committee and staff work without complaint
  • Participates in some service activity outside of school, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, volunteer services for the elderly, poor, or disadvantaged, etc.
  • Mentors persons in the community or students at other schools
  • Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students 


The student who exercises leadership:

  • Is resourceful in proposing new problems, applying principles, and making suggestions
  • Demonstrates initiative in promoting school activities
  • Exercises positive influence in holding up school ideals
  • Contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school
  • Is able to delegate responsibilities
  • Exemplifies positive attitudes
  • Inspires positive behavior in others
  • Demonstrates academic initiative
  • Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility; conducts business effectively and efficiently; demonstrates reliability and dependability
  • Is a leader in the classroom, at work, and in other school or community activities
  • Is thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted
  • Is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude 


The student who possesses good character demonstrates the National Honor Society’s Six Pillars of Character:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Trustworthiness
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship 

Additionally, academic integrity is of utmost importance. Students who do not demonstrate academic integrity will not be selected for the National Honor Society.  As set forth the by the NHS, an NHS member must manifest truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others.  He or she must demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and reliability.

National Honor Society Selection Process

The National Honor Society selection process begins in October. Students interested in becoming members of NHS who have met the GPA requirements will receive a letter inviting them to apply. Students may download a copy of the NHS Activity Information packet & Character Reference forms from our school website. In order to be considered for selection, students must complete the information packet accurately and completely and submit it by the stated deadline.  No late information packets will be accepted after the stated deadline.


Selection Criteria

Once students have turned in their application, the selection process begins. Membership into the National Honor Society is only by invitation of the faculty.  Students are invited to join based on meeting ALL of the requirements as set forth by the national organization and Catonsville High School. Candidates must meet all four requirements equally to be considered for membership.

Requirements for Selection:

  • Essay

    that gives insight to one’s desire to be invited into and contribute to the NHS organization.
  • Service Hours

    Students will list all activities that they have participated in throughout high school. Student service must be evident each high school year. These activities may not be activities for which the student has received pay or Student Service Learning hours. All hours must be verified by the sponsor of the activity. Failure to obtain verification (a signature) will cause that activity to be ineligible. Forgery of a teacher’s signature will cause an application to be disqualified. 
    • Activities for which a student has served between 5-10 hours in a year will earn 0.5 service point; activities for which a student has more than 10 hours of time will earn 1 service point.
    • Juniors must earn a minimum of 5 service points & seniors must earn a minimum of 7 service points.
    • An activity earning at least 0.5 service point must be included in at least three different categories. Two of these three categories must be in service to CHS. 

Publications- may include time served after school on yearbook, newspaper, or the literary magazine. May not include hours spent during an assigned class.

Sports- may include Intramural, JV or Varsity sports, as well as any Rec & Parks leagues.

Music and Drama- may include plays and any hours of service outside of class time for band, choir, or other music activities. May not include time spent during an assigned class.   

Student Assistance/In-School Service- volunteer time after school or during lunch may be counted. May not include being a teacher’s aide or office aide position if this activity occurs during the school day in place of class.

Academic & Class Organizations & Clubs- may include SGA, class organization, and honor societies.

Community Service- may include any community service hours attained during high school, but outside of class time. May also include service to outside organizations (churches, social groups, etc). May not include hours applied to the Student Service Learning graduation requirement.

  • Character References (3)

    1. One reference from a teacher of science or math
    2. One reference from a teacher of social studies or English
    3. One reference from a teacher of world language, business, tech ed, music, or art


  • Evidence of Leadership

    • Can be proven through elected and appointed positions held in school, community, or work activities


    • Students may get four teachers to attest that he or she has demonstrated leadership skills and potential. 

Once all the applications are received, the entire faculty is given the opportunity to provide feedback on the candidates.  The five-member NHS Faculty Council, which is chosen by the principal, next reviews each student’s application packet, attached paperwork, and all information provided by the faculty. Our school then invites qualified candidates to become NHS members.


Please contact either Mrs. Wack  at [email protected]  if you have any questions about Catonsville High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society.