Honor Society alters its approach to service hours

Moderator changes to options for members to tutor


Cathedran file photo

Last year as part of its community service, members of the National Honor Society visited the Irish Blessings daycare rooms in Cunningham. Due to Covid-19 concerns, activities such as this during the current school year will not be possible. Cathedran file photo.

Tory Basile, Reporter

Current members of the National Honor Society are wrestling with an entirely novel obstacle: Covid-19 and how guidelines on social distancing and other health concerns will affect their ability to earn required service hours. 

Senior and NHS member Madison Ackley, said,“During a time when events are constantly being cancelled, I worry that I will not be able to get enough points. I worry that cancellations will cost me my role in the National Honor Society.”

Ackley noted that, given her mother is an essential worker, she is nervous about the risk that NHS events and other necessary service opportunities pose by potentially exposing her family to the virus, despite all their diligence to isolate whenever possible. 

The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 to encourage leadership and volunteering in students across the country. This school’s chapter typically requires its members to complete acts of service for their school community in order to earn a total of 10 points. 

Mrs. Lisa Ford, longtime math teacher and NHS moderator, detailed the minor changes expected for NHS this year, and emphasized that seniors should still expect plenty of opportunities to safely meet all of their requirements.

Ultimately, Ford notes that the “biggest change is that we don’t do resource tutoring anymore because of the Learning Commons.” The Learning Commons is a math-based tutoring program located in Loretto Hall. In years past, NHS students were expected to earn tutoring hours in both semesters, but Ford said that, given the elimination of resource tutoring, that may need to change.

Rather than tutoring opportunities every resource period, members are limited to working through the Learning Commons or the Writing Center or being available before school. 

Other than potential changes to tutoring requirements, expectations will remain largely the same this year. However, Ford made sure to comment that, in the event that “we would go all virtual, then things might change, because our service is to the school and if school isn’t happening then we can’t help.”

Certain events at which the NHS typically serves, such as the annual Open House, are going virtual as well. It’s likely that members will have to adapt to different methods of online volunteering; for example, some NHS members will be creating virtual welcome videos for the upcoming Evening of Excellence celebration on Oct. 1. 

For Ford, NHS is more than simply another accolade to adorn students’ college resumes. If the NHS did not serve the school in the many ways that it does, “some of those things wouldn’t get done,” she said.

She wants people to focus on the fact that the NHS is first and foremost “a service organization. I think that’s what people sometimes forget. Scholarship is part of it, but we’re an organization that also features character, leadership and service. Those are the components that make our kids stand out and really make our membership meaningful.”