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The NHS at MHS

National Honor Society

Mason High School

Eligibility, Selection and Membership

“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

The purpose of the Mason High School National Honor Society is to recognize students with superior academic achievement and leadership qualities and to involve students in additional character-building and service opportunities 

Membership in the Mason High School Chapter of the National Honor Society is an honor and a privilege.  This privilege is given to students by invitation of the professional staff.  Decisions regarding eligibility, selection and membership are made by the NHS Faculty Council and Dean of Students. Students are evaluated annually in the areas of scholarship, leadership, character, and service.

Scholarship Criteria

Scholarship is determined by grade point average.  The student must have a cumulative grade point average of 93 at the end of the fall semester of their junior year to be eligible for selection.  Grade point average does not guarantee membership. Once selected a member is required to maintain a 93 average.  If their grade point average falls below 93 the student will be put on probation for one semester. 

Students transferring from another school may transfer their membership by letter from the NHS adviser of their former school.  Transfer students are required to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average required for induction into their former school.

Leadership Criteria

Under the National Honor Society guidelines a student is considered to have acceptable leadership standards if he/she exercises the following qualities:

  • Is resourceful in proposing solutions to problems, applying principles, and making suggestions
  • Demonstrates initiative in promoting school activities
  • Exercises positive influence on peers in upholding 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

As a part of the application process students select five separate criteria points for leadership and provide a specific example(s) as to how they have met each of the criteria points. At least four of the five examples must come from the school setting, and no more than one example can come from outside the school setting. This information should be documented in the application materials proving that the criteria have been met in each chosen area. The students must have each of the criteria points they have selected verified by 5 different school personnel or, if using an example outside the school setting, an adult who can attest to these statements. Students cannot use family members to verify this information. The teacher/community person should sign their name verifying the points to which they can attest.

A teacher can petition the principal or the Dean of Students with questions about a student’s qualifications to be in National Honor Society due to problems associated with a student’s leadership. The principal and the Dean of Students will investigate this objection and make recommendation to the Faculty Council concerning the student’s leadership. If a student is denied selection to National Honor Society due to these circumstances, the principal or Dean of Students will provide specific details as to why the student was not admitted.

Character Criteria

The National Honor society supports and recommends the use of a multi-faceted definition of character known as the “Six Pillars of Character.” A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities:  respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship.  In addition, it can be said that the student of character: 

  • Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously
  • Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability)
  • Upholds principles of morality and ethics
  • Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc.
  • Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability
  • Shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others
  • Observes instructions and rules, is punctual, and faithful both inside and outside the classroom
  • Has powers of concentration, self-discipline, and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies
  • Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistake of others
  • Actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment

Candidates will be asked to write a short essay titled “How I Exemplify Character at School and in My Community.” This essay will be a part of the application process.

Students who have served in AEP are not eligible for candidacy the year the violation occurred. AEP violations in a freshman or sophomore year will be reviewed on a case by case basis and eligibility will be determined by the Faculty Council.  To be accepted into NHS the student would be required to submit a community service project that would specifically address the violation and the project would have to be completed before induction.  This project would be served in addition to projects required for membership once a student is inducted.

A student who has received in-school suspensions can be eligible for NHS if he or she provides 7 hours of community service for each violation. This service would have to be completed before the application deadline.  The hours may not be used for the membership application.

Service Criteria

A student must have completed 20 hours of community service from the beginning of his or her freshman year. These hours should not be part of a service rendered for a co-curricular or extra curricular organization. The student must complete the Service section of the application and indicate the hours served, the type of service performed and verification of service with a signature of the adult supervising the project. Family members cannot verify the service for the student.

A student must also demonstrate participation in at least one academic-related competition that is a direct extension of core curriculum each school year beginning as a freshman. Examples include UIL academics, FFA speaking events, VASE, and UIL band solo and ensemble.  Participation includes attending the minimum number of practice meets required by their teacher and district to state competition should the student advance. If a student is not selected for district competition their practice meets qualify them as a participant in UIL academic competition.

If a student successfully meets the 20 hours of community service, follows the procedures set forth in the NHS application and demonstrates participation in academic competition, the student has met the service criteria needed to enter the society.

Membership Requirements

Members are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 93.

Members are required to participate in four community service projects per year.  This includes one individual and one group project in the fall and one individual and one group project in the spring. The individual project requires a minimum of five hours service documented and signed by the person supervising them.  The document may not be signed by a family member. Members are also required to organize and participate in the spring induction ceremony.


A member may be put on probation for the following reasons:

1.  The member’s grade point average falls below 93. The probation period will be for one semester.  If the student fails to raise their grade point average after one semester the Faculty Council will begin the dismissal process.

2.  A member fails to complete the necessary service hours and/or projects by the date assigned.

3.  A member displays a “character violation” which can be defined as actions and conduct unbecoming of National Honor Society Members.  This may include but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, truancy or any action deemed by the Faculty Council as unbecoming of a NHS member.

It is the responsibility of the chapter adviser to inform a member if he or she falls below the standards by which the member was selected.  The adviser will inform the member and provide sufficient warning of the possible consequences of non-improvement.

A student on probation is expected to participate in all NHS activities.  Members may only be placed on probation only once during their membership. Any action that would result in a second probationary period will result in dismissal. Seniors on probation spring semester will not wear the NHS honor sash at graduation.


Members should understand that they are subject to dismissal if they do not maintain the standards of scholarship, leadership, service and character that were used as a basis for their membership.  Any violation that requires placement in AEP is grounds for dismissal. A flagrant violation of school rules or civil laws does not require a warning from the adviser. The NHS Faculty Council will follow dismissal procedures as outlined in the NHS constitution which guarantees the member the right to a hearing. In the event that the Faculty Council votes to dismiss the member, the chapter will notify the member of the action being contemplated, the reasons for the action, the date and time of the hearing and the opportunity for the member to respond either in writing or orally.