OHS Honors Societies Create New Opportunities for Students to Receive Cords


photo curtesy of Mr. John Ries

Many national honors societies have changed service hour requirements for this unprecedented year.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers have been making accommodations in order for students to participate in clubs and activities at OHS. It’s simple for typical clubs, but what about honor societies, which require service hours in order for seniors to earn their cords?

In previous years, honor societies such as National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and more have required students to participate in service activities in order to stay in the society and graduate with cords. This year, due to the pandemic, these societies have created accommodations for students to gain hours.

According to National Honor Society coordinator Mr. John Ries, NHS has cut the hour requirement for students in half for current members, as well as offering a variety of different COVID-19 friendly hour opportunities. These include making donations and creating cards and blankets at home and dropping them off at OHS.

“We created a committee of student members to come up with ideas for hour opportunities for this year,” explained NHS officer Isabella Wirthlin (12).

John Ries and Courtney Hausner, another NHS coordinator, have also made accommodations for incoming members of National Honor Society.

“For applying members we kept the hour requirement the same, but we are letting kids use service hours from middle school as well as high school,” explained Ries. “In years past we have only taken service hours from high school.”

Along with NHS, Spanish National Honor Society has also made accommodations for its members to receive points towards graduation cords.

“Students are required to take part in an immersion ‘Fliphunt,’” said Meghan King, the SNHS coordinator. “These activities encourage students to expand their Spanish language knowledge and to learn more about the culture of Spanish speaking countries.”

All of these Fliphunt activities may be done at home. Some examples of these activities include making an authentic Spanish dish, reading Spanish media, and more. With these activities, students can immerse themselves in Spanish culture without the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Science National Honor Society is taking a different approach to earning hours this year. Kristin Pierce and Stephanie Allen, science teachers and SNHS coordinators, have created a project for students to gain service hours.

“Because most of our activities were canceled due to social distancing measures,” explained Pierce, “we decided to create elementary school videos as a way of doing community service.”

SNHS members must create videos for elementary schoolers that are educational and relate to science topics in order to receive their cords.

“Our group created an ecosystem scavenger hunt for students,” said SNHS member Holly Shotton (12). “I know other members have created videos relating to chemistry and other sciences.”

These honor societies, alongside others, have created many successful accommodations in order for students to participate and receive cords.