This year, the National Honors Society (NHS) plans to continue meeting as a club through scheduled zooms despite school restrictions due to COVID-19. Teacher sponsor Todd Petersen said for this semester and likely next semester, the club will continue to meet through zoom. Petersen said due to the size of the club, NHS will have to continue meeting independently using zoom during the time that school is in the hybrid model.
Petersen said the club will still try to meet as often as last year but they are still trying to find their footing before moving forward.
“I’m just less confident about what we’re going to get out of those meetings and how we’re going to be an organization that adds a lot of value,” Petersen said. “It’s certainly going to look differently than it has in the past.”
Petersen said what the club does and how they offer their services have changed significantly, and they are still trying to figure it out.
“When you have so much distance, figuratively and literally, between students and the classroom and the building, it’s hard to figure out how to transition from where we were in March to where we want to be in August when everything’s been on hold,” Petersen said.
Petersen said the club has changed its application deadline, admission process and induction date. Last spring, NHS did not have an election to determine the officers for this year, Petersen said, and this semester it was put on hold due to online learning.
“We talked to all the people who showed an interest in continued leadership roles within the organization,” Petersen said. “We’re going to be a leadership committee kind of thing and we’ll figure out what roles and titles we have later.”
Petersen said they are trying to work through ways to provide community service in a time when the ability to do so has changed significantly.
Liana Almeida, a senior on the NHS leadership board, said they are doing a leadership board instead of four or five positions.
“We’re all just kind of working together because in the past it has never really worked out only having five people. Not a lot gets done,” Almeida said.
Almeida said that they are talking about ideas that they could do to be more than just a blood drive, which the NHS does every year but is unable to do this year.
“We’re trying to come up with other ways to get more involved with the school so students can see that and be like, ‘Oh, I want to be part of that,’” Almeida said.
Almeida said that while they have not gotten very far into planning, their current plan is to work on tutoring since students do not have a tutoring center anymore.
Petersen said the one good thing about these changes is that the guiding leaders of the organization will benefit from getting real-world leadership opportunities.
“In a world where everyone’s trying to figure out the different rules to how things work, it’s been a challenge, but it’s been good from a sponsor’s perspective to see how the students step up and try and make a difference and see what they can do,” Petersen said.
Petersen said he is happy that he has a group of leaders who want to be involved and implement change at a time when it is difficult to do so.
“We have the excuse to say ‘hey, since things are different now, what do we need to do to evaluate the organization as a whole to make it better,’” Petersen said.
Petersen said he believes that the opportunity to do change, although it will be conducted differently, will ultimately help the organization because of the quality of leadership of the students that he has.