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National Honors Society Bylaws


Article I – Name and Purpose

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the National Honor Society of Secondary Schools (NHS). 

Section 2. The purpose of this organization shall be to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. 

Section 3. The NHS shall be under the sponsorship and supervision of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537

Article II – The National Council

Section 1. The control of this organization shall be vested in the National Council

Section 2. The National Council shall consist of eleven members appointed by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, one representative chosen from each of the NASSP administrative regions, two at-large principals or assistant principals (from any region), and the NJHS Representative, from a middle school level. Regional representatives shall alternate terms between principals and advisers according to the schedule developed by the national office. The executive director of NASSP shall be an ex-officio member of the National Council and shall serve as treasurer of NHS. The director of the NASSP Department of Student Activities shall be an ex-officio member and shall serve as secretary of the National Council. 

Section 3. Members shall be appointed for a term of no more than three years. Section 4. A simple majority of members shall constitute a quorum of the National Council.

Article III – State and Regional Organizations

Section 1. Local chapters may choose to organize state associations. The state principals’ associations may form regional associations as defined by NASSP. 

Section 2. Any state or regional association of National Honor Society chapters shall conform to this Constitution and shall work with the NASSP Student Activities office in furthering the purpose of this organization.

Section 3. All state and / or regional associations shall be affiliated with the National Honor Society.

Section 4. The state and / or regional affiliate shall not serve as an appeal board for local chapter non-selection or dismissal cases.

Section 5. By laws of the state or regional associations must be approved by the secretary of the National Honor Society (the NASSP Director of Student Activities) and must be consistent with this Constitution.

Article IV – Local Chapters

Section 1. Any secondary public school is eligible to apply for a charter for a local chapter. Nonpublic secondary schools accredited or approved by state departments of education or by accrediting agencies approved by the National Council are eligible to apply for a charter for a local chapter. Each school shall have its own chapter except in cases where a school’s size precludes the formation of a full Faculty Council. In such cases, a chapter can be shared as long as all other constitutional requirements can be met. A middle level unit in the same building with a high school unit will be appropriate cause for two separate chapters (one for National Junior Honor Society and the one for the National Honor Society).

Section 2. Each chapter shall pay a chartering fee determined by the National Council.

Section 3. Each school with a chapter shall pay an annual affiliation fee recommended by the National Council and approved by the NASSP Board of Directors.

Section 4. The annual individual member dues paid to a chapter or state affiliate, if any, shall not exceed twenty dollars inclusively. The exact amount shall be determined by the executive committee of the chapter and shall be subject to the approval of the chapter membership.

  1. In accordance with Pembroke High School policy and practice, NHS members do not pay annual dues. The Pembroke High School Activities Fund submits payment for the annual charter and affiliation.

Section 5. Duly chartered local chapters shall conform to this Constitution as set forth by the National Council. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the charter.

Article V – The Principal

Section 1. The principal shall reserve the right to approve all activities and decisions of the chapter.

Section 2. The principal shall annually appoint a member of the faculty as chapter adviser, who may serve consecutive terms.

Section 3. The principal shall annually appoint a Faculty Council composed of five members of the school’s faculty who may serve consecutive terms.

Section 4. The principal shall receive appeals in cases of non-selection of candidates, and the disciplining or dismissal of members.

Article VI – The Chapter Adviser

Section 1. The chapter adviser shall be responsible for the direct, day-to-day supervision of the chapter and act as a liaison between faculty, administration, students, and the community.

Section 2. The chapter adviser shall maintain files on membership, chapter history, activities, and financial transactions. The chapter adviser shall send the annual report to the national office.

Section 3. The chapter adviser shall regularly review each member for compliance with Society standards and obligations.

  1. Member GPAs shall be reviewed following the first semester and again at the end of the year.

Section 4. The chapter adviser shall help the chapter officers understand and carry out their duties.

Section 5. The chapter adviser shall be an ex-officio, non-voting, member of the Faculty Council in cases of Disciplinary Action.

Section 6. The chapter adviser shall be a member of the faculty, appointed annually by the principal, and may serve consecutive terms.

Article VII – Faculty Council

Section 1. The Faculty Council shall consist of five voting members appointed annually by the principal. The chapter adviser shall be an ex-officio, non-voting, sixth member of the Faculty Council. No principal or assistant principal may be included on the Faculty Council.

Section 2. The term of the Faculty Council shall be one year. Members may be appointed to consecutive terms.

Section 3. The Faculty Council shall meet at least once a year to review the procedures of the chapter, select members, and to consider non-selection, dismissal, other disciplinary actions, and warning cases.

Section 4. The Faculty Council will develop and revise, when necessary, all chapter procedures for selection, discipline, and dismissal of members, all of which must remain in compliance with the national guidelines.

Article VIII – Membership

Section 1. Membership in local chapters is an honor bestowed upon a student. Selection for membership is based on outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue to demonstrate these qualities.

Section 2. Membership shall be known as active, honorary, and graduate. Active members shall become graduate members at graduation. Graduate members shall have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.

Section 3. The Faculty Council shall reserve the right to award honorary membership to school officials, principals, teachers, NHS advisers, adults, students with disabilities, or foreign exchange students in recognition of achievement and/or outstanding service rendered to the school in keeping with the purposes of the National Honor Society. Honorary members shall have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.

Section 4. Candidates become members when inducted at a special ceremony.

Section 5. Members who are seniors in good standing are eligible to be nominated by their chapters to compete in the National Honor Society Scholarship Program.

Section 6. An NHS member who transfers to another school and brings a letter from the principal or chapter adviser to the new school adviser shall be accepted automatically as a member in the new school’s chapter. Transfer members must meet the new chapter’s standards within one semester in order to retain membership.

Section 7. Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.

Article IX – Pembroke High School Selection of Members

Section 1. To be eligible for membership the candidate must be a member of those classes (junior, senior) designated as eligible in the chapter bylaws. Freshmen and sophomores are not eligible. Candidates must have been in attendance at the school the equivalent of one semester.

  1. Candidates must have consistent attendance and be eligible for extra-curricular involvement.

Section 2. The national minimum standard for scholarship shall be a cumulative scholastic average of at least 85 percent, B, or the equivalent standard of excellence. Candidates shall then be evaluated on the basis of service, leadership, and character.

  1. In keeping with the national minimum standard for scholarship, students in the class of 2020 will be required to have a minimum 85 (3.7) weighted GPA for consideration and must maintain that minimum throughout the term of membership. The GPA requirements for the classes of 2017-2019 will remain at 3.3
  2. As stated in the Pembroke High School Student Handbook, students with a discipline record which includes punitive measures taken for / or evidence of cheating or other serious infraction should not be considered for membership.
  3. Students who have displayed qualities unbecoming of a student leader or which reflect poor character should not be considered for membership.
  4. A roster of students eligible for consideration shall be published throughout the school for faculty and staff to offer opinions about student attitude and character as witnessed in any venue of the school or interaction with the school personnel and student body. Such comments are considered very seriously in the determination of one’s Character and Leadership abilities, and may be grounds for not issuing an invitation of membership.

Section 3. The selection of each member to the chapter shall be by a majority vote of the Faculty Council.

Section 4. A description of the selection procedure shall be published in an official school publication that is widely available in a timely fashion to all students and parents of the school. The selection procedure shall be determined by the Faculty Council and shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of NHS.

  1. The student handbook contains a description of the aforementioned criteria and the Chapter Bylaws are available upon request.

Section 5. The National Council and NASSP shall not review the judgment of the Faculty Council regarding selection of individual members to local chapters.

Article X – Leadership

Section 1. Executive Board – There are elected student positions to assist in the day to day operation of the Pembroke High School National Honor Society. These positions are elected in the Spring of the previous year and include: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Publicity Coordinator, and Field Coordinator. There are also three Junior Class Representatives elected from the Junior class in the Fall after inductions.

Section 2. Executive Board responsibilities - Executive Board and general membership meetings are mandatory. The Executive Board meets the Fridays before the general membership meeting on Mondays. Executive Board members must attend all events possible and fulfill the duties of their position.

  1. President - Organize with Executive Board all NHS events. Work closely with Executive Board members to facilitate fund-raising and volunteer commitments. In conjunction with advisors oversee Senior Service Projects. Available to meet with NHS advisors as needed.
  2. Vice President - Assist president with organizing events with Executive Board. Work closely with Executive Board members to facilitate fund-raising and volunteer commitments. Assist president, in conjunction with advisors, in overseeing Senior Service Projects. Available to meet with NHS advisors as needed.
  3. Secretary - Take notes of both Executive Board meetings and the general membership meetings. Type the agenda for the general membership meetings and give to the NHS advisors in a timely manner. Assist NHS president and advisors as needed.
  4. Treasurer - Report to membership status of NHS account. Organize one fundraising initiative. Assist NHS president and advisors as needed.
  5. Publicity Coordinator - Send out all electronic notifications to the general membership in a timely manner. Assist NHS president and advisors as needed.
  6. Field Coordinator - Take attendance at monthly meetings and report to advisors. Track NHS member participation in all events and post status at the bi-monthly meetings. Assist NHS president and advisors as needed.
  7. Junior Class Representative (three) – Act as an ad hoc member of the Executive Board. Represent the Junior Class membership. Assist NHS president and advisors as needed.

Article XI – Discipline and Dismissal

Section 1. The Faculty Council, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Honor Society shall determine the procedure for dismissal. A written description of the dismissal procedure shall be available to interested parties.

Section 2. Members who fall below the standards that were the basis for their selection shall be promptly warned in writing by the chapter adviser and given a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency. The exception is that in the case of a flagrant violation of school rules or the law, a member does not necessarily have to be warned.

  1. Members who fail to fulfill their obligations to the National Honor Society, such as weekly attendance in meetings, senior service projects, and / or other duties taken on by the Pembroke High School chapter will be subject to disciplinary action.

Section 3. The Faculty Council shall determine when an individual has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings.

Section 4. In all cases of pending dismissal, a member shall have a right to a hearing before the Faculty Council.

Section 5. For purposes of dismissal, a majority vote of the Faculty Council is required.

Section 6. A member who has been dismissed may appeal the decision of the Faculty Council to the principal and thereafter under the same rules for disciplinary appeals in the school district.

Section 7. The National Council and NASSP shall hear no appeals in dismissal cases.