National English Honor Society enters hiatus

Trevor Nichols, News Editor

The local chapter of National English Honor Society will be discontinued next year. NEHS’s hiatus is due to a lack of membership and participation over the past year.

“We’ve had some problems with attendance,” sophomore English teacher Marcia Simmons said. “About a third of our membership shows up, and we only had three people apply to be officers next year. We really need six to eight to be effective.”

The local chapter of NEHS was founded three years ago. Past popular NEHS events from these past years include hosting ‘Poetry Out Loud,’ a poetry reciting competition created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Recent NEHS events include a social on March 5, and programs for connecting with elementary school students with a love for reading.

“We haven’t had a lot going on this year,” Simmons said. “We had a really successful program of reading after school at Williams Elementary, but other than that we just haven’t gotten a lot done. There are a lot of afterschool activities at Cinco Ranch, so students are often very busy.”

Current NEHS officers include President Kendall McElhaney, Vice President of Activities Megan Simmons, Vice President of Communications Michelle Chong, Vice President of Service Rochelle Hajikhani, Secretary Connie Ge, and Co-Vice Presidents of Finance and Membership Britney Dau and Yewande Ifanse.

“We have a National Honor Society, a Science Honor society, and a Math Honor Society,” AP Literature teacher Susan Shank said. “So it’s too bad that we won’t have an English Honor Society next year. Hopefully, students will bring it back in the future.”

Past guest speakers for NEHS include Jo Exley, a published author as well as a 9th grade English teacher.

“In the past, we’ve had ‘Poetry Out Loud,’ and this year we missed the deadline for that,” Simmons said. “We had sold books at the garage sale to raise money for libraries. We’ve had writers—two teachers and a student—come and speak for us. I’d like to see things like that come back.”

NEHS may return from its hiatus in future years, after next year’s definite break. According to Simmons, it depends on incoming students’ level of interest in restarting the program.

“I am hoping that a group will come forward and say, ‘We’d like to get this started again, so here’s our plan, and here are some things we’d like to do,’” Simmons said. “I think that somebody who has a passion for it can do it again. I want them to have a commitment to the organization and I want them to make a difference.”