Adaptability of the National Honors Society at Morton West High School

NHS cabinet at the induction ceremony on November 11th, 2020, from left to right Top: Anthony Sanchez, Citlalli Esquivel, and Malena Petronijevic. Middle: Elaine Thach, Edith Barajas, Gianna Torres. Bottom: Barbara Navarro and Karla Topete. (Via Instagram @nhs201)

Scholarship, leadership, service, and character, what do these four words stand for? They stand as the “four pillars”, which signifies what the National Honors Society stands for.  As the dreadful year, 2020 closed, we take a closer look and get more into depth on what NHS has worked on and accomplished in its first semester of the 20/21 school year. NHS is one of the most successful clubs at Morton West, due to its interest and passion for giving back to the Morton community. 

   For over ninety years, the National Honor Society (NHS) has been a leader among organizations and societies that encourages recognition for students who exemplify outstanding achievement in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership, and service. NHS membership is awarded to those students with a 3.5 G.P.A and levels of activities within the school and community. In regards to the “four pillars”, NHS members take the following pledge in their initiation ceremony to show their dedication for the “four pillars”. “I pledge to uphold​ the high purposes​ of the National Honor Society​, to which I have been selected;​ I will be true to the principles for which it stands​, I will be loyal to my school;​ ​And I will maintain and encourage​ high standards of scholarship,​ service, ​leadership, ​and character.​” 


NHS cabinet from left to right Barbara Navarro, Malena Petronijevic, Anthony Sanchez, Gianna Torres, and Edith Barajas. (via Twitter @nhs201)

Madeline Hughes, Math teacher, Assistant Girls Cross Country coach, and sponsor for NHS has been the advisor for NHS for the past four years. Hughes explains, “My inspiration for working with NHS is the students and their ability to lead and provide so many service opportunities in our community.  I also look up to them because they are truly good people who want to do good things in our world.” Hughes also highlights that she is so proud of her current cabinet this school year, “I have the best cabinet ever! I’ve never (and honestly, really) I’ve never seen a cabinet that has been more proactive, full of more creative ideas, and been so inspiring before. They have done things this year that I’ve never seen other cabinets do.The NHS cabinet created a website : ( and develop service opportunities virtually, which has never done before, and the members always show up with a smile regardless of what has been thrown at them this year. Lastly, Hughes says, “I want to shout out to not only NHS members, but FMP members and SHH members. You all have gone above and beyond what is expected of you and what we even thought could happen this year and I’m very proud of you guys.”

Tutoring students is one area where NHS students help the Morton community. Barbara Navarro ‘21, Tutoring Coordinator for NHS at Morton West H.S., explains the transition for tutoring from in-person to remote tutoring sessions.  “This year our tutoring program saw drastic changes as we could no longer tutor in-person like we did last year in the library or with teachers.” Navarro created a Microsoft Teams page where any student at Morton West, could sign up for a session of tutoring with an NHS member.  “Tutoring is available every weekday during office/lunch hours and most of our members are on a set schedule that has a specified class, time, and day in which they tutor for where anyone can join.” 

NHS members at the annual Proska Park cleanup (via Twitter @nhs201)

NHS members can also become be elected to the leadership of the club. Malena Petronijevic ‘21, current President of NHS, explains her journey to become President of NHS. “I was involved in the National Junior Honor Society throughout middle school and wanted to carry over my experience in high school. I ran for junior advisor last year which was soon.” Anthony Sanchez ‘21, Vice President for NHS explains how he became Vice President.“I knew that when I joined the National Honor Society that I wanted to have a leadership position. When the cabinet before my time as Vice President began offering Underclassmen and Upperclassmen positions, I knew it was my opportunity to grow and learn how to lead the National Honor Society.” Sanchez believes towards the second semester time frame they will be having the club’s first-ever fundraiser by selling cookie dough. If each member in NHS currently sells just one pack of cookie dough, the estimated amount of cash would yield around $6,000 for the club. Sanchez explains this money for the club fundraiser would go to service people in need during the pandemic. Subsequently, Sanchez acknowledges that yes, this year has been difficult, but members should see the impact that they have had on the community.