National English Honor Society Starts a New Chapter at WHS
by Audrey McClatchie
At Walkersville, there are plenty of options for honor societies to be accepted into. Seniors Julia Mattis and Molly Draper noticed there were some subjects that did not have the opportunity. This year, they began the National English Honor Society with the help of English teachers John Van Bloem and Rebekah May.
“Julia and I wanted to start NEHS because we both are really passionate about our English classes and felt it was really important part that was missing in Walkersville’s extra curricular activities,” said Draper. “We want to get people excited about literature and writing and reading, and we felt this was a great opportunity to do so,” she added.
“We were trying to figure out which things haven’t been started,” explained Mattis.
“To get NEHS started we had to apply to the national organization, get our chapter name ‘Longbottom Lions Literary Society’ approved, make and send out applications, and go through the applications,” Draper added.
“[They] came to me at the beginning of the year and said they really wanted to do it. They thought it would be an important addition to Walkersville High School.” said Van Bloem. “I went to a presentation two years ago on the society and how it functions. It was really cool how they focus on making language seem fun, because a lot of time in school it becomes a drag, or a book you have to read, and it takes away from some of the really awesome awesome things about language that exist. We wanted to emphasize that. In the county there are some other English honor societies, so I knew that this was something other people had been doing, and it was a good idea,” he explained.
English Honor Society is similar to others- “You have to have a 3.0 average overall and a 3.5 weighted or unweighted in your English classes. Students also have to be taking an advanced English class,” Van Bloem added. However, National English Honor Society is a little less typical.
“There’s an application that asks a number of questions, like ‘what’s your favorite word’ and ‘what’s an author you admire,’” Van Bloem explained the
“We didn’t want it to be boring,” Mattis said with a laugh. The inductions certainly weren’t, as students placed their hand on “Big Bertha” (a book) and shouted “Huzzah!” to be inducted into the society. Some spirited students even dressed in Renaissance costumes!
“Our plan is to have some really fun activities that relate to English and language,” Van Bloem stated.
“Our goal right now is just to have a student v. teacher spelling bee, a trip to Baltimore to the ‘Poe Birthday Bash’ in January, and write a book, and a fundraiser for next year’s NEHS.” Draper explained.
Van Bloem summed up English Honor Society as a place to have, “a lot of fun activities that help build the idea that language is a fun thing to play around with.”
If you weren’t able to join this year, be sure to check it out for next year!