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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Honors Societies can benefit students’ futures

Photo provided.
Kelee Mills (2023) pauses for a quick photo after graduation in May. Mills was inducted into Quill and Scroll during Senior Honors Night. “In my mind, Kelee typifies the kind of student that Quill and Scroll was created to honor. She was truly passionate about student media and went above and beyond to insure that student voices were heard.”

Honor societies have long been available to students, giving scholarships and offering high schoolers the chance to exhibit their achievements. 

Guidance counselor Glenn McKinstry, math teacher Kyle Brames, and news media production teacher Cathy Wall are sponsors of these groups at Harrisburg High School. 

With additional classes and hard work from students, it’s gratifying to earn a sense of recognition. The largest honor society at Harrisburg High School, the National Honor Society (NHS), is run by adviser Glenn McKinstry.

“[NHS] is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a high school student for academics,” McKinstry said . He added that “it is a prestigious honor for a high school student to be a member of the National Honor Society.”

Other students seem to split about Honor Societies.

“[Honor Societies] don’t show the hard work that someone does throughout high school,” said senior Paige Potts, adding, “I feel like so many people are on them who don’t put in as much work or effort as some of the other students.” Potts does say that Honor Societies “somewhat show pride” and that she “does feel honored being a member”.

Junior Brilee Holbrook seems to agree with Potts about the Honor Societies.

“I think that hard work is defined in many different ways, and people who don’t meet GPA/class requirements likely work hard in their own respects,” Holbrook said. Holbrook admits, “you can take pride in them” and that “[Honor Societies] are nice because it helps with college applications.” 

Though it makes students look academically competent, it also gives students a good disposition in the workforce.

“Being a member of the National Honor Society shows that a student has worked hard at academics and that they are well rounded and have good character.  That is exactly the type of person that colleges, businesses and the military are looking for,” McKinstry said. 

There are minimal fees and the requirements vary depending on the group.

NHS “requires students to have a G.P.A. of 3.70 or higher and 15 service points and be of good character,” McKinstry said. 

Another honor society, MU Alpha Theta, has been overseen by math teacher Kyle Brames for a few years. (Though he still assists, math teacher Kara James has now become the official sponsor.) The club has different requirements than the NHS. 

“To become a member, students must have an overall GPA of 3.00 or better, cumulative math GPA of 3.33 or better, successfully completed Geometry and Algebra II, and be enrolled in Intermediate Algebra, Algebra 3, PreCalculus, or Calculus,” Brames said. 

For Quill and Scroll, the International Honor Society affiliated with the National Scholastic Press Association, students need to be active in their school’s journalism program. 

“Quill and Scroll require students to be in the top third of their graduating class and to have made valuable contributions to their high school publications,” Wall said.

Like NHS and MU Alpha Theta, Quill and Scroll also recognize student achievement and hard work.

Quill and Scroll was created “for the purpose of encouraging and recognizing individual student achievement in journalism and scholastic publication,” according to the official Quill and Scroll website.

In the end, the advisers feel that national honors societies are worth considering for students looking to show their determination and academic success throughout high school. 

“I think clubs are definitely worth the time and effort,” McKinstry said.

Wall seems to agree.

 “It is a matter of pride, I think, to be able to walk through the graduation line wearing evidence of your academic success,” Wall said.


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About the Contributor
Kylan Jerrell
Kylan Jerrell, Staff Writer
Kylan Jerrell is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year working as an Purple Clarion staff member. He participates in the school band, playing the trombone for the concert, jazz, and marching band. He is also an active member in Key Club, History Club, Music Club and Book Club. He is passionate about literature, writing, and music.  Kylan spends his free time reading, writing short stories and poetry, practicing his instrument and listening to a wide variety of music. He plans on attending school to study both music and literature.  “Student journalism gives a voice to students, both as writers and participants in school activities. It is an essential part of the ‘High School Experience’.”

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