Dover High School

National Honor Society



National Honor Society logoThe National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.



The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established NHS in 1921. Though many local and regional honor societies existed prior to 1921, no nationwide organization had been founded. Under the leadership of Dr. Edward Rynearson, principal of the Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, the organization grew from the original Alpha Chapter at the Fifth Avenue School to more than 1,000 chapters by 1930. Equipped with a constitution, an emblem and motto, and a group of dedicated principals as coordinators, the new NHS organization quickly developed into one of the country's leading educational groups. 

Four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning: 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. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.


Parent and Sister Organizations

For additional information about NASSP and the additional Honor Societies sponsored by the association, please visit, and


How NHS Benefits Your Student


Established in 1921, the National Honor Society (NHS) is the oldest and most respected student recognition organization in the United States. Membership in NHS distinguishes students who have committed themselves to the pursuit of academic excellence, community improvement, and personal development.


More Than an Honor Roll
Academic achievement is a core component of NHS, but today’s students need much more than just good grades to get ahead. NHS’s focus on service, leadership, and character helps students build the skills and relationships that will ensure success throughout their academic years and beyond. When NHS members participate in community service projects, attend national leadership events, and serve as ambassadors to their schools and communities, they:

  • Connect with faculty, community leaders, and local business leaders who can provide recommendations and references, as well as leads on future internships and jobs
  • Build a portfolio of life achievements that can be featured on applications for colleges and careers, as well as cover letters and resumes
  • Begin networking with other accomplished student leaders who are focused on personal growth and building a solid foundation for their future endeavors
  • Learn how to be a more effective leader, and why leadership skills are an essential tool at any stage of life.