How the National Honor Society is Rebuilding Post-Pandemic


Ed Schoder

Members of the Oakdale NHS participate in community service at the Monocacy Battlefield.

Catherine Brennan, Editor-In-Chief

The National Honor Society (NHS) has been the pinnacle of academic success and service to the community for high school students since its establishment in 1921. High school juniors and seniors are carefully selected to be members of the society based on their performance, service, and leadership in and outside of the classroom, recognizing the brightest and most motivated students.


Operations for the Oakdale chapter of the NHS, like most things, came to a screeching halt in 2020 when the pandemic started, causing projects such as Dressember and the Veteran’s Day ceremony to be postponed until it was safe to resume.


The amount of time that the NHS spent without working on projects caused a disconnect between the students and Dr. Ed Schoder, the society’s advisor. The loss of the community aspect of the NHS made it more difficult for the organization to carry out service projects, especially the larger projects that make an impact. 


This school year’s focus is to return to normal operations, and as Schoder explained, “A lot of this has to begin with reestablishing our own community of NHS.”


So far, efforts have been made in order to revive the community aspect of the NHS. A social event planned  by Schoder and In10se BBQ brought the student members together: it was the first time the NHS had gathered since before the pandemic and the first event for last year’s newly inducted members. 


Now that this new NHS class has become familiar with the organization and each other, they can better serve the community as a cohesive and motivated group of students. With this comes more participation. 


Sarah Anderson, Vice President, shared her optimism: “I’m really excited to see members submitting ideas for other service projects we can do already, and I hope that continues throughout the year!” 


Creativity will be key as the organization continues to regain their role  as the “moral compass” of Oakdale, as Schoder calls it. Integrating new ideas for projects with existing traditions can help increase student and community engagement, as it makes the NHS about more than just fulfilling the required volunteer hours.


Overall, the goal of the NHS is to reel in students who truly want to serve selflessly and make an impact. Through service projects and community-building social events, the ultimate question Schoder and the NHS seeks to answer is, “How can we do things that make us a greater community?”