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History of NHS


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In 1921, NASSP officially established the National Honor Society.  Though may 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 Fifith Avenue High School, Pittsburg, PA, 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 mottoe, and a group of dedication 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." (from the NHS Constitution).  These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.