Welcome to this year’s chapter of National English Honor Society!

NEHS Parenthetical Panthers: Chapter 2021-2022


Cori Getzendanner, Writer, Reporter

Welcome to this year’s chapter of National English Honor Society!

Sherri Morrison still reigns as teacher liaison, and the officers are as stated below.

President: Jacqueline Knappenberger

Vice President: Nhi Quach

Secretary: Stephanie Barba

Treasurer: Fatima Rizvi

Communications: Jose Garcia Bonilla

Historian: Neha Veera

Since the 2019-2020 school year, the NEHS population has more than tripled. Membership dropped during the 2020-2021 school year, but skyrocketed from 22 members to 72 as of this year. Students can’t apply for membership currently, but soon the officers will meet and decide whether to open up to new applicants. 

To apply to NEHS, there are some criteria. You must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, overall and in English specifically. In addition to those requirements, members must complete at least 10 service hours per semester and participate in fundraiser events. 

“All the kids in NEHS are really good kids,” Morrison said.  “They’re all hard workers, they’re all academically good students. For the most part they’re really involved in their school; they’re just all around good students. They’re fun kids to be around.”

The officers this year are as follows: Jacqueline Knappenberger is President, Nhi Quach is Vice President, Stephanie Barba is Secretary, Fatima Rizvi is Treasurer, Jose Garcia Bonilla is Communications, and Neha Veera is Historian. 

“I have really good officers,” Morrison said. “That’s what helps a lot. This year especially, my officers are really in charge of planning things for the meetings, putting together the meeting slideshows, getting the announcements out.”

Currently, two service opportunities are going on. One is writing letters to seniors who are shut-ins, isolated, or are overall lonely. Letters are sent to one of their loved ones, who bring them to the elder to help prevent social isolation. The other service project is recording reading children’s books to send to elementary schools. Members pick their favorite childhood story, take a video of themself animatedly reading it, and post it to a Flipgrid.

“Every month we work through an organization [Love For Our Elders]… and my students can write letters to [seniors who are shut ins or isolated.]” Morrison said. “We’re also working on recording Flipgrid videos… that are going to be a holiday gift to the kindergarten and early childhood teachers in the district.”

There is also a scholarship essay currency going on. It is open only to seniors, as they can earn a college scholarship if their essay is selected as the winner. Applicants read a book that was selected by the organization, choose a prompt from the options presented, and write an essay over it.

“Every year in [May] NEHS will choose a book that will be the ‘common reader’ for that year,” Morrison said. “This year, it is The Beekeeper of Aleppo. Students are encouraged to read it, and then in November the prompts are released. Students have [until the end of January] to enter and write their essay based on one of the prompts, and on the novel.”

Along with the service opportunities and the scholarship essay contest, each year, the NEHS organization hosts a literature contest. This year, it focuses on poetry writing. Every month the theme or prompt changes and any student can enter.

“There’s usually little prizes,” Morrison said, “sometimes Amazon gift cards, things like that. It’s just a fun thing. Students who enter and who are selected as winners get recognized in the NEHS newsletter.”

NEHS membership looks good to colleges and universities because there are very high standards to be a part of it. Being in it proves that you are a good academic and are involved in your community. President Jaqui Knappenberger also thinks it shows that students are well-rounded.

“Even though it’s an honor society,” Vice President Nhi Quach said,  “I think it’s more of a unique one because there’s not a lot of NEHS chapters around. The one at our school is fairly new, too. I think it looks pretty unique [on college applications and resumes.]

“Over the summer I came up with the plan for us to try and get the Outstanding Chapter Award,” Knappenberger said, “and that’s what we’re trying to aim for. Right now we’ve done a book drive… and Flipgrids that we’re going to send over to a tutoring center for little kids…and we’ve also done some letters for seniors for the holidays.”