Not So Secret Honor Societies

Rho Kappa takes a field trip to Washington DCs National Mall. Photo provided by Elizabeth Brubaker.
Rho Kappa takes a field trip to Washington DC’s National Mall. Photo provided by Elizabeth Brubaker.

As an abundance of new clubs are founded every year at Woodgrove, it can be difficult to know which ones to join. With honor societies being brought into the mix, it can get even trickier. Among the dozens of organizations to choose from, Woodgrove has the standard National Honor Society, or NHS, as well as a plethora of other societies that are built by and for students of particular interests who seek to go above and beyond at Woodgrove.

National Honor Society is by far the most popular honor society, with dozens of 11th and 12th graders joining each year. The club has over 100 senior members, with roughly the same number of juniors waiting to be inducted in late January. The group focuses on volunteer work and exemplifying strong academics at Woodgrove. “Our NHS is involved in the Woodgrove community by giving helping hands to local organizations for causes like Inova, Tree of Life, American Legion, etc.,” said senior NHS member, Noah Ubial. National Honor Society meets consistently before school once every month. 

While NHS grants membership to qualifying upperclassmen of all interests, there are also a variety of honor societies devoted to specific areas of study. Rho Kappa is the National Social Studies Honor Society. Woodgrove’s Rho Kappa chapter currently has a member base of over 40 students and is “always looking to grow the club even further,” according to senior club officer, Elizabeth Brubaker. The honor society holds meetings in room 202 every blue club day under the sponsorship of Mr. Alex Bennett. “We hold field trips for our members to places of historical significance within our broader community,” said Brubaker.. In the past year, the club has taken field trips to Arlington National Cemetery, downtown Leesburg, and Washington DC. 

As Rho Kappa is an honor society for the history inclined, the Science National Honor Society offers the same service to those with an interest in any field of science. Though the honor society only began formally meeting just recently, they have attracted around 40 inducted members. “We’re planning on getting our members involved with helping tutor those who need help in their science classes,” said Vice President Emmanuelle Mutima. Though the organization does not meet during school hours, they plan to gather twice every month. Matima said, “Our goal is to foster a science learning environment where students can learn from each other,” in addition to their focus on providing tutoring for Woodgrove students.

Woodgrove’s chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, the National Honor Society for Mathematics, brings together all those interested in the various fields of math. Currently, the club holds meetings in Ms. Natasha Shildneck’s room, L409. Their group of roughly 20 members meets every month to discuss all things math. “The goal of our club is to inspire people to embrace their love for math,” said senior Cora Capritta, president of the Woodgrove chapter of Mu Alpha Theta. Capritta also noted Mu Alpha Theta’s many contributions to the student community. “Part of being a member of Mu Alpha Theta is the tutoring we provide in the math lab at Woodgrove,” she explained. Occasionally, Mu Alpha Theta helps tutor math students at Harmony Middle School, as well.

Quill and Scroll, the International Journalism Honor Society, is a recent addition to Woodgrove’s extensive collection of honor societies. Quill and Scroll is open to students involved in the journalism program, including members of yearbook, newspaper, literary magazine, and broadcast news. The club has amassed a little over 20 members since its inception. As for the requirements for membership, senior and club secretary Madison Thurman said, “Being in Quill and Scroll means that someone has done high quality work in journalism.” Quill and Scroll’s fresh introduction to Woodgrove means the honor society will hold its first induction ceremony at the beginning of February. They intend to remain a consistent presence among the school’s many honor societies. 

In the Fine Arts realm, the International Thespian Society provides a sense of community for serious theater students. On blue club days, the group meets in the black box theater. Although members have to meet the official requirements in order to be inducted, International Thespian Society is supportive of all those involved in theater. Senior Sarah Gingerich says, “We welcome anyone who wishes to participate regardless of their induction status.” Some of their major events are their open mic nights, where students are able to share any creative piece, such as a song or story, to audience members. 

On the musical side of honor societies, Tri-M, also known as Modern Music Masters, is an honor society for music students in middle and high school. Woodgrove’s chapter has 50 members ranging from freshmen to seniors of all musical backgrounds, including those involved with musical theater. The club meets every month before school in the band room. On top of bringing together musically-minded students, Tri-M has goals to spread their influence outside of Woodgrove. “Recently members of Tri-M went to Harmony Middle School’s instrument try-out night to help 5th graders choose their future instruments,” Lauren Pyles shared. 

Also available to students are a plethora of language honor societies. Included in this field are French Honor Society, American Sign Language Honor Society, German Honor Society, Latin Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. These clubs typically meet a few times a month and are a great way to show involvement in a language beyond the classroom. Being in an honors, advanced placement, or dual enrollment language class is often a requirement in order to join a language honor society, but there are other language and culture clubs, such as French Club, that are open to language students of all levels. 

The wide variety of honor societies at Woodgrove gives students a chance to broaden their academic and extracurricular involvement. Whichever one students end up in, they are sure to be welcomed into active communities of like-minded and focused peers.

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