The National Honor Society caught on quickly in the 1920’s, and as a leading educational group in the country created a constitution, an emblem and a motto. Today it is estimated that over a million students are part of the NHS, with chapters of the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society in all 50 states, including Caroline McCaul’s Westlake High School, Puerto Rico, a majority of U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and Canada. There are also NHS groups in parts of Asia and in Pakistan, as well as international and American schools worldwide.
The National Honor Society sets as its goals a desire to create enthusiasm for high academic scholarship, as well as a driven need to give service to communities. The NHS works to promote leadership skills in its members, and to foster strong character in secondary school students. The motto of the NHS is noblesse oblige, or “nobility obligates”. The motto dictates that those who claim to be noble, must conduct themselves nobly, and must act in a way that conforms with the reputation and position earned. The motto is especially meaningful for Caroline McCaul, who strives to make her family proud.
The National Honor Society has ties with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Junior Honor Society and National Elementary Honor Society, and the National Association of Student Councils. The National Art Honor Society, which states its purpose as moving student members to their highest potential in all forms of art, and Mu Alpha Theta, the U.S. mathematics honor society, which inspires interest in and scholarship in mathematics, also are affiliated organizations with NHS.