student leaders

Creating a Better Culture: Why I Became an Adviser

Our chapter had tremendous potential, and it was time to realize it

My school opened in the 1960s, and it has always had a National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. At first it was great, but over the years it began to decline; it was a disorganized group and the bylaws weren’t strong enough. I became the new adviser because I wanted to turn it back into what it should be. Now, the students truly see the value in the leadership opportunities they get by participating. Incoming freshmen are even beginning to ask how they can get into NHS, and that hasn’t always been a question on their minds. (more…)

Out of the School and Into the Community: Why I Became an Adviser

Guest post by Natasha Schaefer, NHS adviser at Woodcreek High School in Roseville, CA. 

When I opened my inbox to find an email from my vice principal, I was relieved that it wasn’t about an upset parent or other administrative tasks. Instead, it was calling for volunteers. Our National Honor Society (NHS) adviser had moved to another school, and the position needed to be filled. While I normally worked with lower-achieving students—a satisfying duty in its own right—I decided I wanted to get to know the kids on the other end of the spectrum. (more…)

A Place to Belong: Why I Became an Adviser

Celebrating scholarship is just as important as any other school club, and NJHS provides that space.

Twenty-one years ago, my principal asked me to advise the current National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) chapter at my middle school. I had never done it before, and it was trial by fire—luckily I was able to attend a workshop and found great resources to get me started. (more…)

Giving Students a Voice and Empowering Them to Take Action

Schools benefit when students share their voices, but how often do we take the time to truly listen to what they have to say? The Quaglia Institute suggests that students are seven times more academically motivated when they believe their voices are heard as compared to students who do not. How might we integrate student voice into the way schools work while also honoring what students have to say? (more…)

Thinking Outside the Box with Student Leadership

Guest post by Clint Williams 

Skyridge Middle School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) program is an active organization that makes our school a great place to be. Our student leaders organize school celebrations and spirit weeks, plan assemblies and recognition luncheons, mentor our sixth-grade students, and much more. They are the face of our school and our best ambassadors. But there is one big problem with ASB: It is so popular that we have to turn away a large number of students each year who want to become leaders, because space is limited. I realize this is a great problem to have, but it is a challenge, nonetheless. What can we do to provide students more ways to get involved and lead?  (more…)

Student Voice Is Essential to Education Reform

Guest post by Felix Yerace

Over the last 11 years of my career in education, I have seen my students do amazing things and show leadership that I am not sure I possessed at 16 or 17, or 26 or 27, for that matter. They have improved their schools, advocated for their peers, given back to their communities, and made their world a better place. In doing so, they have learned powerful lessons that I could never have taught in the classroom. I am continually impressed with their efforts and abilities, and their work inspired me to go back to school to earn my PhD in Leadership Studies, focusing on youth leadership development to learn how to help other educators better support their own student leaders. (more…)