"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
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To the Editor,


Fri, Mar 16th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, March 19, 2001At the risk of sounding like the irate parents of the little boy who didnt get invited to the birthday party, we would like to share with you what we recently learned about the National Honor Society, since our son did not get accepted for the second year. First let us explain that the name itself is deceptive at best. The National affiliate, dictates nothing to the selection process or criteria beyond the mandated 3.0 GPA. The application process, application review, and weighed emphasis on established attributes lies solely within the local districts control. In addition we have learned that there is no honor in attaining this goal, since the local district has determined it unnecessary for voting teachers to review the applications before casting their vote.

Our son currently holds a 3.88 GPA, has earned athletic letters in Cross Country and Golf, is a member of Band (section letter recipient), Pep band, Choir, Pop Singers, Math League, Knowledge Bowl, Big Brother, Luther League, and has participated in Western Days fund raising activities as well as the musical production of Camelot. He holds a steady summer lawn mowing job and works at a local grocery store, which in part, has helped to pay for an aviation certificate and flight lessons. He is also an active member of the Civil Air Patrol and has set a personal goal to be accepted into the Air Force Academy. The canned Try again next year response will not help him meet his goal.

Through our discussion with Mr. Paulson and some of the high school faculty we have learned that the selection process begins by interested, qualified (3.0 or above GPA) students first completing an application highlighting their strengths in scholarship, service, leadership and character (although this step is not mandatory). Next the 31 eligible voting faculties are given the option of casting a vote. They need not even review the application before they cast their vote. Consequently, voters cast for some candidates and not others when the faculty voting has made no comparison of achievement, or accomplishment.

The high school staff we have spoken with were unable to tell us how many of the 31 eligible voters actually cast votes, as well as how many (if any) of those voting actually reviewed the applications. They were also unable to tell us in which area our son fell short.

They were able to tell us that he did receive quite a few votes, and we cannot help but wonder if the Cross County and Golf coaches were eligible voters (as are the football, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading, baseball, and track coaches) would he perhaps have received two more votes? If all voting faculty actually reviewed the applications, would he not have received more votes?

We are not trying to take any credibility or recognition from those students who have been selected as national Honor Society. We are merely asking that our school and its administration and faculty acknowledge that the system is flawed, an error has been made, and our son deserves this recognition.

In a recent letter from the West Point Military Academy, our son was informed that he has...been recommended by his school counselor, as a young person who has the potential to succeed acadamically, is physically fit, and has shown strong leadership qualities. We find it both ironic and disheartening that this same school fails to publicly recognize him through the National Honor Society.

Clint and Julie Marsh
Chatfield, MN

At the risk of sounding like the irate parents of the little boy who didnt get invited to the birthday party, we would like to share with you what we recently learned about the National Honor Society, since our son did not get accepted for the second year. First let us explain that the name itself is deceptive at best. The National affiliate, dictates nothing to the selection process or criteria beyond the mandated 3.0 GPA. The application process, application review, and weighed emphasis on established attributes lies solely within the local districts control. In addition we have learned that there is no honor in attaining this goal, since the local district has determined it unnecessary for voting teachers to review the applications before casting their vote.

Our son currently holds a 3.88 GPA, has earned athletic letters in Cross Country and Golf, is a member of Band (section letter recipient), Pep band, Choir, Pop Singers, Math League, Knowledge Bowl, Big Brother, Luther League, and has participated in Western Days fund raising activities as well as the musical production of Camelot. He holds a steady summer lawn mowing job and works at a local grocery store, which in part, has helped to pay for an aviation certificate and flight lessons. He is also an active member of the Civil Air Patrol and has set a personal goal to be accepted into the Air Force Academy. The canned Try again next year response will not help him meet his goal.

Through our discussion with Mr. Paulson and some of the high school faculty we have learned that the selection process begins by interested, qualified (3.0 or above GPA) students first completing an application highlighting their strengths in scholarship, service, leadership and character (although this step is not mandatory). Next the 31 eligible voting faculties are given the option of casting a vote. They need not even review the application before they cast their vote. Consequently, voters cast for some candidates and not others when the faculty voting has made no comparison of achievement, or accomplishment.

The high school staff we have spoken with were unable to tell us how many of the 31 eligible voters actually cast votes, as well as how many (if any) of those voting actually reviewed the applications. They were also unable to tell us in which area our son fell short.

They were able to tell us that he did receive quite a few votes, and we cannot help but wonder if the Cross County and Golf coaches were eligible voters (as are the football, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading, baseball, and track coaches) would he perhaps have received two more votes? If all voting faculty actually reviewed the applications, would he not have received more votes?

We are not trying to take any credibility or recognition from those students who have been selected as national Honor Society. We are merely asking that our school and its administration and faculty acknowledge that the system is flawed, an error has been made, and our son deserves this recognition.

In a recent letter from the West Point Military Academy, our son was informed that he has...been recommended by his school counselor, as a young person who has the potential to succeed acadamically, is physically fit, and has shown strong leadership qualities. We find it both ironic and disheartening that this same school fails to publicly recognize him through the National Honor Society.

Clint and Julie Marsh
Chatfield, MN

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