Shifting Society

After shift in leadership, how is NHS changing from last year?

IB Coordinator Rhonda Betzold sits down in her office in September of this year and opens her computer to find an email from Dr. Bearinger about taking over as the National Honors Society, NHS, sponsor for Ms. Severin and Dr. Pentland. She says no.

In mid-October, however, she changed her mind:

“I was debating about it. I decided not to do it because it is a lot of work, but I just kept coming back to it. And then we didn’t have a sponsor, so I finally decided to do it,” Betzold said.

As both the IB Coordinator and the new NHS Sponsor, Betzold is figuring out how to solidify the ground beneath her feet– adding on an additional 130 students from NHS to the 94 IB students she already assists.

“I wanted to broaden my conversations and relationships with students. And I understand the way high-achieving students work, that’s been my primary audience as a teacher and as the IB coordinator, so [being the NHS sponsor] felt like a natural fit,” Betzold said.

As the NHS sponsor, Betzold is in charge of organizing specific volunteer activities, organizing and holding monthly meetings, keeping track of volunteer hours, recommending students for scholarship opportunities, and more.

But Betzold isn’t the only one in a new leadership position this year. Senior Lila Mock is the NHS secretary starting this year.

“I help alongside our president and vice president, we help organize the volunteer activities that everyone is required to do. And we also help with the meetings that we have each month and let [the students of NHS] know what’s going on,” Mock said.

Being in NHS, especially in a leadership position, is about more than just college scholarships. It’s about the students and the impact the program has on the rest of their  lives.

“[In order to be a part of NHS] they have to, obviously, care about the community and volunteering. It’s important to not just do it because you want to have something good on your resume, but that you actually care about helping people out,” Mock said.

Other than the new leadership in place to both instill and follow these values, a few other things have changed.

“Last year we didn’t have much involvement due to the sponsors being busy, but we had more volunteer opportunities. This year we haven’t really done anything yet, but I’m hoping to get out into the field more,” Senior Lauren Vierregger said.

Senior Elisabeth Meade feels similarly. As the new Vice President of NHS, she hopes to add more service in the community and build stronger relationships between new and returning members.

“Last year we didn’t have many meetings or do much outside of bell ringing and induction, so this year we will be more engaged and purposeful throughout the rest of the year,” Meade said.

Luckily for like-minded students, Betzold plans on doing just that.

“I would love to do more meaningful service projects as a group, in order to instill a life-long love of volunteerism and service into our MNHS students,” Betzold said.

Along with the other new changes, NHS has seen an influx in student acceptances this year, reflecting their goals to help more students set up lasting and impactful futures, as well as friendships. Among some of the returning seniors is Sanika Navalkar.

“I’m happy about the larger number of students admitted this year. Millard North is such a diverse and talented school, we have a lot of great students in each grade. NHS can only become better with more high-achieving students being able to showcase their full potential,” Navalkar said.

This is Navalkar’s second year in NHS. As she navigates through her final year of high school and the early stages of college, she’s thankful for the opportunity to bond with other students through community service and school-wide events that NHS provides.

“[With the] new sponsor, our regularly scheduled plans are changing– which is exciting. I look forward to seeing what the NHS has in store for our service this year,” Navalkar said.