Upcoming Dates

January 16
Applications Close for
Merit Scholarships
Need-Based Scholarships

April 2
Applications Close for
Outstanding Advisor Award
Service Awards

April 9
Applications Open for
Junior Summer Study Stipend

April 30
Applications Close for
Junior Summer Study Stipend

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Welcome New Chapters

Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School
Chapter: Phoenix
Tampa, FL

Cutler Bay Senior High
Chapter: Shakespearean Tiger Sharks
Cutler Bay, FL

Durant High School
Chapter: Durant High School National English Honor Society
Plant City, FL

East Lincoln High School
Chapter: Giving Tree
Denver, NC

Everglades Preparatory Academy
Chapter: Burrows
Homestead, FL

H. D. Woodson STEM High School
Chapter: Woodson Warriors
Washington, DC

Lafayette High School, VA
Chapter: Lafayette Literary Society
Williamsburg, VA

Legend High School
Chapter: Legendary Coeus
Parker, CO

Lincoln High School, SD
Chapter: Lincoln Live Poets Society
Sioux Falls, SD

Lincoln International Academy
Chapter: Honest Abe's
Miami, FL

Northwest High School
Chapter: Northwest High School English Honor Society
Germantown, MD

Phoebus High School
Chapter: Roberta Ambrogio English Honor Society
Hampton, VA

Rochester High School
Chapter: Rochester High National English Honor Society
Rochester Hills, MI

Vernon Township High School
Chapter: Vernon Township High School
Vernon, NJ

Walkersville High School
Chapter: Longbottom's Lions
Walkersville, MD

Woodstock High School
Chapter: Woodstock High School
Woodstock, GA

In This Issue

  1. New Website
  2. Scholarships
  3. NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing for 2018
  4. Advisor Grants
  5. Folger Shakespeare Library
  6. Common Reader Recommendations for 2019
  7. Advisory Council Applications

The 18th year of the third millennium as well as the year of the dog on the Chinese calendar, 2018 has dawned; the often chaotic and troubling year of 2017 has faded. As we start anew together, we in the Central Office hope the intense and important pursuits of teaching and learning fill the coming months with joy and accomplishment. Here is a lovely poem by Richard Wilbur, "Year's End," that captures poignant aspects of the passage of time:

Year's End
Richard Wilbur

Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I've known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.

NEHS now stands at 1,048 charters—a growth that was never anticipated in the formative years of the Society. Thank you for empowering the members of this literary and academic organization to impact the lives of so many. This issue of NEHSXpress highlights the following—the NEHS scholarship deadline, NCTE Achievement Awards, a call for Common Reader recommendations for 2019, information about the Folger Shakespeare Library, Advisor grants, and a call for applications for Advisory Council positions.

New Website

After months of work, led by Elfi Gabriel, Director of Marketing and Technology for Sigma Tau Delta and NEHS, with assistance from colleagues in the Central Office and with support from the IT Department of Northern Illinois University, the new NEHS website launched on Monday afternoon, January 8. When you login to www.nehs.us, you will be on the new site, which, with its new navigation, will look different. We ask for your patience as you familiarize yourself with this new communication tool; the new format will allow for more effective access through mobile devices, reflecting a fresh approach to all aspects of NEHS. With this launch, we celebrate the growth of NEHS, which has surpassed the 1,050 chartered-chapter mark.


The deadline for both Merit and Need-Based Scholarships is January 16, 2018, at 12:00 noon Central Standard Time (CST). Recently, additional information about the new submission procedures using Award Spring was sent to all Advisors and other individuals who have registered for NEHS news. Please make sure all candidates are aware of the changes in place for this year.

View: Merit Scholarship Overview
View: Essay Prompts
View: Need-Based Scholarship Qualifications and Required Submissions

NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing for 2018

Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students in their writing and to publicly recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) will recognize students who are cited as excellent writers by judges. Juniors in the current academic school year are eligible to be nominated by their schools in the United States, District of Columbia, Canada, Virgin Islands, and American Schools Abroad. Two written submissions are required; one must be based on the theme, "Changing the Narrative." For more information, visit NCTE. Entries are due no later than February 15, 2018.

Advisor Grants

NEHS believes in the value of educators and wishes to support them, particularly those willing to add even more to the challenges of 21st century education by eagerly serving as NEHS Advisors. Advisors are encouraged to apply for these new grants intended to supplement other funding sources. Grants must be used to enhance the teaching and learning of the English language arts that also will directly impact effectiveness of advising NEHS chapters. Applicants must explain the intended use of grant funds and submit a blog article detailing the outcomes resulting from the grant.

Grants ranging in amounts from $25-$350 are available throughout the school year. View application information.

Folger Shakespeare Library

At the recent NCTE convention in St. Louis, conversations were held with staff members from the Folger Library about reciprocal opportunities through collaboration with NEHS. While those talks continue, awareness of the resources available at the Folger to support immersion in all things Shakespeare may be helpful.

Forsooth! The Folger Teacher Community

The Folger has launched a new online teacher community that offers access to Folger-curated Shakespeare resources and the latest scholarship, as well as teacher-to-teacher discussion hubs. Forsooth! hosts a steadily growing bank of hundreds of downloadable Folger-created, classroom-tested instructional resources proven to spark all students' understanding of and interest in Shakespeare's language.

Becoming a teacher member grants full access to Forsooth! in addition to other Folger member benefits, such as ticket discounts and invitations to gallery talks. Teacher memberships are $40/year.

Common Reader Recommendations for 2019

The selection of a Common Reader for NEHS is a challenge the Advisory Council tackles each year. Identifying one text, fiction or non-fiction, that will generate outstanding writing as well as serve as a text for chapters, schools, and communities to embrace, is difficult. We try to select books that will expand the reading experiences of our members, stimulate great conversations, and extend English literature curricula offerings. Recommendations from NEHS chapter members and Advisors would be very welcome; please send suggestions to NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin by March 5, 2018.

Advisory Council Applications

Given the growth of NEHS, the number of representatives to serve on the Advisory Council (AC) should also increase. Ideally, we would like to have three representatives from each of the geographic regions; the AC members provide guidance to area chapters, particularly mentoring new Chapter Advisors. Additionally, they help set the course for NEHS, envision new initiatives, make financial recommendations and decisions, evaluate applications for grants and scholarships, represent NEHS at conventions and conferences, and provide assistance to the Director. Chapter Advisors who may be interested in applying for a position on the Advisory Council should contact NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin.