Danbury High School Graduation Class OfficersAbout NEHS

The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts. 

America's first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn't have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.

As Joyce Carol Oates writes, "This is the time for which we have been waiting." Or perhaps it was Shakespeare: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer . . ." we celebrate English studies through NEHS.

"Gelast Sceal Mid Are"

The NEHS motto, "gelast sceal mid are," is Old English for: "duty goes with honor." The motto represents one of the earliest forms of our language—it affirms and celebrates an obligation to use one's gifts in service to others. Service to peers, school, and community is part and parcel of the NEHS mission—and, indeed, in the grammatical structure of the Old English phrase, "duty" actually precedes "honor."

Everyone is Welcome Here

The National English Honor Society believes that the free expression of diverse experiences can powerfully, and positively, transform our world. By engaging with inclusive literature and elevating the voices of marginalized writers through our annual Common Readers, guest speakers, and creative challenges, we support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices in our classrooms and our communities.

The National English Honor Society encourages student members and Chapter Advisors to challenge social constructs around age, citizenship status, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geography, national origin, physical traits, race, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, and socioeconomic status by ensuring that the literature we read and the projects we support reflect the diversity of our global community.

We acknowledge our advances while recognizing the need to engage in further work to expand our efforts to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among our student members, Chapter Advisors, Advisory Council, and Central Office staff, ensuring that all NEHS members are supported, empowered, celebrated, and able to embrace their authentic selves in all aspects of NEHS Chapter life.