Courtesy of Victoria Park
Honor societies are vital to high schools for the standard of excellence they bring to various subjects, including math, spanish and art. One of WCHS’ longest existing honor societies is the English Honor Society (EHS), currently run by english teacher Mary Dempsey and senior officers Clare Tobin, Maxwell Teixeira, Miranda Chung, Jonathan Silverman and Charlotte Dubin.
In order to become a member of EHS, a student must have a 3.5 overall unweighted GPA and a 3.7 unweighted GPA in english. Additionally, you must be an upperclassman and a letter of interest must verify your sincerity in joining the society and upholding its values.
As WCHS’s english curriculum becomes more successful, as seen in increases in AP scores and the number of students take AP english classes, more students have been qualified to apply and been accepted into EHS. This year, in order to garner more participation and reach out to more WCHS students, several changes in the society’s layout and events have been made.
“EHS has been grown from a 150 member society when I first took over as sponsor to a 300 member society,” Ms. Dempsey said. “Because of the huge increase in members, I have to be strategic about providing service opportunities to all members. The best way to do this is with drives wherein members can get service points by donating. We do supplies drives and the book fair drive.”
The book drive is held every year and is a great way for students, both in EHS and not, to buy slightly used test prep books for AP tests or the SAT/ACT. In order to increase awareness, members of EHS make posters and hang them around the school.
“I’m glad I have a cheap way to buy books for school since new ones are usually really expensive and harder to buy than if I buy it at school,” senior and EHS member Maggie Zheng said. “Book fairs also give me a way to get rid of old books and help other students at the same time.”
Another service that has improved this school year is the english tutoring services EHS provides every day in room 230 during lunch. With the increase in both the quantity and quality of members, there are usually six members of EHS present to help students with essay revising, reading comprehension or specific test prep.
“The writing lab is our best resource for students,” Dempsey said. “English teachers can also request EHS members to come to their classes during lunch to offer extra help to students on specific projects and papers. Parents can even request for EHS members to work with their child on a consistent basis.”
EHS members can also attend various other events to improve their own skills, such as book club meetings, which give them service credits. On Nov. 21st, the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury was discussed during lunch in room 228. It is about the future of nuclear war amidst an age of scarily advanced technology, set in 2026.
“The book club meeting was fun since in normal English classes, we don’t get to discuss that many science fiction works nor do we usually have the opportunity to request what to discuss.” Zheng said. “It was interesting hearing other people’s opinions on our future in technology, and comparing what we think 2026 will be like versus what Bradbury believed.”
As WCHS’s student body continues to advance their english skills, EHS will undoubtedly grow and further improve. The changes they are making this year are reflective of this growth, and EHS continues to provide services to all students as well as academically enjoyable events for members.
“I want members to have fun when they participate in EHS activities and also to see them as valuable,” Dempsey said. “ I also hope that events like the book fair bring Churchill students together as a whole.”