The National Honor Society started in 1921, with its first formal chapter of 48 members.
Today, there are more than 12, 500 chapters chartered across the United States including on-reservation student school chapters like the ones established by the Tuba City Unified School District.
To date, Tuba City Unified School District #15 continues to hold the Arizona state record for the most consistent membership of both junior high and high school level members of any Reservation area school in the past three years.
On April 19, the Tuba City Junior High Chapter of the National Honor Society swore in 15 new inductees to their 15-member group, making the new number for Tuba City Junior High NHS at 30 junior high members for 2006.
Tuba City High School NHS currently has 28 members and will induct another group of new members this May into their high achievement organization.
Together, the two Tuba City schools maintain 58 members. More will be inducted in May at the high school level, which is currently more than any other reservation area school for either Hopi or Navajo education facilities that maintain outstanding Honor Roll status at both the A and B level for academic, honor and citizenship levels of award .
In a traditional NHS candle-lighting ceremony held at the Tuba City Junior High Library on April 19, both the Acting Assistant Principal Edward Tuchawena, Associate Superintendent and Acting Administrator for the TC Junior High Dr. Harold Begay along with NHS Sponsors, Ira Mexicano and Evelyn Kiiyaani, parents and relatives of the students of the junior high NHS were there to help celebrate and honor these outstanding academic high achievers.
Dr. Begay, addressed the crowd.
"Sometimes, unfortunately as administrators we are so busy in the daily business of disciplining those few students that seem to have difficulty adjusting in our schools that we leave the students who are doing exceptionally well academically to their own devices," he said. "hese 15 new Tuba City District junior high students have distinguished themselves this year with the promise of even greater scholastic achievement in the future, and will be inducted in to this special group of academic high achievers, the National Honor Society.
"We must recognize as parents and educators this wonderful achievement and honor these young men and women as well as their parents for their continued support, and their teachers/support staff as they embark upon the most rigorous of upcoming academic challenges to come. We honor them tonight and congratulate them on a job very well done."
Mexicano, the TC Junior High NHS Sponsor, said he was extremely proud of his student group and took the time to shake each new member's hand and gave a warm hug to each student of the old membership.
"I want to extend the heartiest congratulations to the new members tonite and I look forward to serving with them in maintaining and encouraging the high standards of academic scholarship, service, leadership and citizenship with character building," he said.
One of the happiest parents and proud mother of a new seventh-grade inductee, was Darlene Donald whose daughter Nellie, age 15 of the Navajo-Otoe-Missouri tribes was one of the newest members.
With three other siblings at home to nurture, Nellie according to her mother, has always been an obedient daughter and a good student especially in her creative writing and poetry skills.
Though Darlene Donald worried about whether she was providing enough good positive single parenting role modeling, she took much of what TC Superintendent Begay said in his comments to the attending audience about providing unwavering support and love to their children to help them with their academics.
"I put myself last, my children first," Donald said. " I can't always provide everything materially, but when Dr. Begay said that we as parents must provide constant TLC, well that I can provide. Dr. Begay said you can do it, with spirituality, encouragement, love, Navajo tradition and he is proof of that. He made it even though he was just a sheepherder from this small reservation area and now he is an important man, a doctor. So if he can do it, I know my children can too. He made me feel like I am providing the right kind of support and guidance for my children. I am so proud of my girl, Nellie. I really enjoyed this past week, seeing my children's names in the newspaper listed as students on the Tuba City District Honor Roll, I was just so happy knowing that I helped them get there."
Donald continued, "I am lucky that Nellie's Otoe-Missouri grandmother in Oklahoma has always provided support when her dad was absent, and her aunt Eloise here in Tuba City is always encouraging her in her school work, I am so grateful for their support."
Current 2005-06 TC Junior High NHS President, Ethan Allison, an eighth grader, age 13, son of Regina and Jonathan Allison from the Deeshchii'nii and Tl'ogi Clans, gave a welcome address to the new inductees. He also reminded the current members to hold fast to their NHS principles of academics, community, good citizenship.
The new inductees for the 2006 Tuba City Junior High School National Honor Society are:
Danielle Attikai, Ivana Goldtooth, Kerry Morgan, Jessica Tate, Amber Poleviyuma, Kristy Dillon, Rachel Riggs, Jacquelyn Johnson, Jonathan Corbett, Lyghton Butler, Nellie McIntosh, Jesstin Edgewater, Dennis Klain, Urian Lee, Benjamin Harvey-Martinez.
Eligible Inductee: Elan Talahytewa.
For more information on either the Tuba City District National Honor Society Clubs at the junior high or high school level, call the Tuba City Office of Public Relations at 928-283-1072 or Dr. Harold Begay, Associate Superintendent Office at 928-283-1210.
(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer, Hopi/Navajo, resides in Hotevilla, and is a regular contributor to the Navajo Hopi Observer.)