English Honors Society Donates Talents

Rebecca Reif, Editor in Chief

Lake Highland has an ongoing list of honors societies, with National English Honors Society (NEHS) being the newest edition. The pre-existing honors societies consist of foreign languages, as well as the general National Honors Society. By adding NEHS to LHP’s campus, this gives students an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and success in English class and writing. Rather than solely being an honor, NEHS plans on being interactive with the Upper School students, and they have some exciting
plans for the upcoming school year. Mrs. Tracy Fordham, head of NEHS at Lake Highland, explains that NEHS is only offered for the upperclassmen, “Who have experienced the power of literature, the pleasures of good writing, and the excitement of language studies.” Alongside Mrs. Fordham is the inaugural board, with Abby Kutschinski, grade 12, as President, Daniel Liu, grade 12,
as Vice President, Emma Okaty, grade 12, as Secretary and Treasurer, and Serena Young, grade 11, as Head of Social Media and Communications. This board, as well as the students who participate in NEHS, are Mrs. Fordham’s favorite part of NEHS. Without the in- augural board, NEHS would not have been able to successfully start. As early as this past summer, these hardworking students started the plans and ideas for LHP’s chapter of NEHS, and this dedication has carried into the school year. Mrs. Fordham emphasized that, “They enthusiastically dedicated countless hours setting up applications, promoting NEHS, and planning/making the fun confetti popper invites for those who met the criteria to be a member of NEHS.” Outside of the initial plans, being in school has made the true purpose of NEHS come to life. One of the main ways that NEHS has been connected to the student body is through peer reviewing in their writing lab. Within the first few weeks of school, Mrs. Ford-
ham expressed that, “Ms. Tracy Bessire supported our launch by recommending her AP Literature students attend the lab to have an essay reviewed before the final, polished draft was due. My classroom was full (40 or so!) of students engaged in constructive, positive, encouraging, and authentic academic dialog!” Besides this account of peer reviewing engagement, any student in the Upper School is welcome to take part in the peer reviewing process. Every Tuesday and Thursday, from 7:45 A.M. to 8:15 A.M., and during lunch from 1:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. on those same days, students can stop by Mrs. Fordham’s room to receive feedback, or from the Writing Lab’s mission statement, “Assist their peers to improve writing skills in a comfortable, caring, constructive, and collaborative learning environment.” Every peer reviewer attended a mandatory peer review training session, and before giving advise to a peer, they assess what the assignment requirements entail. So far, this peer reviewing system seems to being going well; however, NEHS is always open to improving this process.

(Above) Social media is a big part of getting the word out about a new organization or club. For NEHS, all of their communications go through Instagram, where Serena Young, grade 11, is in charge. She describes her job as, “I’ll post deadlines, updates, and fun English-related facts on there.” Other ways to promote peer reviewing
and NEHS have been through posters, and the Juniors that Mrs. Tracy Fordham teaches. All photos courtesy of Instagram, @lhps.nehs. Graphic courtesy of Instagram, @lhps_nehs. (All photos courtesy of Instagram, @lhps.nehs. Graphic courtesy of Instagram, @lhps_nehs.)
(Above) So far, the peer reviewing has been successful. Serena Young adds, “If there are students who need some peer revising, which basically just means a second set of eyes on their work, we will help. There isn’t a guarantee of a good grade or anything like that, but as a writer, having
someone look over your work is always beneficial.”
(Above) Previously, LHP had a writing center, with formally trained students assisting other students with their writing. While Mrs. Fordham emphasized that, “There really is no comparison,” between the writing center and peer reviewing, but that, “NEHS is hoping to fill some of the gaps left when the writing center closed.”