National Honor Society

About the NHS Parent Organization

“The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established NHS in 1921. Though many local and regional honor societies existed prior to 1921, no nationwide organization had been founded. Under the leadership of Dr. Edward Rynearson, principal of the Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, the organization grew from the original Alpha Chapter at the Fifth Avenue School to more than 1,000 chapters by 1930. Equipped with a constitution, an emblem and motto, and a group of dedicated principals as coordinators, the new NHS organization quickly developed into one of the country’s leading educational groups.

Four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.” (from the National Honor Society Website,

About the Martha W. Woolery Chapter

The Hickory High School chapter of the National Honor society was established in 1996 with the opening of Hickory High School. The inaugural sponsors were Mrs. Gerri Holmes, Mrs. Nancy Winter-Traynor, and Mrs. Martha Woolery. When Mrs. Woolery passed away in 2005, the chapter was renamed in her memory. We are particularly proud of our robust membership (200+ students) and the thousands of volunteer hours that our students perform each year in the school and community. Furthermore, our members have a long history of supporting several local charities with the annual NHS fundraiser, including the Chesapeake Care Clinic and the Hickory High School Scholar Fest scholarships.

About Martha Woolery

Martha Woolery

Martha Woolery was a member of the English Department at Hickory High School from its opening in 1996, until she passed away from cancer in October 2005. She taught Honors and AP English and also served as English Department head and National Honor Society Sponsor, which is why our chapter of NHS is now known as the Martha W. Woolery Chapter of the National Honor Society. She was also the 1998-99 Hickory High School Teacher of the Year and was chosen as the Chesapeake Public School’s Citywide Teacher of the Year in 1999.

Mrs. Woolery loved her students and had faith in each of them. She gave her time and motherly advice unselfishly. She cared about her students’ performance inside as well as outside the classroom, and she extended this nurturing to her colleagues and friends. She is remembered for her gentleness, her smile and her positive glow. Martha left a part of herself within each person whose life she touched. She truly embodied the National Honor Society core values of service, character, scholarship, and leadership.

Revised 09/12/17