NEHS Chapter members, both Advisors and students alike, do amazing work each year, applying their skills and knowledge, improving the loves of others as well as deepening their own understanding and appreciation of the English language arts. However, at times, NEHS Chapters stumble. Recently, we received a note from a Florida chapter whose school was destroyed by Hurricane Michael; the Advisor was concerned about meeting Chapter expectations of paying affiliation fees and inducting new members when everything in their lives was turned upside down. We, of course, told the Advisor not to worry about any aspect of NEHS at this time and to focus on recovery.
The note received, however, prompted some thinking on the part of NEHS leadership about making sure Chapters know we are here to support you; we simply need to be made aware of your circumstances. While we try to monitor events that may be affecting Chapters, we don’t necessarily know which specific schools might have been impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes, or wild fires. When major tragedies like the schooling in Parkland, FL, occur, we try to respond quickly and respectfully, assuring the devastated Chapters that NEHS is certainly not the most important element of healing and getting school life back to “normal,” if that’s even possible. On a much less serious note, sometimes a shift in Advisor or a change in administration causes a Chapter to miss sending a fee or recording new members; the result is a shift to “inactive” status, meaning members are not eligible for scholarships, awards, or grants.
If your chapter or school is impacted negatively, for whatever reason, requiring some flexibility on our part to support you and your members, please do not hesitate to contact us for help. We are able to extend deadlines, amend chapter information as needed, or temporarily waive fees. Contact Office Manager Karen Larsen or NEHS Director Dave Wendelin for assistance.