Alumni Profiles

NEHS Alumni Profiles: Matthew Pantaleo

Matthew Pantaleo was President of the Old Bridge High School NEHS Chapter in Matawan, NJ. He graduated from high school in 2022 and is currently a freshman at Harvard University studying Philosophy. 

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Matthew Pantaleo says that he chose to study Philosophy at Harvard because it allows him to think critically and systematically about the world and the human experience. It also allows him to engage with a wide range of intellectual disciplines, to deepen his understanding of many different subjects, and to improve his analytical abilities.

He notes that the honing of his critical and analytical skills began back in high school as a member of the Old Bridge High School NEHS Chapter, where he developed critical thinking, effective communication, organization, and leadership skills. His written and textual analysis skills, which he uses everyday at Harvard, were fostered by NEHS’ emphasis on literature and the language arts.

The impact NEHS has had on Pantaleo is obvious as he settles into life in Cambridge, MA. He says that the skills he developed as an NEHS member “have proven invaluable” in his freshman studies: “strong critical thinking and communication skills have allowed me to excel in my coursework, particularly in my philosophy classes.”

After being an NEHS member, Pantaleo was elected the enviable position of President of the Old Bridge High School NEHS Chapter. This gave him an opportunity to take on a leadership role and make significant contributions to chapter activities and initiatives. This experience has also provided the foundations for Pantaleo to be able to balance his academic workload and actively participate in extracurricular activities at Harvard, such as working with the university newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.

Pantaleo is studying Philosophy because he is “passionate about exploring the complexities of human thought, ethics, and the nature of reality.” After graduating, he wants to use the skills he developed both as an undergraduate and as an NEHS member to pursue a career that combines his interests and abilities in studying literature, engaging in critical thinking, and practicing effective communication.

Right now, Pantaleo is considering working in academia, research, or even in a field like journalism or law. In any of those fields his ability to analyze and convey complex ideas would be valuable. Ultimately, he wants to contribute to society by applying his knowledge and skills in a meaningful way.

Are you an NEHS alumni member? Consider submitting a blog to NEHS Museletter to share how you have been using the skills you developed as an NEHS member with current NEHS members.

Matthew Pantaleo
Old Bridge High School NEHS Chapter, Alum
Old Bridge High School, Matawan, NJ


National English Honor Society

The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.

America’s first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn’t have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.

As Joyce Carol Oates writes, “This is the time for which we have been waiting.” Or perhaps it was Shakespeare: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer . . .” we celebrate English studies through NEHS.

National English Honor Society accepts submissions to our blog, NEHS Museletter, from all membership categories (students, Advisors, and alumni). If you are interested in submitting a blog, please read the Suggested Guidelines on our website. Email any questions and all submissions to: