Social studies introduces new honor society

Alaina Malone, Staff Reporter

Starting on March 1st, applications for the RHO Kappa Social Studies Honor Society will be accepted. Rather than performing community service for a certain number of hours, RHO wants to benefit the community by organizing an archive that will include all information about Vandergrift’s general community: the people, clubs, organizations, athletics, and classes.

Social studies teachers Nina Legg and Andrew Peterson heard about Rho Kappa over the summer. “It was a good fit for Vandegrift, being such an academically driven school,” Legg said.  “There are lots of area for kids interested in math, science and foreign language, etc, but there wasn’t anything for kids who like social studies,”

Honor societies for almost every subject aren’t uncommon at Vandegrift because of the large student body population. But the Rho Kappa Honor Society is the first social studies organization/club to exist for students who are interested in the subject at the school. It was founded by Nina Legg, who teaches AP US Government/AP Capstone, and Andrew Peterson, AP World History/AP European History teacher. The idea was derived from the Cedar Park Rho Honor Society and will be carried out at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

“These classes are generally pretty popular.” Legg said. “This society can be a way for kids who do well to be able to express it.”

The first students to join or apply for the program will have few concrete requirements, due to the fact that the school has never had its own Rho Kappa. Standards for students who apply so far include having been enrolled in an AP social studies course (WHAP, APHug, APUSH, etc.), planning to/have taken 3 AP classes by graduation, maintaining an unweighted 3.5 GPA, and having good moral character. More requirements will most likely be added after the first year the program commences, based on how these standards are withheld by members.

“When starting the program, we decided our volunteer work might look a bit different,” Legg said. “Rather than doing what most honor societies do, our community service will be in the form of an archive. The school is relatively new, but growing quickly, yet there is not a place where we can look and see ‘Who the valedictorian was in this year?’ or ‘What was the class motto?’”

Legg and Peterson felt that devoting the program’s time to forming an organized archive where people can look up detailed history of the school was beneficial to the community and students alike. With the first graduating class’ 10 year reunion approaching quickly, the archive could arrive at a key time.

“This archive is really for the students,more than anything,” said Legg. “It can help people interested to look back and see what it was like on the very first day of school, what the teachers were like, how it looked. It gives the students an opportunity to appreciate the history of our school,”