The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School


Spanish National Honors Society expands interest in language, culture

By Elai Kobayashi-SolomonSpanish-National-Honor-Society-400x402

Staff Writer

For all juniors and seniors interested in the Spanish language or culture, the registration deadline for the Spanish National Honor Society is rapidly approaching, as all necessary forms must be turned into World Language teacher Cindy Pak by Thursday, April 17 before 3 p.m..

The Spanish National Honor Society, also known as the SHH (Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica), is a national academic honor society focused on teaching high school students about the Spanish language and culture.

Founded in 1953, the society is sponsored by the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese). According to their website, the primary goal of the AASTP is to promote “the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and other related literatures and cultures at all levels of education.”

Pak wanted the chance to expose Prospect students to Spanish customs and traditions, which is why she decided to become the coordinator for the SHH starting this year after Mike Aldworth, the previous coordinator, stepped down. Pak hopes to increase accountability and communication between members of the Society throughout the year.

“I wanted to do more with [the Society], so I made a Schoology page, which is a medium where [members] can comment and get info,” she said.

Pak also mentioned that although the organization is open to anyone interested in Spanish, there are a few requirements for SHH wannabes.

These requirements include taking a minimum of four semesters of Spanish and maintaining a GPA of 4.0 both overall and in the student’s Spanish class. On top of that, students must write an essay in Spanish explaining why they are interested in joining the organization, and why they believe they are qualified to do so.

But that is not all. Pak explained that these prerequisites determine whether a student can even apply to the SHH, and if accepted, the student must complete several other tasks to be inducted as an official member.

These tasks include completing six hours of service work annually, which can be obtained through school sponsored or individual service projects, and completing 10 cultural hours.

“[Members] can go see a flamenco show, they can see a Spanish movie, or they can go visit the Art Institute and see Spanish art, anything that’s related to Spanish [to meet the culture hours],” Pak said.

Although some students may view these tasks as a chore, Pak believes that these requirements have multiple positive benefits.

“Our goal is to expose them to as much [cultural aspects] as possible, [because] it makes you a more well-rounded person,” Pak said. “That’s why we take other languages too, because we want to be able to communicate with other people from different cultures.”

Junior Michael Morikado decided to apply to be a member of the SHH after hearing about the organization from others who had been members in years past. But Morikado explains that he had not always been a Spanish maestro. In fact, in middle school, Morikado had taken Japanese, and may have continued with it if the language was offered at Prospect.

However, Morikado’s interest in Spanish customs and traditions was kindled after he and his family went on a vacation to Spain last year. On top of traveling to various Spanish cities, he got to visit multiple famous tourist attractions, such as the Prado Art Museum in Madrid.

Because this was such a great experience, Morikado hopes to travel to another Spanish speaking country, which would also conveniently fulfill the SHH’s requirement of spending 10 cultural hours.

Although he recognizes that many students become members simply because it looks good on their college application, Morikado says that that was not his primary reason for joining.

“I’m really interested in [Spanish] language and culture,” he said. “Hopefully this can bolster my opportunities of learning in the future.”

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