Seniors Apply for Honor Cords


Media by Jen Bosche

Seniors are able to apply for honor cords which they will wear at graduation. Each honor cord has criteria that must be met in order to earn it including specifications on the number of classes that must be taken and GPA that must be earned in each discipline. “Honor cords were designed to award students in particular disciplines in which they have had tremendous success,” Laurie Schultz, language arts teacher, said.

There are many ways students show off their achievements at graduation. One way is through wearing sashes, medals, and ropes representing different honors. White sashes for National Honor Society, gold sashes for Bright Flight, and honor cords in all different colors for excellence in different school disciplines.

Honor cords are tasseled ropes that students can apply for their senior year and wear around their neck at graduation. Each honor cord has criteria that must be met in order to earn it including specifications on the number of classes that must be taken and GPA that must be earned in each discipline. Information on the criteria for honor cords can be found in the Student Handbook on pages 19-20.

Disciplines represented range from the core classes to Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes to clubs including International Thespian Society (ITS) and National Forensics League, which relates to debate.

The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. on March 14, 2019. Students can find the link to applications on the MHS website and on the Daily Announcements powerpoint, also found on the website.

Megha Sanjay, senior, is applying for multiple honor cords, including National Forensics League, ITS, World Language and Language Arts.

Sanjay said she applied for honor cords because she views it as the norm.

“It’s generally expected for certain students to want to apply,” Sanjay said. “If you have a certain GPA, if you have a certain outlook on life, you’re just going to apply for honor cords.”

Sanjay said she encourages students to apply for honor cords if they meet the criteria, adding that if you have a good work ethic, meeting the criteria for honor cords tends to happen naturally.

“Just, don’t stress about it,” Sanjay said. “It’s not stressful, it’s just fun. Like hey, you did well in certain classes, you should get an honor cord.”

Jasmine Phung, senior, agreed that  she didn’t feel the need to go out of her way to earn honor cords.

“I always say ‘ugh I need to get an A in physics so I can get my honor cord’. I say that all the time, but I just want good grades in general,” Phung said.

She said she would work for her grades even without the incentive of the honor cord, and only encourages students to apply if they want to.

“They don’t really matter because it doesn’t prove anything,” Phung said. “For me personally, I just want to look decorated. Having a bunch of honor cords shows your grades are good and you worked hard.”

Laurie Schultz, language arts teacher, said honor cords were designed to award students who have been successful in particular disciplines and who have a genuine interest in these disciplines.

“Typically we have huge graduating classes, so if it’s a recognition that you earned, I think it’s a great way to set yourself apart on that day, to kind of show off your accomplishments and what you’ve done in your time here,” Schultz said.

However, Schultz said the negatives are starting to outweigh the positives in regards to the competition honor cords cause between students.

“I think innately high-achieving students want to be the best, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but when you are starting to look for shortcuts to help get there, then I think it becomes a problem,” Schultz said.

Shortcuts include taking easier classes just to guarantee a 4.0 GPA or purchasing the cords online.

Schultz said it should be enough for a student to know they have done the best they can without worrying about the number of honor cords others may have earned.

“That’s why I like the idea behind it. Not just one person gets an honor cord. With an honor cord if you earn it, you get it,” Schultz said.

Schultz said honor cords show a student has qualities like a great work ethic and organizational skills and are open to being challenged, accepting the challenge and rising above the challenge. She said they should not be about someone being the best.

“To me it’s a bonus. You have excelled in a field that you enjoy, and because of this, we want to give you something because you earned it,” Schultz said.