Rynearson National Adviser of the Year Award

Edward Rynearson

It takes a special energy and a high degree of commitment to be an Honor Society adviser. The fact that all this work comes in addition to one’s regular teaching responsibilities is even more impressive. Because such educators deserve special recognition, the Rynearson Award was created.


NASSP is pleased to announce the recipient of the NHS 2019 Rynearson Adviser of the Year Award.

2019 Recipient – Donna Murphy, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore, MD

The Edward Rynearson national winner receives a $500 award from NASSP and a plaque to commemorate the recognition. The nomination process will reopen in the fall of 2019.

History and Background >>

In 1921, Edward Rynearson successfully spearheaded the drive among members of the newly-created National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to establish the National Honor Society (NHS). The school where he served as principal, the Fifth Avenue School in Pittsburgh, PA, became the “alpha” chapter of NHS—the first chapter to be established. Through his efforts, news of the organization and its successes spread throughout the new principals’ association and across the nation.

Each year we honor the memory of Edward Rynearson and the important work he began by presenting the Edward Rynearson Award recognizing the national adviser of the year for NHS and NJHS.

Criteria >>

Any National Honor Society (NHS) or National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) adviser with at least three years of experience can be nominated. Candidates who have demonstrated a professional commitment to their chapter and the purposes of the Honor Societies as evidenced by successful chapter functions at the local level are ideal nominees for this national recognition.

Principals from schools with active NHS or NJHS chapters may nominate their chapter adviser. In addition, each state with an official NHS or NJHS state association may nominate one NHS or NJHS adviser. All nominees must come from a school that maintains an active NHS or NJHS chapter, duly chartered and affiliated with the national office.

Nominees for the Edward Rynearson award come from chapters and state NHS/NJHS associations across the nation.

Nomination Form >>

Each Edward Rynearson award nomination must include:

  • A completed Rynearson Award Nomination form
  • Written recommendations from the nominee’s principal or administrator; Honor Society president or student designee; state executive director or designee (official state association nominees only)
  • Two essays completed by the nominee
  • Two high-quality, formal color photos of the nominee.

The Rynearson Award Nomination form requires detailed information on a nominee’s:

  • Local Honor Society activities
  • Participation and/or leadership in state-level activities
  • Participation and/or leadership in national-level activities
  • Recognition and/or awards

Download the nomination form.