Converse Elementary School
2018 NEHS National Adviser of the Year
DeeDee Haralson has served as a National Elementary Honor Society adviser at Converse Elementary school for the last four years, during which time she was nominated twice for the Distinguished Educator award for her school-in 2016 and 2017.
As an NEHS adviser, she oversaw the chapter’s selection as one of the first recipients of the NEHS Outstanding Service Project award for their Veteran’s Day Salute project. This project has been conducted annually by the chapter for the last three years, raising more than $1,200 for the Fisher House in their community.
She counts helping one of her students attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy as the most meaningful experience of her time as an adviser. The student was inducted into NEHS in fourth grade, and as a fifth grader he was nominated to apply for the leadership institute. The cost for him to attend was more than the family had, so they started a GoFundMe page. Haralson organized a school fundraiser to help him reach his goal; they were able to raise $200 to help his cause. Haralson says, “It was humbling to see how my colleagues rallied together to help this young man. I was very excited at the beginning of the next school year when I received a postcard from him. It thanked me for helping him attend this leadership camp. I knew I had truly made a difference in a child’s life.”
When asked how NEHS has benefitted her school and students, she says, “It allows students to be recognized for their high grades and achievements. Many students are not credited with the hard work that goes along with attaining high grades. This not only shows the ones that earn high grades they are esteemed, but it also entices others to attain a higher standard of scholarship so they may get the same praise. The activities and service events show the students how important it is to help others. It guides them to be a more compassionate member of society.”
School Principal Mary Kay Tyson expressed her appreciation for Haralson’s dedication. “Ms. Haralson sponsors our NEHS as well as our student council. Our student council has been named an Honor Student Council by the state of Texas for the last two years under her leadership. NEHS students are ambassadors for our school and are called on to tour new students and families around the campus on their day of enrollment. Ms. Haralson is always the first to volunteer to head up projects where the students can serve the school and community.”
The NEHS National Adviser of the Year Award annually recognizes two outstanding NEHS advisers in evidence of their service and dedication to NEHS, their school, community, and most importantly, their students. DeeDee Haralson demonstrates these qualities in her work as chapter adviser, and NEHS is proud to honor her with this award.
Pleasant Hill Elementary School
Olive Branch, Mississippi
2018 NEHS National Adviser of the Year
The national office of the National Elementary Honor Society is pleased to recognize Stacy Harrison of Pleasant Hill Elementary School as one of two 2018 NEHS National Advisers of the Year. In her three years as an NEHS adviser, Harrison has accomplished a lot. Her chapter has undertaken an array of service activities, serving both the local community and reaching beyond to support members of the armed services. In 2017 alone, Stacy oversaw NEHS chapter projects that raised $2,600 to purchase duffel bags and personal items for children in foster care; collected more than 3,600 food items to fill backpacks for students in the community; and gathered 580 shoeboxes to send to service members overseas.
Harrison’s dedication is also recognized by her peers and administration. In 2017, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year at Pleasant Hill Elementary School, and also served on the Teacher Advisory Council of the DeSoto County School District.
When reflecting on her role as an NEHS adviser, Harrison highlights her chapter’s recent work collecting donations for the local Ronald McDonald House. This experience had a personal impact on not just her, but on her son, a fifth-grade student. Of her son, she says, “While we were shopping, he ran to me to let me know how good his heart felt to be able to buy so many gifts for others. He was only sad for one reason: That he didn’t have more to spend on the kids… He had truly learned the value of others above self, something I will forever be indebted to NEHS for.”
Harrison believes in the values of NEHS and the benefits to her students, which she says are central aspects of a successful future. She states, “Responsibility takes shape in that members must attend meetings, participate in service projects, and keep a written record of service hours… Service to the school and community is immeasurable in the value it provides. Members learn to think about others before themselves, which is the most significant aspect in advancing as a community and nation.”