Leading NHS after the drought

Junior Karen Reyes-Villanueva gets elected as Vice President of National Honors Society for her second year.


Karen Reyes-Villanueva and fellow senior Sahana Rajagopalan at a NHS event. (K. Reyes-Villanueva)

By Zoe Hurmi

With the blue screen staring back at her, senior Karen Reyes-Villanueva hovered over the “Join Meeting” button. This was Reyes-Villanueva’s first year in the National Honors Society and, thankfully, it was not her last.

Before Reyes-Villanueva was elected, she was just an average member like everyone else. Yet over Zoom, everything was harder than it had been, especially for the NHS.

“It was rough. We couldn’t have meetings in person. We had kind of started doing a newsletter, and that was something the leadership team came up with. It was kind of a way to account for people being involved when we couldn’t be face to face,” NHS advisor Melanie Lyons said.

Starting in her junior year, Reyes-Villanueva was voted in by her NHS peers as junior Vice President. Going into this leadership position with everyone coming back from Zoom was especially challenging for Reyes-Villanueva.

“Coming back from [the pandemic] I think was just weird. Trying to figure out ways to do big events. I remember being in your last year, Spooky Buddies, was a little difficult because you’re trying to figure out how and where to do all these things with such a big group of people,” Reyes-Villanueva said.

The NHS elects its leadership through an election. Their leadership does not carry over from one school year to another.

Going into her senior year and being elected again by her peers, the rest of the NHS leadership decided to organize the NHS a little differently. NHS has divided itself into groups, and they name each group by color.

“It’s significantly easier to contact people because there were so many people, and with it being such a big group, it led to a lot of confusion last year. So this year, we are just trying to show that we care that you’re involved,” Reyes-Villanueva said.

With the new grouping system, it is significantly easier to grow a connection with the other people in the NHS. Not only that, but it is easier to get in contact with the people who were involved.

Over the course of the past year, Reyes-Villanueva has grown into her leadership position.

“She is much more confident. I think she shares her thoughts and opinions more this year than she did previously,” Lyons said.

Joining NHS over Zoom brought a new appreciation for all of the events and activities NHS hosts and attends. While it was a bummer that the Zoom year happened, it brought everyone a new appreciation for what we have. That year set Reyes-Villanueva up for a very successful two years as Vice President.