Edward Rynearson

Each year, the Edward Rynearson Award is presented to middle level and high school Honor Society advisers who demonstrate exemplary character, leadership, and commitment to young people and their development as student leaders.

At the heart of successful student councils, Honor Society chapters, and school-sponsored clubs and activities are dedicated advisers who share their time and leadership to foster the development of their students and ensure quality programs. In recognition of these outstanding advisers, NASSP has sponsored the national adviser of the year awards through National Student Council since 1989 and National Honor Society since 2000.

This year, we will pause and reflect on these recognition programs, in order to create a revitalized, more comprehensive adviser recognition program. These changes will provide broader, more accessible, and more frequent ways for advisers to be honored and celebrated. We will strive to more intentionally engage students, principals, and communities when recognizing an adviser.

While the recognition programs are paused for this year, we will continue to highlight the amazing stories of advisers who are supporting the growth of student leaders in our newsletters and publications. We look forward to sharing the renewed adviser recognition programs with you in the future and value any feedback as we advance our efforts.

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 one national adviser of the year for NHS.