By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Flowery Branch senior leads state National Honor Society
Flowery Branch High School student Emily Wilson, right, recently was elected president of the state National Honor Society. She chose fellow Flowery Branch student Coulter Burch as state parliamentarian. - photo by Tom Reed

Sometimes, success comes with being at the right place at the right time.

But then again, you had to do something to put yourself in that right place, which is a lesson Emily Wilson learned long before she ran for president of her senior class, or even before she ran for president of her school's National Honor Society chapter.

So, when the opportunity came for the Flowery Branch High School senior to run for president of the state chapter of NHS - an honors organization that is found in nearly every school across the country - she stepped up. And won.

That victory made Wilson the first president of the Georgia chapter of the National Honor Society from a Hall County school, in recent memory.

"I was just elected last May for president of our local chapter; I was vice president before that," said Wilson, who ended up being the only candidate for the state president position. "I'm in charge of organizing the theme (and) coming up with the convention. And we go meet with the governor in December."

Also, one of her duties was to pick a state parliamentarian - someone who would be responsible for a lot of public speaking in front of the state NHS board.

For that, she picked her friend, Coulter Burch.

"She gets to choose somebody who has sort of been her supporter, and it has to be someone from the school," said Burch, who also is a member of the school's chorus and plays on the tennis team with Wilson, along with his own activities.

"I'm chaplain of student council and National Honor Society here," he said, a position the students created for him "because I like the encouragement aspect of it."

Teacher Steve Brock, who serves as NHS adviser along with teaching the students' Advanced Placement English literature class, said just being accepted into National Honor Society is a feat. For students like Wilson and Burch, who then go on to maintain a high grade-point average and stay active in other activities, it simply shows their character.

"Many students view their induction into National Honor Society as the high point of their high school career. It's the only national organization that represents the four pillars ... which are leadership, scholarship, service and character," Brock said. "To be inducted in National Honor Society is a great honor; to be an officer in the local chapter I think is a great honor. But to be on the state board, these are the best kids in Flowery Branch."

To be inducted into NHS, students must maintain a minimum 3.75 GPA and can be inducted as early as their sophomore year. Plus, students have to do community service and maintain their character and leadership qualities.

And just because you're in doesn't mean you can slack off your senior year.

That's one thing Wilson and Burch certainly aren't doing, with courses such as AP economics and AP calculus, along with an honors mentorship on their plates.

"From my perspective ... these are really the most wonderful kids in the school. I don't know any other way of putting it," Brock said.

Burch said he was looking forward to continuing his public speaking and communication skills while in the position, helping his friend.

"My position has a lot of influence as far as, I get to speak a lot in front of the elections," he said. "So I think being a part of that process, deciding who goes next, that sort of thing."

Wilson, who hopes to mentor with a local political campaign or in a law office this year, said the role of president is just "I really like to take hold of the leadership opportunities at hand, and the National Honor Society is a great organization because it's all about giving back and doing your best," she said. "And I know our chapter is really focused on tutoring opportunities, so ... I really appreciate that and the service opportunities we get."