National Honor Society adviser John Hargrove will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year. His reason for doing so is simply that he is no longer able to provide the club with essential materials without more resources for advisers.
“I was shocked when I first found out [Hargrove] was stepping down because he was always really enthusiastic about NHS,” NHS President Esmeralda Trujillo, 12, said.
NHS provides high-achieving students with community service opportunities and shows them how to be role models at their school. Hargrove has been an NHS adviser for four years, two of which as a Co-adviser with science teacher April Branch, but has decided this would have to be his final year due to a lack of available resources for the club.
NHS is hosted by Associated Student Body during school hours, as opposed to being an after school Asset Building Community club. ASB clubs are largely responsible for raising their own funds and many advisers, like Hargrove, spend much of their personal money for their club’s supplies and events. While they have the opportunity to be compensated for some of their purchases, there is no incentive for someone to become a club’s adviser. It is purely up to the teacher’s availability and interest.
“I put a lot of my personal energy and money into my club, as I’m sure other advisers do, and I feel like we should be compensated somehow. It would at least make me feel a little appreciated,” Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán adviser Griselda Resendiz said. MEChA is another ASB club and raises their own funds every year for their food sales and scholarships.
In addition to having to pay the club expenses, ASB club advisers are not compensated for their time. Because the clubs are ran during school hours, they count as contract hours for the teachers running the club. Meanwhile, ABC club advisers are paid around thirty dollars for every hour they work with their club.
“I only recently joined the club but when he said he was stepping down I could tell everyone was really sad about the news. It’s sad stuff like that has to happen after all the advisors do for their clubs and the people involved,” NHS member Eduardo Rodriguez, 12, said.
A survey sent out by the Escondido Secondary Teachers’ Association found that 83 percent of teachers have spent money on their students instead of their own families and 79 percent have missed a personal activity in their lives because of a commitment to a school activity. Teachers advising clubs spend their own time and money to keep them running, yet they must work after their contact hours in order to get the resources their clubs need without having to sacrifice their own.
However not everyone has the flexibility in their schedule to oversee a club on top of all their classes and regular school work. The club also has to consider the availability of the members to attend meetings. This leaves some clubs, such as NHS, to with very limited options but to meet during regular school hours only.
Part of the reason Hargrove has to spend so much money on NHS is due to the fact that it is free only on this campus. Every other school in the Escondido Union High School District has a fee that students must pay to become a member, in addition to the GPA requirements. Their seniors must also pay for their own tassels and stoles for graduation. This does not apply, however, to the NHS club specific to this campus. All fees are paid for by the club and the graduation regalia is handed out to the seniors every year, completely free of charge, so long as they meet certain requirements regarding community service hours and attendance to the bi-weekly meetings.
With him no longer being able to continue advising the club, Hargrove looks for his replacement for NHS. He is currently working with Assistant Principal Nate Reinking to find a new adviser and has hopes that with new teachers being hired, someone will be eager to take on the position. Despite this, Hargrove has assured the club that NHS will continue and that he hopes to see it prosper.
“I support Hargrove’s decision as long as he’s happy doing what he’s passionate about. I’m sure he’ll leave NHS in good hands,” Trujillo said.
This was not his first choice of action but it was a decision he believed would be best for the club. Hargrove hopes to bring in in someone new to the club who can look after it.
Hargrove declined to comment on the situation.