The History of the E. T. Marlatt Chapter of the National Honor Society

By Trisha A. Badishian, 1994

In 1923, the Hackensack High School Honor Society was formed. Membership was (and still is) restricted to only those who could meet its strict academic and scholastic requirements. The students felt that service to school was just as important as scholastics, thus other forms of service such as athletics, dramatics, volunteering and participation in clubs and activities was encouraged as well.

The first duties of Honor Society members were serving as study hall proctors and hall monitors. They then served on a "General Organization Council" established to improve communications between organizations and the student body. Honor Society members were also active in the high school student democracy. They served as judges on the high school primary courst, Superior Court and Court of Appeals, trying students for various minor offenses. The court system, however, was abolished in 1961. In addition, Honor Society members often served as tour guides for school functions and they conducted many freshman and sophomore orientations.

In 1955, a proposal was put forth to the student body to have the Hackensack High School Honor Society affiliated with the National Honor Society. This proposal was passed and the E. T. Marlatt Chapter of the National Honor Society was established. This society was named after Edward T. Marlatt, who served as principal of Hackensack High School from 1918 to 1937, and was the founder of Hackensack's Honor Society.

In 1974, when members of the E. T. Marlatt Chapter of the National Honor Society attended a county-wide National Honor Society Conference, they reported that an important issue was discussed: Should the Honor Society be an active organization, simply just an honor? The students voted that it should be active, and to this day, the Honor Society is service-oriented and very involved in our school and community.

One of the chapter's major accomplishments was the 1959 institution of a tutoring service which proved very successful. Today, the Hackensack High School Honor Society is still very active in tutoring, as well as various other group and individual service projects. In recent years, a popular cause has been the Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

The E. T. Martlatt Chapter of the National Honor Society has a rich tradition of service to Hackensack High School and its community. This is due to the society's members, whose dedication, leadership and enthusiasm have made the chapter what it is today.