National Spanish Honors Society: Fostering a Billingual Community


Courtesy of Mr.Sanchez

The National Spanish Honors Society board members stand alongside Mr. Sanchez as they work to recruit new students for the club.

Jasmine Rizo, Staff Writer

Although Coral Gables Senior High is a diverse place with students that come from all walks of life, it is no surprise that an overwhelming majority of the Cavalier family is made up of students from the Hispanic and Latino communities, which dominate Miami both culturally and ethnically. As a result, Gables welcomes these cultures along with the Spanish language by allowing students to join the National Spanish Honors Society which encourages the interaction of spanish-speaking students in order to share their ethnicities and customs.

NSHS has found different approaches to continue the process of learning the impact of the Spanish language since it first started. Making it clear that members do not have to speak Spanish to join the club, NSHS caters to everybody at their meetings and works to promote Spanish to even those who are unfamiliar with the language.

“I do not believe you need to be a Spanish speaker to join this club because the main reason it was made in the first place was to share why Spanish is so important in our lives. It does not matter if you speak Spanish as long as you can learn its values while doing fun activities,” junior Nicole Leithof said.

Each year, the NSHS sponsor Mr. Sanchez improves the club’s plan of action by creating opportunities for students. In past years, Mr.Sanchez has provided students interested in the arts the ability to participate in the NSHS mission by using the Gables theatre program to perform informative humorous skits in Spanish.

During the start of Mr.Sanchez’s role as sponsor he contributed to the Spanish-speaking community through his plans to initiate tutoring at George Washington Carver Middle School in hopes of increasing the Cavalier family with incoming students from the school

I’m so proud of [the NSHS] and I am saying this with no doubt. I have learned so much with these students, they’ve taught me the [greatest] lesson maybe of my life,

— Mr. Sanchez

However, instead of starting in middle school, he decided to begin in his own home: Gables. NSHS realized the greater need for tutoring within the Cavalier family, bringing the newly developed idea of tutoring students pertaining to the English to Speakers of Other Languages program in the club.

The club has now branched out and NSHS members offer tutoring to students in the ESOL program. This instruction not only benefits the students attending each session but simultaneously provides members with leadership skills.

“Our mission is focused on watching the quality of the language. The language is always improving in the process of [world] developments, ever-changing,” Mr. Sanchez said.

As the club expands, there is a lasting sense of family within the NSHS due to the collaborative work that takes place. The NSHS highlights the importance of giving back to the Spanish community by completing community service and different service projects.

At club meetings, the board members usually cover the history of the Spanish language along with its importance in modern times. Along with this they highlight Spanish-speaking countries and teach students of their customs and traditions.

NSHS welcomes everyone from native Spanish speakers to non-spanish speakers. The NSHS forms a hispanic community that connects students from everywhere within the walls of Gables to share the cultural importance of all things Spanish.