Student Awards & Recognition

Harrison High School
Underclassmen and Senior Awards


Underclassmen Departmental Awards
Harrison High School recognizes students in grades nine through eleven for their academic achievement and academic growth at an Underclassmen Awards Night. This annual event brings the school community together to honor students for their demonstrated success.


Criteria for Award

Determination of Award

Achievement Award

  • Awarded to the top 2% of students in each unique high school course, with a minimum of one student per course (e.g., Global History 9 has 250 students; therefore the top 5 students out of the 250 will receive the award).
  • Course grade-point-average is calculated at the conclusion of the third quarter, combining grades in quarter one, two, and three. The midterm exam score is not included in determining this award.
  • All students in a given course who have three distinct quarter grades are eligible.

Growth & Effort Award

  • Awarded to 2% of students who demonstrate the most growth in each unique high school course, with a minimum of one student per course (e.g., Geometry has 200 students; therefore 4 students out of the 200 will receive the award).
  • Growth is demonstrated from a baseline course grade earned at the conclusion of first quarter in contrast to where a student achieves at the conclusion of the third quarter (e.g., Q3-Q1= total growth or 84%-70%=14% points growth). The midterm exam score is not included in determining this award.
  • All students in a given course who have three distinct quarter grades are eligible.

  Teachers may nominate any student who has shown significant growth and effort. Students may also be precluded given demonstrated lack of effort.

These awards are determined at the conclusion of third quarter in order to invite honorees and hold the ceremony before the end of the school year. The third quarter typically ends early to mid-April.

Senior Departmental Awards
Seniors are honored at a separate Senior Awards Night. Students are similarly honored for achievement and growth in senior year courses or those with a majority of enrolled senior students as detailed for the underclassmen (see above).

Graduation Cum Laude Honors
A tiered system of academic honors is established to recognize student distinction and is based upon the cumulative grade-point-average for all high school courses (grades 8-11), with the exception of physical education. The weighted cumulative grade-point-average is determined at the conclusion of junior year for use in the college admissions process and honors are shared with students at the start of senior year for that purpose.


  • Summa Cum Laude Honors—with highest distinction

                    Weighted cumulative grade-point-average of 98.00% or higher

  • Magna Cum Laude Honors—with great praise

                    Weighted cumulative grade-point-average of 95.00% to 97.99%

  • Cum Laude Honors—with honor

                    Weighted cumulative grade-point-average of 93.00% to 94.99%

Students earning these most prestigious honors receive a Cum Laude Medal and certificate of merit at the Senior Awards Ceremony. Students then wear the medal at Commencement Exercises.

Junior Year College and University Sponsored Book Awards
College and University Book Awards are provided to our school by various colleges and universities. These book awards are intended to recognize high academic achievement. To qualify for a Book Award, a student must be a junior and in the top 10%* of his or her class. Some colleges and universities stipulate additional criteria in the selection of students (e.g., community service, leadership, intended major, character, diversity, religious affiliation, etc.). The Guidance Department, with the Director of Guidance, reviews all students’ cumulative weighted grade-point-average to determine who is in the top 10% of the class. Students are then nominated for awards based upon those criteria established by the college or university. Selected students receive a book from the college or university. The awards are not intended to provide the student any benefit in the admissions process for the sponsoring college or university and do not reflect any intention to offer acceptance for admission. The awards are designed to stimulate interest and applications, while honoring students for their high academic achievement.  

Underclassmen Scholar Athletic Awards
At the end of each sports season, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association honors those teams and athletes who excel in the classroom. Quarterly unweighted report card grades are used to determine a team’s eligibility for the award. Student teams with a reported average of 90.00% or higher are selected as Scholar Athlete Teams. The Athletic Director and team coaches determine student inclusion and eligibility for these awards. Seniors who earn this honor are formally acknowledged at a separate Senior Athletic Ceremony hosted by the athletic department.

Senior Scholarships
A plethora of scholarships exist through sponsoring agencies and require student application for consideration. Each scholarship has its own criteria and application and the selected students are determined through school sponsored and outside agencies. These awards have their own criteria. The majority of these scholarships do not directly involve Harrison High School in the selection of honorees. Scholarship announcements are posted in the daily announcements, including with deadlines. Additional information on these scholarships, including the application, can be obtained in the Guidance Office. Efforts are made to encourage students to apply for these scholarships.


Harrison High School

Honor Roll, Honor Societies, and Other Recognition


Grade Point Average
Students receive a numeric grade in all courses at the end of each marking period and as a final grade. Most courses have a course midterm and final examination, which are also included in determining the final grade earned for the course. Students receive a quarter grade-point-average, a final grade-point-average for a course, and a cumulative grade-point-average for all courses taken. Final course grade-point-average and cumulative grade-point-averages are maintained on the student transcript. Report card and transcript grades appear unweighted. A cumulative-unweighted AND weighted grade-point-average appears on the student transcript. Physical Education grades are only included in calculating quarterly report-card grade-point-average. Physical education is not included in the cumulative grade-point-average calculation.

Quarterly Honor Rolls
An academic awards program provides personal, peer, and public recognition for students. Quarterly, a student’s unweighted grade-point-average is calculated for the purpose of determining High Honor Roll (90.00% to 100%) and Principal’s Honor Roll (85.00% to 89.99%). Honor Roll is based on the unweighted quarterly grades and physical education is included in determining eligibility. Following each report card period Honor Roll Certificates are mailed home to parents as a point of recognition for student achievement.

National Honor Society
The National Honor Society provides students additional recognition for scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Not only are student members expected to live up to the standards of membership in the Society, but they are also expected to foster these qualities in the whole student body.

To apply for the National Honor Society induction, students must be in the 11th- or 12th-grade and have attained a minimum weighted cumulative grade-point-average of 90.00% or higher. Additionally, students must complete a personal application packet used to evaluate the individual character, service, and leadership. Students are expected to meet all necessary requirements, including established application deadlines, to be considered for admission into the National Honor Society. Students are invited to apply each fall semester, beginning in junior year, and are notified of eligibility. An annual May induction ceremony is established to honor students. The National Honor Society is coordinated by a Faculty Advisor and Faculty Committee. The high school principal oversees appeals related to decisions made by the National Honor Society Faculty Advisor and Faculty Committee.

Foreign Language Honor Society
Harrison’s Foreign Language Honor Society acknowledges the outstanding achievements of foreign language students.  The Society promotes international communication and understanding, helps to maximize the understanding of ourselves and our cultural heritage by understanding others, fosters the spirit of culture, and supports scholarly language programs and experiences.  Harrison High School’s Foreign Language Honor Society holds an annual induction ceremony in French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Students are recognized for their outstanding efforts and performance in the acquisition of languages other than English. Students who are eligible may be inducted for achievement in multiple languages. To be considered for induction, students must be enrolled in IB Language Year 1 or Year 2 with a language course grade of 90.00% or higher maintained throughout the academic year. Students can be inducted in either or both years of the IB course (e.g., IB Language Year 1 and/or IB Language Year 2). The teachers of languages other than English communicate the criteria to students and facilitate the induction of the Foreign Language Honor Societies.

National Art Honor Society

In 1978, the National Art Education Association began the National Art Honor Society program specifically for high school students, for the purpose of inspiring and recognizing those students who have shown an outstanding ability in arts. The NAHS strives to aid members in working toward the attainment of the highest standards in art areas, and to bring art education to the attention of the school and community. To be considered for application, students must be enrolled in and maintain a grade of 90.00% or higher in a visual arts course. Additionally, students must have a current cumulative unweighted grade-point-average of 87.50% or higher. Admission is contingent upon student willingness to apply, complete the required community service hours and attend meetings. Beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, the National Art Honor Society will hold an induction ceremony. The visual arts teachers communicate criteria and facilitate the induction of the National Art Honor Society.


Tri-M Music Honor Society
The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the international music honor society for high school students. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities, and to inspire other students to excel at music and music leadership. Through more than 5,500 chartered chapters, Tri-M has helped thousands of young people provide years of service through music in schools throughout the world. Tri-M is a program of the National Association for Music Education. To be considered for application, students must have an overall cumulative unweighted grade-point-average of at least an 87.50% as well as an 90.00% course grade in the related music course. Beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, the Tri-M Music Honor Society will hold an induction ceremony. The music teachers communicate criteria to students and facilitate the induction of Tri-M Music Honor Society.


AP Scholar Recognition
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program offers students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school, and to receive college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams.   About 18 percent of the more than 1.5 million high school students in more than 16,000 secondary schools worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to merit the recognition of AP Scholar.

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP Exams.

  • AP Scholars: Students must earn grades of three or better on three or more AP Exams.
  • AP Scholars with Honor: Students must earn grades of three or better on four or more AP exams and an average of 3.25 on all AP Exams taken.
  • AP Scholars with Distinction: Students must earn grades of three or better on five or more AP exams and an average of 3.5 on all AP exams taken.
  • AP National Scholar: Students must earn grades of four or better on eight or more AP exams and an average of four on all AP exams taken.

Harrison High School recognizes students earning AP Scholar status through its awards program.

National Merit Awards Program
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)–a test which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.5 million entrants each year–and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements. The PSAT/NMSQT is a test developed by the College Board and Harrison High School encourages all students to sit for the exam in 11th-grade. Students who have shown success in mathematics are encouraged to also sit for the PSAT in 10th-grade. More information on the National Merit Awards Program can be obtained at The Guidance Department administers the PSAT each October and students learn of initial score results in December/January. Students register for the PSAT through the Guidance Office. The exam is administered during a school day and there is a $15 fee to take the exam, with financial aid available for those in need.

Senior Athletic Awards
Senior Student-Athletes and their families and coaches participate in a Senior Athletics Awards Ceremony each June as facilitated by the Athletic Department.  Students are recognized for athletic achievement, sportsmanship, and scholarship while active in the play of their sport.

Perfect Attendance
Harrison High School acknowledges students’ efforts to maintain or improve school attendance.  Students with perfect attendance are honored annually and those with multiple years of perfect attendance are recognized as such.  Students must be in attendance each school day to be considered for perfect attendance. Attendance at school sponsored events, religious observance, and college visits are excluded and will not prevent a student from earning perfect attendance. Students are recognized at the annual underclassmen or senior awards night.

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