New honor society named for special teacher

ATHENS, Alabama, April 4, 2019 --- Athens High School (AHS) recently inducted 96 students as charter members in the newly established AHS Mike Jones Chapter of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society.  


Charter Members of Rho Kappa The purpose of Rho Kappa is to promote scholarship, recognize academic excellence in social studies among high school students, provide opportunities for social studies exploration and encourage interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for the social studies. AHS history and psychology teacher Paige Hicks is the chapter adviser.


The AHS chapter is named after long-time social studies teacher Mike Jones in recognition and appreciation for his years of service as a social studies teacher in Athens City Schools (ACS). Jones taught social studies courses at both Athens Middle School (AMS) and AHS for 20 years. He was the district’s first National Board Certified teacher in social studies and the 1993 Alabama State Teacher of the Year. Jones retired in 2008 and lives in Elkmont with his wife Chrystal.


Mike Jones has probably been the most successful and influential social studies teacher in Athens City Schools,” said Hicks. “I was fortunate enough to be his student in sixth grade enriched social studies, ninth grade sociology and tenth grade U.S. history. I wanted to be an English teacher until I had him for history in tenth grade. He changed my mind, and thus my life course. Since he is the reason I'm a history teacher, I have always tried to honor him the best I can. I thought this would be a good long-term way to recognize him.“


The local AHS chapter of Rho Kappa is committed to helping students better understand democratic processes here in Athens. Hicks said they plan to engage in various civic activities, attend city council meetings, school board meetings, and have guest speakers attend chapter meetings.  


Rho Kappa is the only national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies. Graduates will wear a braided royal blue and white honor cord to denote membership in Rho Kappa.


The requirements for Rho Kappa membership are: a minimum of two core courses in social studies with an 88 grade point average (GPA) in all social studies courses; a cumulative GPA of 85; and a signed recommendation from a high school social studies teacher.


To learn more about Rho Kappa at AHS, contact Paige Hicks at