Nine? NINE Valedictorians?
June 16, 2011
As graduation approaches, speeches are prepared, invitations are sent out, logistics are figured, finals are taken and high school comes to an end. Graduation is no different here than it is anywhere else. Graduates get their diplomas, moms cry, people party, the end – that’s it.
The thing that makes Middle Park High School’s graduation different, is its outstanding number of valedictorians. In the class of 2011 there will be nine valedictorians. Nine out of 86 seniors have a GPA of 4.0 or higher (due to a 5.0 scale for AP classes). This sounds great.
“Whoopee, Middle Park has smart kids!” This is nothing new.
MPHS has graduated numerous students who have gone on to work for NASA, the Washington Post, and many more. It is great that the senior class has so many students with GPA’s above a 4.0, but having nine valedictorians is ridiculous.
Nine? NINE? Why not have the Top 10? Why not make the top 25 percent be the valedictorians? Why stop there? Why not make everyone a valedictorian? If everyone is special, no one is.
Valedictorian means the ONE with the highest GPA. There should be one valedictorian and one salutatorian that’s it, no more. By giving out nine valedictorian titles, the acclaimed honor loses its value.
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If there are nine winners in a race, without a tie, then why even compete? The 100-meter dash only gives out one ‘1st place’ because there is only one first place.
It’s not the students’ fault, or the principal’s, it is simply a fault of the system. In the student handbook it says: “The valedictorian/s will be student/s with a grade point average of 4.0 or above.”
This needs to change. Of course it is too late for this year, but next year, for the class of 2012, there should be one valedictorian. Simply, the student with the highest GPA.