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Where Is Our Valedictorian?

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Where Is Our Valedictorian?

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

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The District 51 school community has decided to remove Valedictorian and Salutatorian positions at the beginning of the 2021 school year, in order to recognize more than two students. Valedictorian and Salutatorian are positions that honor the top two students in each graduating class with the highest GPA statuses.

The district is now moving to the Latin Honors System that is commonly used in colleges. There are three rankings that allow multiple students to be recognized for their academic success; Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude.

Several people in the District 51 school community were a part of making the decision to remove valedictorian positions.

“There were a lot of students playing the system and an unlevel playing field for certain student groups,” GJHS counselor, Serenity Santistevan, said. The change gives students more of an opportunity to have balanced schooling, such as not dropping electives for AP classes.

“It was very unhealthy. I have witnessed the Valedictorian Race break up friendships and I think friendships are more important than being number one in your class,” Santistevan said.

Changing to the Latin Honors System will allow more than just two students to be recognized and make it less competitive.

“I am personally in favor of it because it recognizes more academically successful students than just two,” assistant principal, Alicia Timbreza, says.

“Personally, I enjoy having a Valedictorian because it gives more competition to do well in school, but I also like the change because there is more of a level playing field,” sophomore Mandy Moran said. As a sibling of the Valedictorian, Moran has an inspiration to be valedictorian.

“Because [my sister, Makayla Moran] is Valedictorian, it inspired me, but I don’t feel obligated too [become Valedictorian],” Moran said.

 

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Where Is Our Valedictorian?