This year’s senior class has 11 valedictorians and five salutatorians at graduation who were recognized at the awards assembly, May 16. The seniors were given their scholarships along with athletic recognitions and academic honors. Guidance Counselor Stephen Parpart said the class has also received over $700,000 in scholarship money from local donors and colleges.
Principal Ryan Gallwitz said this is because of a unique problem with weighted grades. Any post-secondary grades are weighted, which contributes to the large number of valedictorians.
“Next year’s class will not see this problem,” Gallwitz said. “We saw this coming, and that’s why we made this change.”
Parpart said the same protocol will be followed that has always been followed to determine the valedictorians.
“I can’t think of anything that is going to be different except for the ceremony at graduation;” Parpart said. “Valedictorians have always done a speech that can go 5 to 10 minutes, obviously we cannot have 11 five to ten-minute speeches at a graduation that is already two hours long.”
Senior Hannah Ervin said she thinks it is awesome to have 11 people who meet the valedictorian requirements.
“It shows how our graduating class has really worked hard in our four years of high school,” Ervin said. “With the 11 valedictorians comes a bit of a challenge when it comes to the ceremony, so all of us are working to communicate ideas and work together so as to not make graduation too long.”
Senior Michael Collins said he doesn’t mind it because he thinks it shows how intelligent his class is as a whole. However, it has had its drawbacks.
“I know it will take away from the meaning of being a valedictorian,” Collins said. “I think that the standards for receiving the award should be changed in the future.”
By Alan Groves