Academic Achievements

How many valedictorians is too many?

Illustration by Carlos Galindo

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The definition of valedictorian is “a student, typically having the highest academic achievements of the class, who delivers the valedictory at a graduation ceremony.” Traditionally, the valedictorian is the one student with the highest grade point average. Today, schools are rewarding every student with a GPA of 4.0 or above with the valedictorian status.

This year’s 2016 graduating class is rewarding 38 students with this status of achievement. All students in this category obviously are very prestigious students that have grinded day in and day out to achieve such a remarkable grade point. However, the valedictorian position refers to the lone person with the highest grade point.

It is nice for students to be rewarded for their academic achievement and there are rewards just one step under. It definitely is not a bad thing to receive Salutatian status, or a Cum Laude, a Magna Cum Laude, or a Summa Cum Laude.

“All students with this level of academic achievement deserve awards without a doubt,” principal Tom Lietz said. “The value of being valedictorian is diminished when it’s given to too many students.”

When a student is elected as valedictorian, it means that they have achieved higher than the rest of his or her competing student body. Such situation is extremely rewarding and exemplifies one student achieving higher than all others. In the case where all 38 get the award, it begins to seem less special. Not that the students are any less important, it’s just that the one who has the highest GPA in the end should stand alone as valedictorian.

Once again, the students who aren’t valedictorian have nothing to be worried about and their achievements would not be diminished to any extent. They have worked hard to achieve highly and will continue to as their education moves on to respected universities across the country.

As the parents in this situation, no matter if their son or daughter is valedictorian or not, should be more than proud. The fact that their child has worked day and night to receive an almost perfect grade point average, should be enough to mention the scholarships and bright futures in front of their kid.

Also, a factor that sides with having only one valedictorian is the money. It would save a lot of money to reward one student with valedictorian medal than to have to order 38 of them. If there were one, more could be spent on that one student.

No matter if there’s one valedictorian or fifty, each student should feel accomplished and proud that their hard work has paid off and that the road in front of them is one to their liking. With constant hard work, motivation, and dedication, these students along, with all others with a similar mindset, will find that greatness is right around the courner.

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