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THE RACE FOR VALEDICTORIAN Changes in the valedictorian/salutatorian policy are discussed by members of The Cardinal staff in this issue’s staff editorial. possible valedictorian canidate Kate Dennis, photo by Chloe Pittman

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interests and future plans. In the past, students sometimes took weighted classes to boost their overall GPA in order to win the title of either valedictorian or salutatorian. With the new changes in the policy, it is much tougher to become valedicTop Academic Honors torian than just solely having a good GPA. • Minimum 4.0 GPA Our staff weighs in: • 28 or higher on the ACT At first, these changes weren’t fully understood and faced • At least 10 semesters of weighted classes large amounts of criticism. Certain students were worried that the changes would allow people to sail through high school without challenging themselves and still be honored for having good High Honors grades. That, however, is not the case. With the new system, stu- • Minimum 3.75 GPA dents must now work even harder to earn honors titles. More • 26 or higher on the ACT importantly, ACT scores are included in the requirements, as • At least 5 semesters of weighted classes they should be, since high scores are essential for college scholarHonors ships. Another misunderstanding occurred when rumors flew • Minimum 3.5 GPA that the student body would vote on graduation speakers. This lead to the assumption that the choice was out of the entire graduating class and left us frustrated that we might get stuck listening to a dull speech. When we learned that the student body would choose from those being honored, we were relieved. Now that the speakers at graduation will be voted on by the senior class, this requires students who are interested in becoming valedictorian to not only excel academically, but be a personable person. No matter how well you do in school, or what your score on the ACT is, you may still not be voted to speak if you are rude to those around you. No one wants to have someone speaking at their high school graduation who was mean or stuck-up 364 out of the 365 days of the year. Although not voluntarily, the new valedictorian policy has created an all-around standard. Overall, these changes to the graduation system bring major benefits and well-needed challenges to students striving to graduate with honors. Hopefully, these new requirements will push students to challenge themselves, yet make their quest for honors less stressful.

Want to comment? E-mail or submit a letter to the editor. Staff Editorial // page 3

The Cardinal Issue 2  

December 2011