GPA Doesn’t Matter?

New Students Unable to Earn Top Rank

Katelyn Terry, Editor-In-Chief

With the school year surpassing its midpoint at the start of a new semester, grade point averages (GPAs) were handed out to students by the counselors in late Jan. For seniors, this is one of the final indications of where they are ranked in the entirety of their class. However, a rule has existed for decades, not only at LHS, but in many districts, where those who have not attended the school for three or more years are unable to hold the honor of valedictorian or salutatorian.

There should not be a rule which restricts seniors from earning the title of valedictorian or salutatorian because of the student’s number of years present at that school.

For many students, academic achievement plays a primary role in their daily lives. The GPA one must earn to become valedictorian requires a tremendous amount of effort and successful time management. A student who is that dedicated to their studies deserves the chance to obtain such a rewarding title. There are few students today who are willing to put in such an intense performance into their school work, and as a result, should have the same opportunities as their peers who have attended the school longer.  

A change in scenery is not always expected or necessarily desired by many students who are forced to move in the middle of their high school career. Relocating during these prime years of education can unintentionally alter their academic standing as a whole, especially in the area of class rank. As an added disadvantage, these students are penalized for their move by being denied that top spot which they might work relentlessly hard toward. All in all, relocation is usually not a choice in the case of most students. Therefore, it is simply unfair to place certain restrictions on those who have no say in the matter.

Students who are deserving of the valedictorian and salutatorian spots but are denied these titles are essentially missing out on the many benefits that accompany it. Special scholarship opportunities are available to students who earn the top two rankings in their class, which may pay for a considerable amount of their college education. Additionally, students may have access to certain internships for acquiring this status as well. Simply the honor of being named valedictorian in itself can act as a reward for any dedicated student.

Some may argue that rewarding one who has not attended the school for a number years this honor is unfair to students who previously held the rank. However, the position of valedictorian was created as a reward for the student with the highest accumulated GPA. With the current system, academically gifted individuals are punished for simply relocating.

The widespread regulation restricting the title of valedictorian to a senior who has not been in attendance at that campus for three-plus years should not exist in today’s school system. This honorary achievement must be available to all students who are deserving.