Robert Winner

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Should there be multiple Valedictorians, also know as Dux and Major de promotion?

High schools are graduating bigger & bigger groups of valedictorians. South Medford, Ore., for example, has 21.

Valedictorian is an academic title conferred upon the student who delivers the closing or farewell statement at a graduation ceremony (called a valedictory). The chosen valedictorian is usually the student with the highest ranking among his or her graduating class.

Should the concept of Valedictorian and Salutorians be limited to the top achievers as a reward for their efforts or should all of the the top students ... such as making the Deans list, a 4.0 avaerage, all A's, etc ... be so honored?

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    Jun 2 2013: Yup, this is an extension of not keeping score in sports.
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    Jun 2 2013: I believe when my eldest daughter graduated from high school, there were forty valedictorians, each of whom chose a quotation and read it into the microphone.

    I am ambivalent about making too big a distinction in the level of recognition among a small group of students whose performance is truly not distinctly different. There are differences in the challenge of courses, within that differences in the challenge provided by teachers teaching the same course (but not in a way that is easily measurable for such a purpose), and differences in what else students were juggling at the same time. Of course, there is also a difference in how inspiring and effective the student might be as a speaker.
  • Jun 2 2013: I think the top student should be so honored.

    A related debate involves GPAs higher than 4.0, where kids are taking college classes as high school classes and getting more than 4.0 points for the work. Which student deserves to be valevictorian, a student that breezes through average classes or a student that struggles through courses just out of their reach?

    In a commencement address at my son's school last week, I heard the speaker announce that next year's incoming class has an average GPA of 3.98. This is a fairly elite school, but my question is 'Are we pushing forward the best minds with such a focus on GPA?' Look back at history to the movers and shakers of past generations and hold them to this criteria. Very few would make that cut.

    As far as reward for academic excellence, any kid in the top 1% of most high school or college classes is worth of being given the honor of speaking at a ceremony honoring academic excellence. Seems only fitting that the highest GPA gets to first opportunity.

    I think I would like to hear the person that had the highest GPA that also reached, pushed, and risked his/her GPA to be the best student they could be and learn the most material be represented in some manners as well, perhaps a salutatorian or similar distinction.