Mamacita says: It will always be incomprehensible to me that the valedictorian of a graduating class is, in so many public school sytems, selected after only seven semesters. The administration’s excuse is usually something about totaling up scores, figuring up averages, blah blah blah scholarship interviews blah blah, but the truth is, there IS no good reason for doing this so early. It’s just easier.
In this day and age of computers, the student with the highest average and the most leadership points, etc, can be figured up fifteen minutes before the graduation ceremony, and everybody knows it.
That eighth semester is often used by seniors as a goof-off semester; they drop the difficult college-credit classes and anything else that requires a lot of hard work and time, and just take a few senior requirements or electives to fill in the day. I mean, why bother, when it’s all been tallied and carved in stone after Christmas anyway?
There’s a very fine line between the student who rates #1 in December and a whole lot of other students who are close behind. The TRUE valedictorian should be the student who rates #1 just a little bit before that graduation ceremony. “There’s many a slip between cup and lip,” as they used to say, and many things can, and do, happen during that last semester. A student who is ahead by .2 points is still ahead, even if he/she was behind in January. Bah on lazy administrators. Multiple bahs on parents who want their kid up at that mike so badly, they allow this to keep happening.
If anyone can give me a legitimate reason for selecting the valedictorian and salutatorian five months before graduation, I’d love to hear it – as long as it has nothing to do with money, elitism, entitlement, or genealogy. And I’d bet the farm that there IS no answer that doesn’t have something to do with at least one of those.
I don’t even go to graduations any more, because I know who should have been valedictorian, ie the TRUE valedictorian, and while I know it’s not the fault of the student getting the honor *, I still can’t stand looking at him/her up there giving his/her speech that was written five months ago before his/her average went down eight points from five months of goofing off, while the TRUE valedictorian sits anonymously* * among the graduates, having worked like a dog for EIGHT semesters and having ended up with an average far above the so-called “valedictorian.”
* Except that the “chosen” student knows who the real valedictorian is, too, and apparently doesn’t have the balls to step up to the mike and tell the truth.
**And what’s more, almost everybody in the school knows it, and most of the community knows it, including the kid’s beaming parents who know good and well that Junior or Muffy didn’t really deserve this honor, but hey, grab it if you can! The administration knows it, too, but they don’t care. Honestly, they don’t. They just want it all to be over with. Otherwise, wouldn’t they be doing something about it?
It’s disgraceful, I’m tellin’ ya.
Honestly, I can’t think of a single LEGITIMATE reason why the valedictorian and salutatorian aren’t announced after all of the final exams have been graded and all of the final grades have been posted, just minutes before the ceremony. Then and only then does the school know who the real #1 student is.