When the controversy broke over which of two students would be Etowah High School’s valedictorian, the simple solution to many of us was to have two No. 1 slots. In researching the issue, I found that some schools have had as many as 38 valedictorians.
Now, the Cherokee school board appears to agree. (See this new blog on the implications of multiple valedictorians for HOPE.)
Here is a brief summary of what happened in Cherokee: A private school student enrolled at Etowah to access an early college option offered to public school students. Because college grades earn higher points on the GPA, the private school student edged out an Etowah student who has been tops in her class since the ninth grade.
The prospect of Etowah’s valedictorian being a student who never stepped foot in the building or attended any classes there led to an uproar, a Facebook campaign and petitions. But under Cherokee policy, the young woman in college was the rightful valedictorian.
While the larger issue yet to be resolved is whether high school students in college classes deserve more points for their grades, the leadership in Cherokee came to the same conclusion that we did on the blog — keep the peace and go with two valedictorians this year. The proposed waiver has to read again next month before it is a done deal.
Congratulations to both young women for their hard work and their commitment to their educations.
At its monthly meeting Thursday, the school board proposed waiving their rules this year to have co-valedictorians and co-salutatorians. They received a petition from 433 students, who believe the valedictorian should have attended the school. Students also asked that the valedictorian decision not be based solely on grade point averages.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog.