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What should the requirements for valedictorian be?

March 9, 2023


Many students enroll in a variety of subjects, but your ability to achieve and receive appreciation for your accomplishments may depend on the classes you choose and the way you manage your time.
When comparing students who take augmented classes to those who don’t, there is discussion over who should be eligible for valedictorian.
Some variations include a raised GPA and harder courses. To treat these students equally in terms of being the valedictorian would be unfair.
In terms of pathways specifically, they have experience working with students and observing the transition of upcoming graduates into a variety of different workspaces and destinations.
Pathways are designed to enable more students to efficiently complete courses that lead to career progression and higher education while also improving learning and graduation rates.
As they are put in a far more difficult setting and their education is not based on the same educational outcome, students in augmented classes should get the honor of being considered for valedictorian when it comes to that decision.
Students who have augmented classes have taken the opportunity to grow in a specific work and learning space of their choice.
It has been demonstrated that students who are on a set path receive greater structure and direction. This makes them more likely to enroll for the courses that are more crucial to their chosen career – which will benefit them in the future.
These same students have opted to have their education set to a different level of necessity and relevance to their future careers because they have chosen that path.
A student who may be in a pathway or have an augmented schedule excels in an advanced or honors class is equally impressive as, if not more so than, a “non-pathway” student.
While it is impressive to demonstrate success in school without a track, it is more impressive to do so in a pathway when your education is based on your future.
There is a difference between choosing to put in the hard work that is required of you and applying yourself to an education that will be structured for you, but rather something they must keep in order to achieve in education that requires more time and effort.

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Advanced Placement courses and some of the dual enrollment pathway courses are designed to help students get ahead by offering more credits per class based on the extra rigor of the course.
Many pathways are designed to guide students into future professions, and for years, students in pathways have been succeeding in school with the given extra opportunities.
However, their access to educational options seems to be expanding as there is talk of valedictorian eligibility leaning only toward students in augmented classes. Not in a pathway? Well, it could be near impossible to qualify for valedictorian if you are not.
During the registration process, pathway students are more prioritized than non-pathway students even though many non-pathway students are just as capable at learning and working hard. But to be considered for valedictorian, seniors are expected to have an exceedingly high GPA and rooted in a pathway to be eligible.
I feel this excludes a large majority of hardworking students. Being in a pathway has many advantages and there seems to be no limits, but what about students who don’t choose to pursue a career as early as high school?
Having a variety of careers to choose from at the end of high school is the freedom and opportunity some people want. And there’s no shame in wanting to figure it out at your own pace. The idea that one has to be in a pathway to get recognition and consideration for valedictorian is very limiting and harsh to everyone who works hard.
Many students have shown to excel and thrive in academic settings without being in a pathway. Taking Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, and ROP classes augment the GPA and put pathway kids in higher rank overall, bumping them up on the list for valedictorian accessibility.
But not being in a pathway, and taking harder classes with extracurricular activities is just as impressive, if not equally challenging, as the courses offered in pathway classes. A lot of time and commitment goes into sports, community activism and other non-academic experiences making a better, well-rounded student overall.
There’s also the possibility of too much emphasis on pathway students alone. There should be room for equality for everyone based on more than academics.
It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to be valedictorian, and being in a pathway and having an augmented GPA should not determine the spot.
The main factor, instead, should be who earns it with involvement in extracurriculars, community service, scholarships and overall exceptional grades.

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