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Why This High School Had 29 Valedictorians

(jvdalton@Flickr)

It’s a tremendous honor to be class valedictorian of your high school. It means that you put in the work to be the best, but Redmond High School in Oregon had 29 of them this year. Twenty-nine students recognized as the best of their class.

That’s because the school began a new grading system over the past year that would allow students to potentially finish with a 5.0 grade point average.

The problem was this year’s senior class had been under the old grading system for the previous three years and all of sudden students who had been perfect 4.0 entering their senior year were falling out of the Top 10. The same class some students took as underclassmen was now being given more weight, so students who waited until their senior year to take that same course were at an advantage.

So how do you solve the problem and be fair to everyone? 29 valedictorians.

Did it mean 29 speeches? The school left it up to the students, so they wrote anonymous speeches and selected the Top 3. Those were the ones they used on graduation day.

It’s a one year thing only. Next year they’re going back to one valedictorian and one salutatorian.

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