During the regular meeting of the Auburn School Board last Wednesday, high school principal Nathan Essex said the board may want to think about eliminating the graduation designations of valedictorian and salutatorian, possibly with the 2023 graduating class if the board decides to go in that direction. Essex said Auburn is one of the few districts in the area which hasn't started to phase it out. Area schools that are phasing it out include Williamsville, Athens, Pleasant Plains, New Berlin and Riverton.
Essex reasoned that students are avoiding opportunities outside of school, such as dual credit offerings, programs such as the CEO program and the students may also avoid taking classes like music in order to take more academically weighted classes to qualify for valedictorian or salutatorian. “It is a great honor but it is important not to eliminate opportunities,” Essex said.
“Three years ago, we started recognizing all 4.0 students at graduation as one of the first things we recognize because that is quite an accomplishment and I don't think it should be singled out to one or two students,” Essex said.
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