Being chosen to be the class valedictorian will carry more meaning at Hoisington High School in the coming year, thanks to clarifications made to the honor at a special meeting of the USD 431 Board of Education Wednesday, June 17 at the central office.
First and foremost, the board agreed to tighten requirements to end any “gaming” of the system. No longer will high-achieving students be able to protect their grade point averages by taking less rigorous classes in their senior year. They will required to adhere to a rigorous schedule till the end.
The valedictorian will need to have a 4.0 GPA, as well as completed the Kansas Scholars Curriculum. Only in the event of a tie will ACT scores be taken into consideration, and only if there is a tie for both GPA and ACT score will there be co-valedictorians.
On the other hand, the board agreed there should be no limit put on the number of Salutatorians a class can have.
“That’s a pretty big honor in and of itself,” said board member Kelly Urban. “The valedictorian should stand out as the one top student.
In the past year, there were six students who reached the top level, leading to confusion over who would be chosen for the top honors.
“Somewhere along the line, we have to teach our kids they aren’t always going to win,” Urban said.
The board approved the amendment to the high school student handbook, with only Dean Stoskopf dissenting, as he felt ACT scores should not be factored into the decision.