Valedictorian award causes unneeded stress to students

Henry Harper

As a graduating senior, this will be the first year Park has decided to not give out a valedictorian award. I believe this is an appropriate decision, as the traditional award doesn’t take into account course load or course difficulty. This means someone who takes all standard classes at the bare minimum credit requirements can be given the same recognition as someone who took the most rigorous class schedule possible.

The removal of this system also gives students less stress when completing their highschool career. Having friends who attempted for this award, they have been overworked, stressed out, and lost opportunities in other aspects because of the need to be valedictorian. I believe the removal will help further students realize other opportunities in social and extracurricular activities.

I believe some other good reasons for the removal are alternative rewards. This year, students are split up by a range of GPAs rather than just the highest honor. This will result in giving the highest rewards to more students, resulting in better college and job opportunities for more students in the future. This will benefit the students who have the highest gpas, as well as the students who just fell short of the 4.0 marking.

This information being given to us can be seen as unfair to those who were striving for valedictorian, though needed in order to implement in the future. I believe the students who were in pursuit of the title will still receive rewards that stand out from fellow peers, and that the fight for valedictorian is a battle for the name, not the actual accomplishment. I say this because valedictorians are looked at as prodigies and students strive for that, overlooking the actual accomplishment and more so being overly competitive.

For future graduates, I hope they appreciate this shift, as it will open their eyes to other opportunities and show them the other side of high school outside of academics. Students need this change, as high school is  where students develop into young adults, and making them stunt that development by making them compete for the highest mark can be detrimental to the students social skills and mental health.

Administration made the right choice removing the valedictorian system, as it sends students into stress and unneeded mental strain. This change will give students more opportunities socially as well as for extracurriculars. Furthermore, more students will be awarded, giving them better opportunities in the future.