Valedictorian award motivates students

Alicia Mainjeni

Valedictorian is an award that has the ability to eliminate an unhealthy awarding system. If schools are willing to give this achievement to all graduating students who meet the criteria, then there would be more emphasis on student learning rather than student competition. Valedictorian awards students for taking harder classes and reaching a high level of academic achievement. If it is rewarded to more than one student it would eliminate the pressure of simply having the highest GPA.

This year, valedictorian status has been removed as an award for graduating seniors. Having the valedictorian award to work for gives students a reason to strive for a greater level of academic success. That being said, the system in which they’re selected should be corrected, making it an accessible title for all who wish to work for it. 

Incorporating this award in our graduation system will motivate students to excel in their academics. By having a goal that you are striving to meet, students have more of a reason to work hard in school and participate in activities they would not particularly participate in otherwise. Some of the positive activities students may choose to participate in while attempting to earn this honor may create positive relationships and experiences rather than just academic recognition.

This award also opens up college opportunities. While it does not have a direct affect on college acceptance, it may have an affect on scholarships. Colleges often look for students who are academically inclined. That being said, the criteria that students often meet to receive these honors typically involve a high GPA and good test scores. It also goes a long way on resumes if a student does not choose to receive post-secondary education.

Recognizing students who work hard to earn a title of academic achievement should have the option to do so. Furthermore, I believe that the title of valedictorian is an essential goal that students should have the option to meet as it motivates students to put in effort in their school work.