Proposed bill would require schools to name valedictorian, salutatorian

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 10, 2019

COLUMBUS — After a local high school said it would stop recognizing class valedictorian and salutatorian, an Ohio lawmaker is proposing a bill which would require school districts to give these honors to graduating students.

"These students work hard to become the top academically achieving students in their class," a news release from Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg), said. "Competition fosters excellence and we should be encouraging that."

This proposal comes after Mason High School said it would no longer recognize valedictorian and salutatorian titles starting next school year.

"We are moving to a recognition system eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian honors, and shifting to recognizing students who have achieved outstanding academic success through a multitude of pathways," Principal Bobby Dodd said. "The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments. This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them."

Mason High School did say it would recognize academic performance in accordance with the Latin honors system. This means students with a GPA of 4.00 and above will be designated summa cum laude; students with a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99 will be designated magna cum laude; students with a GPA between 3.51 and 3.71 will be designated cum laude.

Dodd also said the school decided not to continue with the valedictorian and salutatorian honors because of the "highly competitive culture and the impact student course loads have on stress and anxiety levels."

However, Cameron Carter, Valley View High School, class of 2019 valedictorian, felt the competition was a good thing.

"I worked harder because I wanted to be my class’s valedictorian," Carter said. "Now that I am, many opportunities have opened up for me in college and beyond."