Valedictorian policies vary among schools

By Josh Pericas, Edmond Memorial High School Published: May 8, 2009
As senior year concludes, students reflect on their achievements and success throughout the academic years. Every year schools celebrate the success of their students with graduation.



It is common for most graduations to have one valedictorian and sometimes a salutatorian. But Edmond Public Schools graduation is a little different, with 30 valedictorians and seven salutatorians at Edmond Memorial High School this year alone.

A reason for this surprising statistic is that Edmond does not have a weighted GPA scale.

The terms weighted GPA and unweighted GPA are based on the amount of honors classes, Pre-AP classes and Advanced Placement courses a student takes. If a student is taking a full course load of these honor classes, then they are graded on a higher GPA scale of 5.0, which means they are being awarded extra points for their success in these rigorous classes.

“It is unfair that some students take Advanced Placement courses and yet it is not reflected in their GPA or in the graduation ceremony,” valedictorian Abby Rubenstein said.

But the unweighted GPA system doesn’t mean students who take tougher classes go unrewarded.

“Class rank and admission applications are weighted to help with scholarships and other opportunities,” Edmond Memorial senior counselor Marie Soderstrom said. “The unweighted GPA number stays within the school, while the weighted GPA is shared with other institutions.”

Josh Pericas
Senior
Edmond Memorial High School