By Sam Royer ’15
Although the selection of valedictorian has traditionally been based on the highest GPA, the school has decided for a second year to go beyond tradition and follow a different process.
“Though a student’s GPA was a consideration, it was not supposed to be the only consideration,” Mr. Gavin ‘77 said.
According to Gavin, a committee was formed to determine a new selection process using the Graduate at Graduation document as a guide. With the document in mind, the hope is to find a valedictorian that would most represent the “well-rounded person the grad at grad espouses,” Gavin explained.
Based on GPA, the top 5% of the senior class is invited by the committee to become a candidate for valedictorian. The applicants are then asked to complete a questionnaire which is presented anonymously to the committee for review.
The selection is then cut down for a final round in which the remaining three to five applicants must give a short speech to the committee.
“The speech helps the committee understand the oral presentation skills of a candidate and his ability to craft an engaging speech,” Gavin said.
Student reaction to the selection process has been mixed.
“I would say that the selection process is a good reflection of the school and its mission. The valedictorian should should be at least a good example of the school’s final product, someone that exemplifies the grad at grad,” said Kellen Dugan ‘15, a candidate himself.
On the contrary, Matt Koehler ‘15, another candidate, said he felt the valedictorian should be the student with the highest GPA, admitting the new process makes it “kind of competitive.”
Regardless, the committee will select a valedictorian based on the new process in the coming weeks in time for graduation on Sunday, May 31.