| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hampton officials discuss valedictorian requirements

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

A growing class:

Since Hampton Township School District established a set of requirements to be valedictorian in 2009, the number of valedictorians has increased.

2009 4

2010 5

2011 10

2012 11

2013 16 (potential)

Daily Photo Galleries

North Hills Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Bethany Hofstetter
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Hampton Township School Board planned to maintain the current requirements for valedictorian status, despite finding that the policy means the district can have nearly a dozen or more students achieving the honor.

The board established requirements four years ago allowing more than one valedictorian based on a series of requirements, including earning a minimum of 28 credits, not withdrawing from any classes and achieving a quality-point average of 4.35 or above.

The school board was expected to vote on its 2013-14 program of studies, which outlines the valedictorian requirements at its Jan. 14 meeting.

The topic prompted board discussion at its workshop meeting last week.

Since setting the valedictorian policy in 2009, the number of valedictorians has grown from four in the first year to include 11 valedictorians in last year's graduating class.

There is potential for Hampton to have 16 valedictorians this year.

“We established this in order to make it a fair process for kids,” said Superintendent John Hoover. “When you look at grading percentages, it's not precise to the 1,000th decimal place and that's not fair.

“Personally, I don't think it's a problem to have 10 valedictorians. It's indicative of our students achieving that level.”

Assistant Superintendent Jo Welter presented an example of how a student might achieve the highest possible QPA.

Her sample schedule showed the student taking the highest academic classes possible for four years, and included no study hall period and one day per week without a lunch period.

“If they got ‘As' all the way through … not missing a beat, 4.63 (is the maximum QPA),” Welter said.

Gail Litwiler, chair of educational programs, said creating the example schedule was “a very eye-opening exercise,” adding that although there are multiple valedictorians each year, the requirements still are rigorous.

“If in order to get to 4.6 (QPA), the student has to take every course AP … that is pushing kids to do something not in their best interest,” Litwiler said. “There are no electives in this (schedule).”

Several school board members agreed that it is not their goal for the students to only takes the highest academic classes, and they want students to feel free to try different courses and electives.

“I would be very much opposed to eliminating this (valedictorian criteria) because I think it would push kids away from taking full advantage of the high school experience,” said School Board President David Gurwin.

The school board was scheduled to vote to approve the 2013-14 program of studies and the valedictorian requirements at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. Franklin Park woman honored by Lupus Foundation
  2. Move in age group nets dividends for Franklin Park tennis player
  3. Zelienople-based skateboard business starting to take off
  4. Photo Gallery: Marshall Community Day
  5. Photo Gallery: St. Athanasius Parish Festival
  6. NA grad formulates bath, beauty products with natural ingredients
  7. Wexford Health-hosted program to raise awareness of food allergies
  8. Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
  9. Bridge work to close Little Pine Creek Road in Shaler