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Franklin Regional to mull more than 1 valedictorian

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Competition to become the top-ranked student in the Franklin Regional School District could shift as the school board considers recognizing more than one student.

Board members will consider honoring any student as a valedictorian who achieves a cumulative academic-weight rank of 4.4 or higher, beginning with the class of 2017.

A class rank of “1” would be reported on the transcript of each of those students.

During the past three years, between eight and 12 students would have met that criteria, said Ron Suvak, senior high school principal.

“We wanted to keep that student's willingness to challenge themselves,” Suvak said, explaining that the honor could motivate students.

Joe Seymour, vice president of the board, said it is important to celebrate the achievements of the student who earns the top rank.

“My first inclination is we celebrate the difference between a hundreth of a second in swimming every weekend, one stroke in golf,” he said. “My initial reaction is this is almost fodder for laughter.”

If approved, he suggested the board change the title to reflect that several students achieved top academic honors, from valedictorians to “group of salutatorians.”

The commencement speech, one of the most visible honors for the top-ranked scholar, would be delegated through a lottery system or by student votes, Suvak said.

Suvak said he will review valedictorian policies in similar school districts and compile a report for the board to consider later this month.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or adolasinski@tribweb.com.

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