GPA no longer determines valedictorian at Skyline HS

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SALT LAKE CITY -- There are 16 students with 4.0 GPAs at Skyline High School this year, but none of them will be named valedictorian.

The high school, located in the Granite School District, has decided to expel the honor. It has become a reoccurring theme in many schools in Utah and the rest of the country.

"There is a multitude of options these days from our AP classes, international baccalaureate programs, CTE courses, concurrent enrollment and it is more and more difficult to determine how students are competing against one another," said Ben Horsley, of the Granite School District.

Skyline 4.0 students have mixed emotion. While other schools in Utah have upwards of 10 valedictorians, Skyline students will have none.

"We all worked this hard to get to where we are, that sort of recognition would be great," said Nicholas Ridge.

"I think it's nice they don't select one valedictorian because everyone is pretty representing of the school and it allows more counter balance and fairness throughout," said Jane Saviers-Steiger.

So the next obvious question is, ‘who gives the speech at the graduation?’ At skyline, it's up to a committee made up of class officers and advisors to decide. Any student in the senior class is welcome to audition.

"It really is up to the senior class officers -- these are their peers, this is their program, this is their graduation ceremony -- so it's important that they have a good amount in how that is determined," Horsley said.

"This year we have someone who is the ideal student and then we have someone who is more of your average Joe and he has such a great message and I think it will be really cool to have both perspectives," said Abbie Hamilton, senior class president.

Rajdeep Trilokekar would have had a 4.0 if it weren't for one A minus. In other schools that would have taken him out of the running to give a speech, but not at Skyline.

"I think I do like this process because I get to speak as I wish and audition off of my speech talent not necessarily off of my grades," Trilokekar said.

Not all high schools in the Granite School District operate the same. Some of them do have valedictorians, while others have auditions, but only seniors with a certain grade point average are eligible.


  • Jill Spackman Thackeray

    I have been a teacher at Skyline for 14 years and in my time there we have never named a valedictorian. Kind of a non-news story, but it sure was great seeing and hearing such well spoken students that I have had the honor to teach. There are just so many extraordinary and accomplished students as was evident tonight at the Senior Awards banquet where I had the honor to present 3 of the top awards that it would be hard to pick just one.

  • Jose

    I commend you for 14yrs of service in our school system, on that note I think its stupid not picking a valedictorian. All this touchy feely everyone is a winner mentality is bs. What is the purpose of working hard if everyone gets a piece of the glory. Their is no incentive for those on the top because they get the same as those who do not work hard. I think its an insult to those who work their tails off.

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