An inside look at what it takes to be Valedictorian

Eligible seniors are anxious

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Kylie Metzler

Messenger Staff Writer

For each high school graduation, a speech is given by the student who typically has the highest academic achievements of their class; the valedictorian.

There are eleven seniors eligible to be valedictorian for Placer’s 2015 graduating class. The current junior and senior classes at Placer must take four honors or AP classes, have all A’s in every class they’ve taken, and meet the college A through G requirements in order to be valedictorian. For every graduating class after those two, students who wish to be valedictorian will have to take six AP classes to be eligible as valedictorian, along with the A through G requirements and straight A’s. Students who want to be valedictorian must remain dedicated throughout high school.

“It’s always been kind of a dream since I was younger. Junior year, I didn’t have a social

life. It’s all worth it in the end, honestly. You meet wonderful people and intelligent people”, stated Kiri Rao, one of the eleven seniors eligible to be valedictorian.

Placer’s valedictorians are based on an unweighted GPA, which means that extra points for an AP class are not actually counted. All of our valedictorians also have a 4.0 GPA, which is attractive to colleges.

“It’s outstanding to colleges if you’re valedictorian. There’s even some colleges that give preferential treatment to people who are valedictorians. Long Beach State even has a valedictorian scholarship, so you might get the full four years paid for”, said Katy Chamberlin, one of Placer’s counselors.

Students who want to be valedictorian must watch their grades closely. If a student aiming to be valedictorian retakes a class they received a B+ in to try to get an A, it will not erase or change the previous grade and they will no longer be eligible to be valedictorian. Does this put pressure on a student or affect their personal life?

“Wanting to be valedictorian does not actually put that much pressure on me, but wanting to be valedictorian does sometimes affect my personal life. Studying and homework usually take up a lot of time, especially when I’m also doing a sport”, admitted Naomi Root, a sophomore who hopes to be her class valedictorian.

Valedictorians strive to be on top, and some may even say they’re competitive. They understand that this could greatly affect them further on in their life.

“Work ethic, is a trait they would have, for sure. Courage to take challenging classes,

because they could choose to maybe take an easier class here in order to make sure

they’re valedictorian. Most of them are very driven and willing to make that extra effort. To not just get the grade, but most of them are very interested in acquiring the knowledge.They see it as helping them in the future, beyond high school”, Chamberlin further stated.

On top of having the honor of saying they have the highest academic achievement in their graduating class, valedictorians also get to deliver the valedictory speech, and is usually the last person to speak at their graduation ceremony.

Though valedictorians may lack a social life briefly or feel stressed out, they will persevere through their high school struggles and will have their own moment in the spotlight during graduation.

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