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Monday, January 14th, 2008

Principal addresses issue of valedictorians and salutatorians

By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - If it were up to school Superintendent David Riel, there would be no valedictorians or salutatorians named every year.
During the Fort Recovery school board meeting last week Riel, high school Principal Dave Warvel and board members discussed the issue while talking about plans for staff development in January.
New board member Jack Staugler asked how others felt about the large number of valedictorians and salutatorians picked every year at Fort Recovery. He also wanted to know if teachers are too liberal with handing out As on report cards.
"I don't want to say we have too many or too few," Staugler said, pointing out he was simply curious.
For the 2006-2007 school year, five seniors were named valedictorians and one senior named salutatorian. Anyone who obtains a 4.0 GPA receives valedictorian status.
Warvel said some students may take an easier class over an AP class in order to maintain a high GPA and obtain valedictorian status. However, he also pointed out that AP classes now are weighted to take into account the difference in subject difficulty.
Warvel said while discussing the matter about too many As with an undisclosed coach/teacher, that person asked Warvel if he wanted to see the students get scholarships or not. Warvel said he then asked the coach how many most valuable players (MVPs) are named on a team.
Also, Warvel said universities and colleges are aware of Fort Recovery's practice of awarding multiple valedictorians and salutatorians.
"They see we're playing the game too," Warvel said.
Warvel also said it was a catch-22, as the status could help students obtain scholarships but distracts students from actually learning and taking the more challenging courses.
"I don't like it period," Warvel said.
Board members took no action on the topic.
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