Select Colorado high schools will no longer recognize a class valedictorian

Cherry Creek School District leaders say they will not give special recognition to students who...
Cherry Creek School District leaders say they will not give special recognition to students who have earned the highest grade-point average in their class at graduations starting in 2026.(tcw-wcsc)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - A school district in Colorado plans to do away with valedictorian awards at its high schools in the coming years.

The Cherry Creek School District, about 20 miles outside of Denver, will not give special recognition to students who have earned the highest grade-point average in their class at graduations starting in 2026, according to a letter sent to parents earlier this month.

The newsletter said faculty have found the tradition outdated and inconsistent with what they know and believe of its students and that learning is not a competition.

High school principals with the district said this is a way to help decrease the angst several students face daily by removing unnecessary pressure.

But the district said it would continue to honor those students who receive academic achievements such as the honor roll, GPA honor cords at graduation and more through various other ways.

According to the letter, the Cherry Creek School District consulted counsel to ensure it is in alignment with its decision to eliminate a class valedictorian when it comes to the admission processes of other local schools, colleges and universities.

“At the University of Denver, we are not concerned with schools eliminating class rank or valedictorian recognition, as these are not factors used in our admission process,” wrote Todd Rinehart, vice-chancellor of enrollment with the University of Denver. “Many college and university admission committees stopped considering class rank years ago, as very few high schools still report a class ranking.”

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