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6.01.2008

student with highest gpa won't be valedictorian

Anjali Datta holds the highest grade point average of the 471 students graduating from Grapevine High School in Texas. In fact, school officials believe her GPA of 5.898 may be the highest in Gravevine's history. However, it's still apparently not enough to make her the class valedictorian: Grapevine student with top grades won't be valedictorian.

It seems that although she's the top student in her class—her closest competitor's GPA is 5.64—she is being denied the valedictorian title because he's finishing high school in just three years. That's right... not only does 16-year-old Anjali have an insanely high GPA, she's graduating early. But a school district policy states: "The valedictorian shall be the eligible student with the highest weighted grade-point average for four years of high school." So does four years mean calendar years of school attendance, or does it mean completing the credits it takes most students four years to earn?

If you ask the district's attorneys, they're interpreting the policy literally. So at this year's graduation ceremony, another guy, 18-year-old Tyler Scott Franklin, will be the Grapevine High School valedictorian... and Anjali will be "Valedictorian – Three-Year." That's lame. Give her the recognition she deserves! And it's not just the title—being named valedictorian brings a one-year college scholarship from the state.

So, Tyler will receive the scholarship. Which still doesn't make much sense, because the Texas Education Agency doesn't even mention the word "valedictorian" when defining eligibility for the college scholarship. The state provides Texas high schools with an "Honor Graduate Certificate." The certificate is to be presented to the "highest ranking graduate" in the senior class, according to Texas Education Code. That's not you, Tyler... and I bet you know it. 5.898. Recognize.