Graduates Will Transition to Latin Honor System Beginning This Year

“We have dozens of students who attain and maintain a high academic level who are not being recognized for their hard work,” Hardy County Schools Superintendent Sheena VanMeter told the Hardy County Board of Education. “This policy change addresses that.”

The board met on Monday, Feb. 17 and voted to send revised Policy IFC – Academic Graduation Honors out for first reading.

The policy sets forth criteria for graduating seniors to be recognized using the Latin honor system of cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. It replaces the valedictorian and salutatorian designation.

Students will be recognized as follows:

Cum laude – 3.50 – 3.69 GPA

Magna cum laude – 3.70 – 3.89 GPA

Summa cum laude – 3.90 – 4.0+ GPA

The change was first discussed with the board in June last year when Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Strawderman broached the subject.

“The practice of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian hasn’t changed in hundreds of years,” she said. “But the practice of class choices has changed considerably.

“Students can take college classes, CTE (Career and Technical Education) classes, AP (Advanced Placement) classes and internships, and the process is constantly changing.”

Strawderman said some of the above mentioned classes have “weighted” grades, meaning students can accumulate more than the typical 4.0 grade point average.

“An additional outcome is this system alleviates course manipulation to enhance class ranking,” she said.

This year’s senior class, as well as the next two senior classes, will still name a valedictorian and salutatorian, but students will also be recognized as

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The next meeting of the Hardy County Board of Education will be held on Monday, March 2 at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Central Office, 510 Ashby St. in Moorefield. The public is invited to attend.