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The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

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Lea Olivares Raudes
Fold Editor & Graphics Team

Valedictorian: an over-saturated honor at TuHS

On June 8th, my name will be called alongside 27 other seniors who’ve worked hard enough to be called the top of our class, or, in other words, valedictorian. While it’s no easy feat, having two classrooms worth of seniors given an honor that should go to one person defeats the purpose of what it means to be a valedictorian. 

An unweighted 4.0 GPA and nine honors classes is what it takes to be valedictorian at Tualatin High School (TuHS). The extreme number of valedictorians stems from the fact that this criteria can apply to more than one student; no one needs to compete with anyone to have the highest weighted GPA or most honors classes; instead, just making sure to get ‘A’s and taking specific classes is enough to win the title. 

I wasn’t even aware I’d be a candidate for the honor until the beginning of last school year, when I realized that I’ve not gotten a single ‘B’ and that the classes I’ve been taking have been mostly honors. I was excited and happy to have achieved something so big, but that feeling of accomplishment faded fast as I felt like I haven’t put that much effort into school compared to other students who’ve taken multiple IB classes and lots of extracurriculars. I felt unworthy. 

It doesn’t feel rewarding to be at the top of your class when it’s something that is easy to achieve. You can take the easiest IB classes, accumulating enough honors classes while also getting easy ‘A’s in all your classes, and consequently end up as a valedictorian. Having more than one valedictorian eliminates the competition needed for the honor to hold value. It’s the amount of work that you put that makes an accomplishment feel rewarding, and I definitely didn’t feel like I put in that much work to be rewarded.

This flawed valedictorian system will stay until the Class of 2027 graduates. They will need the highest weighted GPA to win the title, meaning that they have to have the highest grade point average while also taking the most IB classes to raise that GPA beyond a 4.0. 

While it’s going to feel harder, I definitely think it creates a more competitive and rewarding experience. 



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About the Contributor
Ahmed Altuhafi
Ahmed Altuhafi, Co-Feature & Web Editor
Hello, my name is Ahmed Altuhafi. I am a junior at Tualatin High school, and an athlete who enjoys soccer, tennis, and swimming. I enjoy playing video-games in my free time and hanging out with friends and family. One reason I joined the Newspaper team is because Mr Malone (the journalism and IB English teacher) recommended that I do it, and I found out that I really enjoy writing about short stories. So ultimately I found that newspaper sounds like a great choice.

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