What happened to class rank?


The yellow sheet given to graduating seniors lists the GPA percentile cut-offs for the Class of 2016. This sheet was made by the Guidance Department and given to all seniors during their senior meetings at the beginning of the year.

Maddie Hirschfield, Author

As of Aug. 17, 2009, the Lake Central School Board eliminated class rank from the high school. The Class of 2012 was the first graduating class to experience this new policy, which means they did not have a valedictorian or a salutatorian.

“They were trying to eliminate the feverish way [students] were trying to manipulate their classes and drop classes,” Ms. Laurie Bankroff, Guidance, said.

Using the percentile system, students can still see where they stand in their class, but they do not see their exact order. Students are put into categories such as the “Top 1%” or “Top 5%” instead of seeing exact numbers. Since there is no longer a valedictorian, students with a GPA of a 4.0 or above are invited to submit a graduation speech.

“They knew that by dropping the class rank, they would be able to give a lot more attention to a larger group of students and give those students the opportunity to write the graduation speeches and let them compete for it. Just because somebody is number one doesn’t always automatically mean that they’re the best speaker for their class. I think it means more to the kids now. Our class sizes are too big to just say that we have one standout. We have many standouts for many different reasons. This system works better for that,” Ms. Bankroff said.

Graduation for the Class of 2016 is set for Thursday, May 26. Students with a 4.0 or above will walk first, and the students with the winning graduation speeches will speak before the walking begins.