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Kirkwood High principal suggests doing away with valedictorian, salutatorian

KIRKWOOD, Mo. - The principal at Kirkwood High School is recommending the district do away with the class ranking system and adopt the Latin Cum Laude system instead. If it passes, the school would no longer have a valedictorian or salutatorian.

Dr. Mike Havener said the class ranking system is an outdated practice that adds extra stress on some students and unnecessary competition. He said it's important to consider the emotional well-being of students and to put learning back as the main purpose.

Havener said the Cum Laude System would also increase the number of students recognized for academic achievement.

During Monday night's board meeting, the principal presented a slideshow with information showing high schools in the area that have done away with the rank systems:

  •  all Parkway High schools
  • all Rockwood High Schools
  • Ladue High School
  • Clayton High School
  • Webster Groves High School
  • SLU High
  • Westminster
  • Priory

High Schools that do rank their students:

  • Lindbergh High School (recommending eliminating this year)
  • Kirkwood High School

There was not a vote made Monday night but several school board members gave positive feedback on the proposal, which you can learn more about by clicking here.