of the Sentinel Konah
The Senior Class of 2018 marks the first year in which the Medallion Award will be implemented instead of the traditional Valedictorian title.
According to Principal Ted Fuller, the decision was made “in 2013 by the MCPS School Board, with the class of 2018 being the first without the (Valedictorian) recognition.”
Freshman year, the graduating class of 2018 received an initial draft of the requirements along with stating that valedictorians will be replaced with the Spartan Medallion starting with their class.
There would be a new set of requirements for a student to achieve in order to be considered for the Spartan Medallion instead of the usual 4.0 to receive valedictorian.
The first draft included AP and dual credit requirements, maintaining a 3.92 GPA, three years of foreign language, 30 documented hours of community service, and participation in extracurricular activities.
The current Spartan Medallion, changed in the 20142015 school year, requires a minimum of 75 community service hours, eight teacher evaluations, six “points” of extracurricular activities and a 3.75 GPA.
These standards were created by a Spartan Medallion Committee, which was made up of teachers and select staff to set forth a set of rules and requirements.
Fuller, teacher Gary Little, librarian Christy Wolgamot and teacher Lisa Anderson are some of the committee members.
“The criteria to determine eligibility is done, it was done that year (2015). What we have yet to do is talk about how the group of seniors that have met this criteria, how the winners are selected, that has yet to been established,” Fuller said.
They currently do not know how they are going to distinguish between which student receives the Spartan Medallion and which student does not.
Although, there is no limit of the amount of awards given, a clear line of distinction has yet to be drawn.
As graduation soon approaches, the Spartan Medallion Committee has yet to complete the selection process.
Senior Avery Haslem said, “It’s frustrating for me because as a senior, I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to get it or not and it seems like it’s been delayed and I’d like to find out how that’s going.”
The committee met Friday, Feb. 23 to determine how they will go forward with the selection process. Results of that meeting are unknown. Recently there have been some strong opinions against the Spartan Medallion within the class of 2018. Many students who have achieved a 4.0 believed that they have been cheated from the title.
“I’ve been working hard to get those A’s and I’m not sure the Medallion is the best replacement. I think a 4.0 is hard to achieve, I know that because of the rigor of classes, some students don’t get all A’s because of it,” Senior Grace Stayner said.
Students worry if colleges will consider a student without the traditional title. Most schools use the valedictorian program and colleges recognize the title.
Senior Zoe Beck said, “The valedictorian is very recognized by colleges whereas the Medallion isn’t even established outside of MCPS, so I lose out on the application point."