Facebook readers reacted this way:
- Robin Ferrier noted, "At my high school, anyone with a GPA over a 4.0 was considered a valedictorian, but only the person with the highest GPA gave the speech."
- Vallerie Fletcher wondered, "What is the difference between the traditional Val and the Salutatorian?" The valedictorian was traditionally the first-ranked student and the speech generally was what we think of as a commencement address; salutatorian went to the second-place student, who gave a "salutory" or welcoming speech.
- C Blaise Mitsutama noted, "To me, it's sad when honors lose their meaning. Maybe we should have more than one MVP in sports."
- Vicky Teinaki said, "For the record, the 'valedictorian does speech' thing is very US centric. In NZ it was the role of the head boy and girl (or in my case, two girls as it was a girls' school) to do the speech at graduation. Valedictorian (or dux as it was known here) was a surprise until the night, and they didn't have to say anything, just accept the award." Sounds like a good system. Wikipedia tells us "The title of class valedictorian is common in educational institutions in the Philippines, Canada and the United States, while its equivalent in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Iceland, and Scotland is dux."
- Andrea J Wenger suggested, "If 7 people are interviewing for a job, and they're all well qualified, the job doesn't go to all 7 candidates. What are we teaching our young people when we homogenize honors this way? Why even bother having a 'aledictorian' if it's shared between so many people?"
Want more tips? Sign up for The Eloquent Woman's free monthly newsletter, Step Up Your Speaking
Are you a member of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook? Join our thriving community to get extra content, early input into my blog posts, and to share your questions, photos and video.
Shop for books, technology and supplies for speakers at The Eloquent Woman's Speaker Resources Store