(WKRC) – A high school in Ohio will no longer name a class valedictorian and salutatorian, beggining with the class of 2020.
“We are moving to a recognition system eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian honors, and shifting to recognizing students who have achieved outstanding academic success through a multitude of pathways,” explained Mason High School Principal Bobby Dodd.
School leaders say 40 percent of students graduate with a 4.0 or higher, and the desire to overachieve creates a lot of stress. Concerns over depression and anxiety led them to do away with the titles starting next year.
“There’s definitely moments too and I was really stressed out like I remember last year when I like I like one of my first B’s. I was like really stressed out about that,” said Judi Hu, a junior with a 4.5 GPA.
The school will switch to Latin honors system, meaning students will earn summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude honors instead.
“The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments. This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them,” explained Dodd.
The school is making other changes. Classes will start 30 minutes later and the district is considering reducing the amount of homework and summer work.