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BOE asks for input on Val and Sal selection policy

The Pike County board of education is considering a revision to the board regulation which determines the selection process for Valedictorian and Salutatorian. If adopted, this regulation will impact this year’s ninth graders and all graduates after them. The board is soliciting comments which will be accepted through 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2. The board will consider community input and vote on the proposed change at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3. 

There was a public meeting for discussion and input at the Ninth Grade Academy at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 and another public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Students and parents are welcome to attend.

Pike County High School senior Marissa Hanson and 2022 graduate McKenzie Fox addressed the board and requested the change at the July 25 school board meeting, making many different points about the need for the change. It was noted that the Valedictorian and Salutatorian are chosen each year based on SAT score and not GPA like other school systems in the state. Both young ladies noted that students with the highest SAT score already earn the STAR student recognition.

“This is something completely out of my comfort zone and I would never do something like this if I didn’t have to, but I am passionate about this and feel the need to speak up,” said Marissa Hanson at the July meeting. “My hope is that you reconsider the criteria used to selected Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Most school systems in the state of Georgia base their choice based on the highest GPA in the class.”

The new proposed policy states, “To be eligible for inclusion, a student must enroll in Pike County High School before the end of the first six weeks, fall semester of the student’s junior year. Class rankings for this purpose shall be computed at the end of the first semester of the senior year. The rankings shall be determined by using the Numeric Grade Average (out to the fourth decimal place (97.3512) of all courses taken in grades 9 through 12 in which high school credit is awarded. An additional five (5) points will be added to grades from approved Dual Enrollment Courses. An additional ten (10) points will be added to grades from Advanced Placement (AP) Courses. For the purposes of this Administrative Rule: The Student with the highest Numeric Grade Average shall be the Valedictorian; The Student with the second highest Numeric Grade Average shall be the Salutatorian. If there is a tie for Valedictorian, the student with the highest Superscore* SAT will be recognized for that honor and the other student will be named Salutatorian. SAT scores shall be reported to Pike County High School no later than the last school day of the first semester of the student’s senior year. Pursuant to O.C.G.A 20-2-161.3, a student must take at least one course at Pike County High School (on-site) to be eligible for Valedictorian or Salutatorian.”

The policy may be reviewed and comments submitted online at under Policies tab and then Pending for Public Comments.

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