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Weighted-system causes heavy choices

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Reach! Junior, Hannah Craft, and senior, Ian Carnahan, reach for their ability to play in the band their senior year as the weighted system holds them back. “I put years of work into being a valedictorian,

Reach! Junior, Hannah Craft, and senior, Ian Carnahan, reach for their ability to play in the band their senior year as the weighted system holds them back. “I put years of work into being a valedictorian," stated Craft. “But, I also put years of work into music.”

Emily Wilcox

Emily Wilcox

Reach! Junior, Hannah Craft, and senior, Ian Carnahan, reach for their ability to play in the band their senior year as the weighted system holds them back. “I put years of work into being a valedictorian," stated Craft. “But, I also put years of work into music.”

Emily Wilcox, Reporter

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Students at Meridian and many other high schools work their entire high school career for the title of “valedictorian.” However, at our school, band does not count as a weighted class. Therefore, students in the running for valedictorian must make a choice: do they want to throw away their years of hard work in academics, or their years of hard work in band?

Senior, Ian Carnahan, chose band. When he initially heard about the choice he was going to have to make, he was confused as to why students were even having to make these decisions. “Both [band and valedictorian] take a lot of work, so it’s kind of like choosing which part of your life you want to forget about. It’s sad to see,” stated Carnahan.

Carnahan wasn’t alone in his decision, though. Other students chose band along with him. On the other hand, some students just weren’t quite ready to give up their spot in the running for this title.

Junior, Hannah Craft, was devastated when being approached with the situation. She was upset about the issue and decided to take it to the principal and superintendent. The weighted program has a huge negative impact on Craft, considering she is planning to go to college for music.

“It’s going to be harder for me to get into a music school because it’s either going to look like I dropped band my senior year, or I couldn’t handle my classes,” stated Craft.

The students in a somewhat lose-lose situation, however, are not the only ones upset.

Band teacher, Mr. Hicks, has lost band members due to the choice they are having to make. However, he says he would never tell students what decision to make because, not only is it their life, but he doesn’t want them to regret their choice.

“The negative effect that I think it’s causing on the students is that they’re having to make a choice between something that they wanted to use to get into college and something they may be interested in using for their entire life,” said Hicks.

Superintendent Dan Brue says that when students make their choices, they should ask themselves who will really know they’re valedictorian ten years from now. Students should consider this advice. After all, Brue himself was a valedictorian.

“Without sugarcoating it, it’s high school. Students have to grow up and make a choice,” stated Brue.

Though some colleges overlook valedictorian for various reasons, it is important to the students themselves that their hard work is noticed–not only on college applications but during their graduation ceremony.

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