A new trend in high schools is to allow all all top students to claim the title of valedictorian, thus doing away with high school valedictorians being a single student who gives a commencement speech and claims the honor.
Critics of the trend say that the honor of being valedictorian is diluted when spread among multiple students.
At Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia this year, the graduating class of 457 students had 117 valedictorians. Long Beach Polytechnic in California had 30 valedictorians. Schools in Pittsburgh and Miami have opted for no valedictorians.
The way that top high school students are recognized is changing, as high schools balance praise and recognition with eliminating unhealthy competition during the college application process.
The reaction has been mixed. Some college admissions officers find it confusing as they dont know if a student finished first or 100th in the class. Others believe that eliminating valedictorians allows students to have more focus on their achievements, without worrying about class rank.