XENIA — Xenia High School will soon be naming valedictorians and salutatorians for its graduating classes.
Since 2012, the school has annually been naming graduates of distinction, which features seniors in the top 5 percent of their graduating class who have met certain other requirements as well. However, in an attempt to better align with ever-changing state graduation guidelines, valedictorians and salutatorians will return beginning with the class of 2027 (this year’s freshmen).
“The state’s changed a lot in the last couple years,” said Tara Palmer, Xenia curriculum and instruction director. “They have to have seals, they have to have credentials, they have to have their credits. There are just so many requirements now.”
The State of Ohio requires students to have instruction in economics and financial literacy in addition to 20 units of English (4), health (1/2), math (4), physical education (1/2), science (3), social students (3), and electives (5). State guidelines also require students to earn two diploma seals, which demonstrate academic, technical, and professional readiness for careers, college, the military, or self-sustaining professions.
The seals include citizenship, college-ready, honors diploma, an industry-recognized credential, military enlistment, OhioMeansJobs-readiness, science, technology, bi-literacy, and a locally defined seal (community service, student engagement, fine and performing arts).
To be a graduate of distinction, Xenia seniors had to have at least a 4.25 GPA and successfully complete no fewer than 11 honors courses (includes CCP) and no fewer than three advanced placement (AP) courses.
The requirements to be a graduate of distinction were not sending students on the best path to meet the state requirements, Palmer said.
In addition, Palmer said that among the graduates of distinction there is a student who is at the top and “they are recognized the same as the other” grads.
“There is a kid that comes out on top and they should be honored for that,” she said, adding that data shows that the last few years there would have been one or two valedictorians each year.
Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.