Boca High names 6 valedictorians
By Mary Hagan
Co-editor of The Paw Print
Boca High. The best school north of the South Pole. The school that went from unranked in 2005 to 61 in 2010, as seen in Newsweek. Now Boca High is the school that takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary: valedictorians.
Congratulations to Kristina Bergman, John Doyle, Andrew Flint, Michelle Kilgallon, Michael Pham, and Olivia Plana, this year’s six valedictorians.
Although this is unconfirmed, our top six students are predicted to have the highest HPA’s of any six, non-IB students in Palm Beach County, which shows how high performing they are. We now have 685 seniors. Such a high-performing, large class deserves to have extraordinary representation, which the Class of 2011 has in these six valedictorians,” said principal Dr. McKee.
Boca High will be the first school in our area to have six valedictorians at once. “We have had co-valedictorians, though we have never had more than two. Yet, we have never had so many students with perfect 4.0 GPA’s and so many students who have earned semester A’s in 34 or more AP or AICE classes,” explained Dr. McKee.
Dr. McKee and other school administrators felt that the six valedictorians were necessary.
“There are many issues to consider when determining the valedictorians, including the HPA for all high school level credits earned in middle and high school, the HPA for all high school credits earned in high school, and the weighted GPA for the 24 credits required for a diploma.”
Dr. McKee continued, “It is also important to consider where to round off in determining a valid distinction between one student’s HPA and another’s. Considering all of the factors listed above, the HPA’s of our six valedictorians are virtually indistinguishable.”
But as the number of students in AP and AICE classes continues to increase, so will the competition and the need the limit the number of valedictorians. “I will assemble a committee to develop an objective valedictorian criteria that will not punish students for taking unweighted courses. This is especially important because of the value of unweighted classes such as Band, Chorus, Culinary, Debate, Drama, Journalism, Leadership, ROTC, and Physical Education/Sports classes,” said Dr. McKee. “I will recommend that we consider students’ top 42 semester credits, six per semester times the seven semesters, to determine the Valedictorian(s) in the future. In the near future, it will take 42 semester A’s earned on the college level, whether through AICE, AP, or dual-enrollment classes, to become the Boca High valedictorian.”