Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando School Board: Valedictorian, salutatorian honors should remain

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County School Board members sent a clear message to superintendent Bryan Blavatt on Tuesday about how the district should recognize top high school graduates.

Board members do not want to see valedictorians and salutatorians disappear.

The discussion followed an earlier vote where board members apparently inadvertently eliminated the top two academic honors beginning with the current freshman classes.

"This got past," said School Board member John Sweeney. "It got past the superintendent. And it will be rectified. I don't really see it as an issue going forward."

Sweeney said he feels recognizing achievement is important.

"This is not going to become a district where everyone gets a trophy," he said.

Board member Gus Guadagnino, who was not a board member at the time of the original vote, agreed.

"In the game of life, if you're not going to pick your winners and your first and second place, then why keep score," he said.

In July, the board unanimously approved the 2012-13 high school procedures handbook, which included a new rule reading: "Effective with the Class of 2016, (students entering ninth grade in 2012-13), the current designation for valedictorian and salutatorian for graduation will no longer be in effect."

At Tuesday's workshop, the board directed Blavatt to come up with a policy recommendation that would require schools to continue to recognize valedictorians and salutatorians.

Board member Dianne Bonfield apologized for missing the change. "Somehow, someway, we need to work on this process so that this doesn't happen again," she said.

Board Chairman Matt Foreman said staff members should highlight policy changes, making them apparent to board members.

Still, there continued to be confusion Tuesday about what had been intended with the policy change.

Springstead principal Susan Duval, who helped devise the change, said it was never meant to get rid of valedictorians and salutatorians, only to give more people a chance to deliver the traditional graduation speeches.

"Instead of (valedictorians and salutatorians) automatically getting the right to speak, we wanted to open it up to students," Duval said.

Blavatt conceded that that's not the way the policy revision was worded.

Hernando School Board: Valedictorian, salutatorian honors should remain 06/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared


    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.