Clearview Commencement Speakers
Clearview Board of Education and Graduation Committee
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As long as I have been a student in the Clearview School District, I have known all aspects of the school to be nothing but fair to all associated with the establishment; this is one of Clearview's many unique strengths. However, as a potential Valedictorian of Clearview High School, I propose that one of Clearview's traditions be revised and updated as Graduation 2009 swiftly approaches.
The word "valedictorian" is appointed to a student who is normally the highest ranking academic in a given graduating class. That student delivers the valedictory at the commencement ceremony. "Valedictory" comes to the English from its Latin roots, which mean "to give the farewell address."
The positions of Valedictorian and Salutatorian are earned positions. Certainly, they are wanted positions as well, and that is why students strive to the achievement. Those positions are also distinctly American rights that were adopted to salute students of academic excellence and allow those students, whoever they may be, the opportunity to exercise their honor and right to free speech.
However, at Clearview High School the national tradition has been changed. Instead of allowing the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, National Honor Society President, and Senior Class President their earned honor, any graduating senior can submit a speech to a committee. This, I believe, is a wonderful idea and one of the many reasons why I am proud to be a Clearview student. I recognize and applaud all those who may excel elsewhere in their lives, be it in a rock band, on the football field, or at a job. Certainly those students have just as much right as any to be given a chance to compete for a spot to speak at graduation. On the other hand, the said offices are positions of leadership that are common earned positions of distinction. The Valedictorian, Salutatorian, NHS President, and Senior Class President automatically speak at most other graduations, in the way of the common American tradition. This should be both the right and the responsibility of the students to whom the offices fall. Freshman who arrive at Clearview do not know that this is not the way things are done in the Clearview Local School District.
In conclusion, I advocate that the students who have worked hard to achieve the distinguished positions of Valedictorian, Salutatorian, National Honor Society President and Senior Class President be given the automatic right to speak at future commencements. Should a student in one or all of those positions decline then the honor should be opened up to all graduates. After being approached by several students wanting to know why the traditional speakers, as class leaders, would not be addressing their classmates at graduation, this matter needs to be reconsidered and readdressed.
And most of all: Many congratulations to all members of the Class of 2009.