LOGAN - The Logan County Board of Education on Monday voted to postpone the third and final reading of, and amend, a controversial proposal to remove the valedictorian title from future graduation rankings in Logan County.
With the amendment, the title of valedictorian will be kept, with the stipulation that each of the three high schools in the county will have only one. The amendment also retains the other changes that were originally included in the proposal, such as changing the time of ranking the students to second semester instead of first, in order to get a more accurate assessment.
The move comes after the proposal was met with criticism from community residents and educators. Numerous former students who graduated as valedictorians even wrote letters expressing their disagreement with the idea.
Tina Goodman, a parent and Man High School teacher, was one of the individuals who spearheaded the charge against removing the title, and she addressed the LCBOE for a third time at Monday's regular session to plead for the title to not be cut.
"I am one parent here on behalf of future students of Logan County Schools," Goodman said. "The policy update, as you have written, won't affect my child, so I'm not really here for my kid. I'm here for the future kids who are like my kid - those academic overachievers who, in today's educational world, are just getting left behind, they're getting ignored."
Goodman then said she conducted an informal poll of educators in all 55 counties in West Virginia. Out of 55, she said, 46 responded and 31 counties still acknowledge the title of valedictorian. Those who don't, she said, have different circumstances, such as larger class sizes that make it more difficult and different academic opportunities.
The board members ultimately voted unanimously on a compromise to keep the title.
"We just want the right verbiage to be done and to be said," said LCBOE President Debbie Mendez. "That's one reason we decided to pull it, so it will be a compromise to everybody. We're going to let (Superintendent Patricia Lucas) put the proper verbiage in and have it done properly, so when we do vote on it, it will be exactly what we all agree on."
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196.