My turn: valedictorian, a special honor

My turn: valedictorian, a special honor

It's the time of year we celebrate the best of the class.  For some, this month honors the culmination of 13, 17 or more years of hard work getting an education.  And for the best of the best, a special honor. Some of our high school aged students are celebrated with the title of valedictorian or salutatorian.

But not necessarily in Wake County. The school board there has determined an "unhealthy competition" exists when it comes to those students who are working to earn the highest marks. But, here's the thing, those students are taking their first step this month into adulthood.

Graduating high school is a rite of passage… a part of growing into adulthood. And what kind of message does it send that those first steps are tempered by setting the example that we shouldn't strive to be the best.

The next steps are going to be just as competitive, whether they are competing to get into a quality university or trying to make their credentials stand out among potentially dozens of others vying for one job.

Life is not going to get less competitive and by trying to pacify people early on, you're only going to make it that much more difficult when they try to operate in the real world.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Copyright 2016 WECT. All rights reserved.

Emailed comments from viewers:

I totally agree with your opinion about the valedictorian issue!! You said exactly what I was thinking.  Thank You


We applaud your stance and willingness to call out failed leadership actions.  High school and college students need now more than ever to understand that the world is based on competition and those who strive to be best at what they do have the best chance to succeed in life. It may not hold true in every instance but it certainly works the majority of time.


Gary, really?  What would you expect from an organization that has a job for life (tenure) and no evaluations for performance, all they have to do is show up and I do not know how often they have to do that.


John Wayne said it best. "Life's hard. It's even harder if your stupid." What are Wake County schools teaching – Socialism? Wait until the wusses get out in the real world and find out they have to compete.