From Caitlin Murray at the Buffalo News:
When Niagara Falls High School seniors graduate today, they may hear some encouraging words from the valedictorian of their class.
Then again, maybe they won’t. That’s because no one really knows who ranked No. 1 in the class of 2009.
Niagara Falls High School is the first in Niagara County to get rid of class rankings and valedictorians, a decision officials say was designed out of fairness.
Instead, 18 students will graduate today with so-called valedictory honors as their true class rank remains a mystery — one that school officials say even they can’t solve.
“We felt it was nice to recognize a valedictorian, but those other kids were so close,” said James Spanbauer, head of Niagara Falls High School. “We’re talking hundredths of a point sometimes. We felt they were all deserving.”
Students are mixed on their feelings of the new system. Some say it is nice that more can be honored, but others feel the shared honor lacks the same impact.
“It was disappointing because I had been working hard all these years to be No. 1. That was my goal,” said 17-year-old Kelly O’Brien. “It took a long time for me to, like, be OK with it.”
Instead, competitive students kept an eye toward the two valedictory speaking slots at today’s graduation ceremony. The speakers were selected by a panel based on interviews and a submitted speech outline. O’Brien will be one of the speakers, along with Chloe Legault.
Harry Murray was the valedictorian at my high school graduation. Yeah, Harry was a smart guy but he always seemed a bit enigmatic.
Anyway, I think he went on to Princeton. Beyond that, I have no idea what happened to him. Never read about him becoming famous or anything like that.
What happened to you, Harry? Are you out there? Talk to us. We'd love to hear from you.
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