Class ranking may benefit South

Gabby Duso '23, Staff Writer

A sea of navy blue sprawls across the front lawn. Hundreds of seniors sit anxiously, cloaked in their caps and gowns. The soon-to-be graduates listen with pride to the opening speech delivered by a staff member, excited for their four years of hard work to finally be recognized. As the opening speech finishes, traditionally the class’s valedictorian would be brought out to deliver a speech of their own. However, Grosse Pointe South high school chooses not to recognize a valedictorian or use any form of class rank.

This choice can be frustrating for students who would like to see their hard work recognized. Class rank can allow students who go the extra mile to be recognized for their effort, which may motivate them to continue that hard work rather than it going unrecognized.

Class rank can also motivate other students to put in more effort, taking advantage of many people’s inherent competitiveness.

In a survey by Harvard School of Public Health it was found that half of the respondents would prefer to live in a world where the average salary was $25,000 and they earned $50,000 than one where they earned $100,000 but the average was $200,000. Though half of the respondents may not be the majority, this survey shows that a percentage of people want to beat out their peers which could make class rank a great motivator for these students.

Class rank can also help students stand out when applying to college. Many competitive universities ask for class rank, which may put South students at a disadvantage. Though class rank is not essential to get into these programs, as acceptance rates seem to decrease a good class rank could help set a student apart.

As the graduation ceremony begins in the spring, maybe the student speeches should be opened by a valedictorian. Maybe class ranking systems should be used at South.