Just a Number or a Definition?

Ella McHenry, Staff Writer

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Beginning with the class of 2021, the class rank will no longer be utilized at Oak Lawn Community High School. The administration of the school made the decision to remove the class rank and instead stress the importance of focusing on the grade point average, not the rank number.

 

It has been observed that many of the amazing students at Oak Lawn were disappointed with their ranking, and it was causing those students to become distraught and stressed. The school’s principal, Dr. Jeana Lietz, confirmed the reason as to why the administration removed the class ranking in an interview.

 

“It was putting a lot of stress on people, like a lot of crying, a lot of people being upset, if they weren’t number one, if they were number four. In reality, the student who is number one and the student who is number four are both amazing students, I mean, it is just a numerical difference that is silly to put up there. So we wanted to get rid of that pressure, we don’t want people to be ranked anymore.”

 

Dr. Lietz also emphasized the responsibility students must assume if they wish to maintain their exceptional grades and grade point average.

 

“If you can get your GPA over a certain point, that’s all on you, that shouldn’t be a competition between you and somebody else.”

 

Dr. Lietz explained that there will still be a valedictorian, but the administration is not sure if they want to include a salutatorian. However, when asked if the class rank will be implemented again, Dr. Lietz said no.

 

“I don’t think so. I don’t know what will end up happening, but I don’t think so.”

 

However, there are members of the OLCHS community who disagree with the removal of the class rank. Mrs. Sylwia McHenry, an OLCHS parent, expressed her opinion on the system.

 

“I’m all for it.” she said. “I think it is more organized and easier to use. I certainly do not feel that it defines a student.”

 

Although class rank has defined most graduation ceremonies, high schools across the nation are increasingly choosing to remove it amid concerns of student’s self-esteem and priority on the number one spot, rather than focusing on their academics and cumulative grade point average.  Students and parent’s opinions exist regarding class rank, but it will be removed beginning with the class of 2021 at Oak Lawn Community High School.The class of 2020 will be the final class to have the class ranking of students.