Marshall County Schools have no Valedictorian this year, but that could change again

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - One by one the classes of 2017 are graduating across the Valley.

This year's seniors from the Marshall County Schools System graduated with recognitions other than Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the first year.

But school leaders are discussing potential changes again.

Back in 2013, the Board of Education approved revisions to the senior recognitions in the Marshall County Schools System.

The new awards are Top Percent, Academic Elite, Honor Graduate, Career Technical Awards, and Fine Arts Awards.

Because the changes went into effect in the 2013 - 2014 school year, this year's seniors are the first affected by the change .

But school leaders say the system changed since then, prompting a discussion about the new senior recognitions.

"We are looking into what we would do in the future. I think it`s really important that we reward those who work very hard," said Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley.

Superintendent Wigley said the administration cited several reasons for the new senior recognitions four years ago. The opportunity for weighted courses, like AP and dual enrollment, was one of them. But since 2013, availability and funding have increased.

"We have different opportunities for students to obtain quality points toward their GPA without discriminating those who are economically disadvantaged," said Wigley.

The traditional awards hold a certain prestige. "It`s something that children set a goal and work toward."

Any changes made would go into effect in four years with the upcoming class of freshmen.

Other school systems also have the same practice regarding senior recognitions. The district notified parents and students of the change when it went into effect four years ago.