In 2014-15, the AHS Instructional Improvement Council (IIC) explored alternative criteria for designating the valedictorian and salutatorian honor with the goal of establishing a designation that represented the various merits of a student's experience and contribution to Albany High. The new criteria and selection process for the valedictorian and salutatorian was vetted with all AHS governing bodies, and in the spring of 2015, the IIC voted to implement the new criteria for the class of 2017.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition describes this honor as:
A person, usually the most outstanding graduate, who delivers the valedictory at a graduation ceremony.The rationale for the change is to broaden the definition of the most outstanding graduate to include more than just the highest weighted GPA. To that end, the IIC developed the following criteria.
Applicants will prepare a resume (identified by student I.D. #, no names) that demonstrates outstanding achievement in at least two of the five following categories:
Finalists will be contacted and asked to prepare a 3-5 minute draft of a graduation speech. They may be asked to provide additional documentation as evidence of the experiences described in their resume. The panelists’ top selection will be the Valedictorian. The second place student will be the Salutatorian. The Valedictorian is expected to speak at the commencement ceremony.
The selection committee will notify finalists by May 5. Finalists will be asked to prepare and submit a 3-5 minute draft of a graduation speech by May 19.
Information mailed to students: February 10
Applications due: April 21
Finalists selected and notified: May 5
Speeches due: May 19
Final grade check: May 31
Notification of honor: June 2