Knight Errant

Changing valedictorian speeches fine, but not ideal

Andrew+Cadle%2C+a+2018+BSM+graduate%2C+could+have+given+the+graduation+speech+last+year+if+the+new+system+had+been+in+place.+
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Changing valedictorian speeches fine, but not ideal

Andrew Cadle, a 2018 BSM graduate, could have given the graduation speech last year if the new system had been in place.

Andrew Cadle, a 2018 BSM graduate, could have given the graduation speech last year if the new system had been in place.

Em Paquette

Andrew Cadle, a 2018 BSM graduate, could have given the graduation speech last year if the new system had been in place.

Em Paquette

Em Paquette

Andrew Cadle, a 2018 BSM graduate, could have given the graduation speech last year if the new system had been in place.

Aidan Luebke, Staff Writer

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At most high school graduations, the ceremony is ended with a speech from the valedictorian(s). It is a very historical tradition, yet a tradition that BSM is canceling this year. Valedictorians graduating in the class of 2019 will still get recognition, but they won’t be the ones to address the audience at the end of graduation.

Instead of the valedictorians speaking at this year’s graduation, a student nominated by themselves or fellow members of their class will give the speech. If the student is nominated by a classmate, they have the option to decline the nomination. This would allow all members from the senior class to have a chance to speak, instead of just the valedictorians.

In order to ensure that the speaker isn’t chosen by a popularity contest, those who apply to be the speaker would have to present their speech (which would be about seven to eight minutes in length) in front of a faculty and student committee, instead of the speaker being chosen by a vote. This committee will contain students from the Student Council.

Many people who aren’t valedictorians have valuable knowledge and things to say at the ceremony. It isn’t fair that graduation speeches should only be limited to valedictorians.”

— Aidan Luebke

Dr. Susan Skinner stated that this process would “ensure that we end up with a speech that makes everyone proud.” This policy will take effect starting with the class of 2019. There are a few rules that the administration isn’t sure about yet, like if there will be any prerequisites for being a nominee.

There are pros and cons about this system. On one hand, it’s great to give a chosen senior who isn’t a valedictorian a chance to speak at graduation. Many people who aren’t valedictorians have valuable knowledge and things to say at the ceremony. It isn’t fair that graduation speeches should only be limited to valedictorians.

However, why not let them speak along with the valedictorians? Maybe, Benilde-St. Margaret’s could choose only one valedictorian along with the student who was chosen to speak to give a speech at the ceremony. That way, speeches wouldn’t get too repetitive since only one valedictorian would address the class instead of all of them.

I don’t think that BSM necessarily made a bad choice in changing this policy. The student chosen by the council will actually want to give a speech at graduation, so the speech will likely be very well written. Valedictorian speeches may have been around for a long time, but they haven’t been a part of graduation since the very moment the school was founded. Nevertheless, I believe it is a great tradition that should be continued.

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Changing valedictorian speeches fine, but not ideal