The Lake Park Perspective

The Student News Site of Lake Park High School

The Lake Park Perspective

The Lake Park Perspective

Graduation recognitions discussed by admin, students

Graduation at Lake Park High School has for long had a separate section of the National Honors Society members and students with a cumulative 5.0 grade point average. However, at a recent Principal’s Student Advisory Committee meeting, the question was posed about moving away from that separation and recognizing our 5.0 students–just in a different way.
NHS is an honored and distinguished club at Lake Park. It is only open to students who have a 4.75 gpa and up and show community values and dedication.
Considering the fact that graduation is a celebration of all students and is a ceremony to commemorate the hard work of all students, the question is, why are all students then not sitting together if it is a celebration for all?
Each student has their own unique circumstances that make attaining a certain gpa and school involvement different for every student. Should a student with a lower gpa but who has a lot more outside responsibilities such as at home or work be deemed as not an equal or as respectable a student as compared to the students in the NHS section? Is gpa really the only determining factor for intelligence when it doesn’t take into account what each individual student goes through? On the other hand, the students who are in NHS and have a 5.0 gpa have worked incredibly hard and do deserve to be recognized.
It is an extreme accomplishment to have excelled academically and have served the community and is something Lake Park has recognized for years at graduation.
A possible compromise could be to have everyone sit together in alphabetical order and call the NHS students to stand up briefly and be recognized in that way, or we could have the NHS President and Student Council President in their speeches give extra acknowledgement to NHS kids.
While there will be no changes made for this year, WC Principal Dr. Alexia Ellett acknowledged the challenge of recognizing students’ extraordinary achievements as well as honoring the communal spirit of graduation.
“I’d like both,” Dr. Ellett said. “I’d like to be able to acknowledge the NHS students and have everyone feel like we’re one class. It would be great to celebrate the 5.0 students, have a speaker from NHS and Student Council, and then potentially also have the whole senior class vote on a student speaker.”
There is simply a division. Some counselors feel as though, as Dr. Ellett notes, “We do so much for our high- achieving kids, but we also need to celebrate more of all of the other amazing and varied accomplishments of our whole student body.”
There is a side that feels as though being separated is a little elitist. Having one small section at the front while the majority is excluded gives an impression that there are ranks of students. While others argue that Lake Park already does not acknowledge class rank or top the top 5%, so having a separate section for some extra recognition is the least that should happen.
In the end, graduation marks a clean slate for all graduates, it is nothing short of an incredible accomplishment.
Hard work also looks different to all students. One might be extremely devoted to school while another would like to be but simply has other priorities outside of their control. Should they be penalized and not celebrated in the same manner?
Such is a question that will mark the future of Lake Park.

Senior Editors Julia Kamysz (LP ‘24), Maya Krolikowski (LP ‘24), and Staff Writer Anastasia Krawczyszyn(LP ‘25) are primarily responsible for this piece. Additional contributions by the entire Perspective Staff.

The Perspective is committed to publishing a diversity of opinion on its editorial page. Students, staff and administration are welcome to share ideas and opinions about issues relevant to the Lake Park community as well as the stories we cover through letters to the editor. The Perspective reserves the right to edit letters for clarity or brevity. 

Letters can be emailed to our staff advisor, Mr. Mike Bundalo, at [email protected].

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