There is no top student in Hermiston High School’s Class of 2018, because 10 people will share that honor this year.
The title of valedictorian, given to the student with the highest grade point average, is split this year because 10 students are all graduating with perfect grades.
District spokesperson Maria Duron said that is the largest number of valedictorians the district has seen in more than a decade, and that to qualify, students had to get a 4.0 GPA, and complete an honors diploma.
Duron said five of the 10 students will speak at Hermiston’s graduation, June 7 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The valedictorians are Adilene Chavez, Jasmin Chen, Marvin Hozi, Heidy Mejia-Puerta, Reed Middleton, Logan Miller, Jackson Morgan, Tyler Rohrman, Hannah Walker and Dylan Westfall.
On the other side of the spectrum is Pendleton High School, which will have no valedictorian when it holds its graduation ceremony at the Round-Up grounds on Saturday. Current and former school officials aren’t quite sure when the non-tradition was started.
PHS Principal Dan Greenough said the graduating class has never had a valedictorian during his five years at the helm.
Jon Peterson — the Pendleton School District superintendent from 2009 to 2016 and a Pendleton teacher, counselor, and administrator in the 19 years prior to that — has a longer institution memory. But he couldn’t recall Pendleton High School having a valedictorian in any of the graduations he was involved in either.
While the audience at the Round-Up Grounds won’t hear from a valedictorian, a select few students will be allowed to speak at the ceremony.
Greenough said it is custom to have the student body president give a speech, in addition to a student speaker who has to undergo an audition process in front of school staff panel.