Update: Superintendent Drops Proposal To Eliminate Valedictorian, Salutatorian Honors

June 14, 2021

Monday, Escambia County School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith pulled a controversial plan change from the school board agenda that would have eliminated high school valedictorians and salutatorians at the county’s high schools.

Beginning with students in the incoming freshmen class this fall, the valedictory and salutatory awards would have longer be presented under an updated student progression plan. If approved, there would have been no valedictorian or salutatorian named at high schools in Escambia County beginning with the graduating class of 2025.

Instead, the Latin honors of Cum Laude, defined by the district as the top 20% of students at a high school, Magna Cum Laude (top 10%) and Summa Cum Laude (top 5%) ” would have soleby been used to identify high achieving students,” according to the proposed plan.

After an earlier version of this NorthEscambia.com story published Monday morning, hundreds of people took our comments section, our social media sites and other social media pages to blast the proposal. Before the board meeting, it was very hard to find a comment in support of dropping the valedictorian and salutatorian honors.

“I’ve been appalled at some of the discussion points. I’ve been called and told, ‘have read this and have you read this’,” District 5 board member Bill Slayton said.

“Our community, I’m not sure, I really have to say I don’t care whether you like it or not,” Slayton said. “I appreciate and want the opportunity to continue this conversation, and let’s see where it goes from there.”

“It is a subject that I would like to continue to get information on and release it to the public,” he said. “I think there are group of people out there that will support this because I don’t believe they find it to be that necessary. There are people out there that believe it is very important to their child.”

“We do give everybody a trophy. It’s called a diploma and they earned it,” Slayton added.

“It is not giving everyone a trophy; it is not about no competition,” board member Patty Hightower said, detailing the reasons why the awards might should be eliminated.

“What I would like to see us do is have some conversations with students about this process,” she said. “I think we do need that competition … but I would like to have that conversation with students. How do you feel? How would you feel? What do you think this is going to do? Then have that conversation with parents.”

School board members Kevin Adams and Paul Fetsko both said they had received a large number of contacts, all of which were against the plan.

Fetsko said over 400 people had contacted him, “and not a single one wants it to stop.”

Adams said making such a decision would be a slippery slope when the very best students are honored in sports and other school programs.

Board members did discuss that sometimes students must choose whether to pursue the goal of being top of the class or make decisions to take part in other activities or sports.

“If something else more important, then you make decisions,” Fetsko said. “And that’s what goes on in life. In life you have to make decisions, you have to decide what you are going to set at a priority and you’re not. And that’s a healthy thing to do.”

The proposal originated with Lesa Morgan, the school district’s director of high school education. She said the problem is pressure on the students and how it can impact their wellbeing.

“It can be devastating,” Morgan said, for those that are just a fraction of a point away from the top. “This day and time, we all know the whole world is fragile. There’s a lot of stress, especially on our young folks … the competition can be very unhealthy, an unhealthy obsession.”

She said students working for the top of the class does not always participate in other activities.


97 Responses to “Update: Superintendent Drops Proposal To Eliminate Valedictorian, Salutatorian Honors”

  1. JC on June 18th, 2021 11:57 pm

    I am simply dumbfounded by the hysterical reactions of so many individuals to this story. Do you have any idea of the real challenges in Escambia County schools? Here are a few that deserve such extreme reactions:
    1. Only about half of our students are proficient in grade level reading and mathematics.
    2. Most middle and high school teachers are alternatively certified, meaning that they had little/no preparation to teach our children.
    3. At many “low-performing schools,” most of the teachers have less than five years of experience.

  2. Howie on June 16th, 2021 2:07 pm

    As for Bill Slayton, and Lesa Morgan – put them out to pasture since they have been employed by the School System way too long. It’s time for new leadership. Yes siree !

    Nonsense to remove the Top Honors from graduating Seniors. Board members did discuss that sometimes students must choose whether to pursue the goal of being top of the class or make decisions to take part in other activities or sports. That’s all and good. It’s the students choice to do so, and they are happy with that.

    Ask for a vote from the students fall term 2021 on this move.

  3. Marxist Morgan on June 15th, 2021 4:40 pm

    Lesa Morgan is so out of touch with reality that she really thought that this idiotic idea would fly here?.Less Morgan, go to California or New York to implement your bafoonery. I wonder if she has the same attitude toward her own children or grandchildren? What a tool

  4. northofI10 on June 15th, 2021 11:34 am

    Mr. Slayton was unprepared as he hasn’t had the time to evaluate the situation to benefit himself and his job security. He’ll support what is best for him.

  5. fisherman on June 15th, 2021 10:30 am

    You are 100 percent correct you get what you voted for. Folks you don’t get to vote the Escambia County School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith out of office the voters voted for Superintendent to be appointed not elected. Congratulations you got what you voted for.

  6. Escambia tax payer on June 15th, 2021 10:22 am

    Bill Slayton is saying, in NO uncertain words, that he doesn’t care what his constituents think. He has run unopposed for several years. Of course he doesn’t care what his constituents think. He hasn’t had to compete for anyone’s vote!

    Wake up people!

  7. Elijah Bell on June 15th, 2021 8:35 am

    Lesa Morgan needs to get a life. She is in my view one who does fit the give everyone a trophy crowd. Compete to be the best at anything makes us the best country but she can’t see that.

  8. Travis on June 15th, 2021 7:48 am

    So many comments about “cancel culture” but then saying this Lesa woman should be fired for bringing up a proposal that they don’t like.

  9. What? on June 15th, 2021 7:13 am

    I want to know what happens when some kid says that they identify as valedictorian. So did I…. I was #223 out of about 450 but I FELT I like I was valedictorian….just saying

  10. Dennis HE Wiggins on June 15th, 2021 6:46 am

    Everyone in North Escambia needs to remember Slayton’s words when the next election comes around.

    “I really have to say I don’t care whether you like it or not.”

    He is not representing his constituents if he doesn’t care about our opinions.

  11. mnon on June 15th, 2021 4:12 am

    Ask the students!! That’s the problem!! These schools want parents out of the equation!! We pay taxes, we send our kids to these school to be challenged and educated, I hate to inform you Lesa, we the parents decide and we the parents have made our voices heard.

    It is time to clean up these school districts and get these types out of their positions of power in their ivory towers, excommunicating parents so these pushers of propaganda can brainwash our kids into being Marxist or socialist slaves. DeSantis already put an end to CRT… We do not want your political poison and biases in our schools… Just do your jobs and teach our kids to pass your tests like you have been doing the past two decades.

  12. Karen Connors-Epley on June 15th, 2021 3:42 am

    LESA MORGAN, Director of High School Education. Thank you NorthEscambia.com for identifying the person responsible for this nonsense. Parents should demand her termination. Obviously, she has an unhealthy agenda for your children and should NOT be the director of anything to do with “educating” our children. What else does she have up her sleeve?

  13. northend resident on June 14th, 2021 11:21 pm

    THANK YOU WILLIAM @ NORTHESCAMBIA for giving us this story/facts today and the opportunity to voice our stand on this very important matter on behalf of our young people.

    Our daughter graduated in 2010 4th in her class and that journey actually started in pre-school. Making the grades first – twelfth was her #1 goal, by staying on top of her school work, home work and extra credit opportunities, which allowed her to achieve that standard of success. She went on to graduate AU with a Chemistry degree, served in the Navy for many years and is now going back to AU to continue her education in Business. She is proud of her class’s valedictorian & salutatorian, because she knows as hard as she had to work to rank 4th, they worked even harder to rank 1st & 2nd. Not everyone has the ability to play sports or music, so sometimes academics is their strong point and focus in life.

    William, had you not reported this story in the first place, I personally probably wouldn’t have even known about this until after the fact. I don’t know WHEN the School Board was suppose to meet to “discuss & debate” the matter, but thanks to this story and the support and feedback from the community, our students walk away with a small victory for this battle today!

  14. Chris on June 14th, 2021 10:51 pm

    I don’t know why everyone is so upset. This is what you voted for when you chose not to vote for a Superintendent but have one appointed. Did you not think the wannabe yuppie urban hipsters in the downtown clique wouldn’t bring in someone from a filthy liberal cesspool city ? You get what you vote for..

  15. Roger Jenkins on June 14th, 2021 10:35 pm

    Recognize the academic achievements of the top students// other students choose to concentrate and prioritize other endeavors//Leesa is totally wrong//she should just think about what she proposed and withdraw the notion, sure some students get stressed about any number of close calls but do not withold recognition of excellence, the students that need hand holding, ego boosting, noses wiped can you take care of that Mr Superintendent without penalizes innocent high achievers doing outstanding work? Let the best horses lead the way!

  16. Momofhighschoolkidswithhighgpa on June 14th, 2021 10:21 pm

    Regardless of what Lesa thinks I will tell you my over achieving highschool graduate student, absolutely participated in extra curriculars such as ROTC and Band. She also was a WEB Dubois honor society student( which she was not able to continue when we transferred here since no school has it available) in Beta Society Honor Club and in National Honor society. Maybe the district should start looking at what will garner their students more scholarship opportunities; such as having a minority teachor willing to be the W.E.B Dubois sponsor and hosting Odyssey of the Mind for Division 3. P.S my kid earned a full ride scholarship to a prestigious college where she is majoring in Physics and she says it is bologna( not so nicely) to take those titles away from the kids who worked their butts off to earn those scores. I have 2 more who still attend school in this district and while I realize kids with superior IQ’s may be hard to accomodate by the average schoolboard member , in no way should the schoolboard be discouraging them from working for a goal of recognition of Exceptional Academic Excellence. Covid already created havoc and now you want to rip away something that some kids have worked towards sonce Kindergarten? Rubbish. Time to hire new people.

  17. StraightShooter on June 14th, 2021 9:11 pm

    So we now know the proposal came from Lesa Morgan. How can one person propose something that effects so many students. She is director of high school education. She should be pushing for students to excel as far as they can and be recognized for their achievement, not lowering the bar because some don’t work hard for it.

  18. Thien Vo on June 14th, 2021 9:01 pm

    Please promote innovation, discipline, and goal setting! Time to vote for new members!

  19. Obie 1 on June 14th, 2021 8:24 pm

    Good…everyone does NOT get a trophy! Get off yout butt and work for it

  20. Anne on June 14th, 2021 8:23 pm

    Honorable, Mr. Slayton, Perhaps your next Campaign Slogan should be your quote today: “Our community, I’m not sure, I really have to say I don’t care whether you like it or not,” Slayton said.
    Nice to know that the community is not important to you and for your information the students. parents ARE, Kind Sir, “the community”.

    You were ready to Vote on this today, Yea or Nay….
    Honorable Ms. Patti Hightower & Honorabe Mr. Slayton, you both seem to echo the words of the Speaker of the House, Ms Nancy Pelosi when referring to Obama Care, “We need to vote for it to find out what’s in it….”
    Slayton: “It is a subject that I would like to continue to get information on and release it to the public,” he said.
    Hightower: “What I would like to see us do is have some conversations with students about this process,” she said.
    Seems you two should have gathered “information” before ripping the veil of secrecy off this matter.

    The proposal originated with Lesa Morgan, the school district’s director of high school education.
    Quote from article: “This day and time, we all know the whole world is fragile. There’s a lot of stress, especially on our young folks … the competition can be very unhealthy, an unhealthy obsession.”
    I ask you, just When do you feel students should Learn about Life in the Real World? Personally, the idea of insulating kids from the Real things in life leads to a weaker generation unprepared for jobs, life in general and the natural flow of ups and downs one experiences in the everyday grown up world.
    It was a horrible thing when we went from hands-on shop, mechanics, life skills and learning the things we do when leaving home and “the nest”. We gave up much to do things with computers….our world needs hands-on workers who can take a scar or two and keep things moving forward.

  21. Why take this away? on June 14th, 2021 7:41 pm

    I really don’t get this at all. Yeah a few kids might miss out on the top honors by a fraction of a point. The same thing can be said in any sport where they missed a last second basket, dropped a touchdown pass, or struck out with bases loaded. We don’t just say oh well, no more competition because their might be heart break, There are close calls and missed opportunities throughout people’s daily life. In any competition there are winners and losers. Competition is healthy and it reinforces kids to work harder and strive to be better.
    I don’t know you personally Bill Slayton but I read your comments last night. Now I see the words you said today. Why entertain this at all? What research do you need to find out about? Lastly, how can you say the opinions of your constituents don’t matter? You are literally a public servant. You are there because they voted you into that position. That is your job to work for the public. If you don’t want to hear the criticisms, responses, or concerns then quit. Don’t condescend to them.

  22. SMH on June 14th, 2021 6:02 pm

    I’m glad that this been dropped. It is an honor to be named Valedictorian and Salutatorian of your school. I graduated Top 10 in my class and I was NOT emotionally scarred from not making it to number 1 or 2. I’ve gone on to a nice career and done well in college. All the PC BS needs to go. Bit this is what happens when you give up voting rights regarding Superintendent. It’s time for Mr. Slayton and Ms. Hightower to be voted out. Obviously Mr. Slayton doesn’t care about the wishes of the delegates he represents. I obviously has his own personal agenda and doesn’t want to hear or care about YOU, the parents wishes for YOUR kids. He apparently wants the indoctrination to begin here locally. BTW, it was Mr. Slayton that primarily had Dr. Smith brought in from out of the area instead of recommending an equally appropriate local candidate that holds our ideals and values. Also, any Woodham alum, it was a personal vendetta the Mr. Slayton helped to close Woodham HS originally. District numbers had nothing to do with it at the time.

  23. Lamar on June 14th, 2021 5:46 pm

    To Tate Grad
    I will have to admit that I am a little “math challenged”. Thanks for the catch…good on you. Regardless of my math ineptitude, I did graduate #4 in my class many, many, many years ago (with an academic scholarship) :-)

    All the Tate families should be proud of their students!

  24. Retired LEO on June 14th, 2021 5:14 pm

    Participation trophies is what this came down to, tells me everything I need to know about the new Superintendent. Slayton needs to go!!

  25. Dave Coleson on June 14th, 2021 4:55 pm

    Vote these psuedo intellectual marxists out! We wont stand for this wave of hysteria here. Anyone who considered this needs to be fire! Go. We dont want you here.

    Cozying up to the idea of communism/ “democratic socialism?” Go away. That is anti American and communism is responsible for millions of murders. Its disgusting and I will not allow it to inch it’s way in.

    It’s the United States for a reason. A representative republic. Not a democratic anything. Read the US constitution.

    Stand up for what’s right.

  26. Frank G. on June 14th, 2021 4:36 pm

    Hey Billy, you will care when you come up for re-election!!

  27. Concerned Mom on June 14th, 2021 3:21 pm

    Best comment of the day from School Board Member Bill Slayton “Our community, I’m not sure, I really have to say I don’t care whether you like it or not,” Slayton said.

    For those that don’t know, Bill has been a school board member for over 20 years, making over $70,000 a year plus medical and pension benefits for a part time gig. All paid by your local property tax dollars! In this last election, he and Patty Hightower both ran unopposed. So please, parents, community, get involved and run for school board. Because a current member has told you, clear as day, he doesn’t care what you think!

  28. Just saying on June 14th, 2021 2:56 pm

    I think Ms Morgan should work for the same pay as the Custodial workers.
    All that work she did to earn the college credits must not mean anything.

    ” There’s a lot of stress, especially on our young folks … the competition can be very unhealthy, an unhealthy obsession.”

    Everyone has stress and it doesn’t get any easier after High School.

    Welcome to the real world.

  29. JTV on June 14th, 2021 2:16 pm

    Lesa Morgan, maybe Director of Kindergarten Education fits better. Participation trophies, snack and nap time is more your speed. Time for young adults to start growing up in the real world.

  30. James Salisbury on June 14th, 2021 1:52 pm

    Any board member who votes for this tripe shoud face IMMEDIATE RECALL VOTE…

  31. Steve on June 14th, 2021 1:49 pm

    Anyone else find it a little unsettling that an elected Board Member doesn’t care if his constituents like a proposal?

    Here’s what I submitted;
    I ask you to please oppose getting rid of the Valedictorian achievement.

    In any discussion on the subject, I hope the proposal would be met with at least these questions;
    1. How does getting rid of this significant achivevement improve the education system?
    2. What statistics show this has been a detractor and/or a drag on the school system in Escambia County? Or, does ANY statistic, in ANY school district show getting rid of this has had a significant improvement on their school system?
    3. If we’re to get rid of academic competition, who among us does not seek the best when it comes to doctors and providers of goods and services?
    4. If competition is so bad, should we eliminate any bonuses for top performing employees and teachers?

    Whether we like it or not, competition is something we all deal with in the real world. Trying to make our children ignore this reality DOES NOT prepare them for life.

    Delaying our children having to deal with undeniable realities of life can be likened to learning to play a musical instrument; the earlier it is learned, the earlier it can be mastered.

    Thank you for your service.

  32. Eugene on June 14th, 2021 1:13 pm

    I agree with the great majority of the reader’s comments. I studied Marxism during my high school years in the 1960s. On its face, this school board proposal has the stench of the Communist Manifesto and Critical Race Theory. The many complaints written herein by the readers are a good start. However, it must be followed by the citizens physically attending the school board meetings. More importantly, it is imperative that the Escambia students involved show solidarity and support for a continued Valedictorian and Salutatorian program. For those of you with children in the Escambia School System, there is no valid excuse for a lack of parent and student participation.

  33. William Reynolds on June 14th, 2021 12:46 pm


  34. Tate Graduate on June 14th, 2021 12:26 pm

    Lamar, I believe you have this wrong. 35% of the class will not be honored. Only 20%. The top 5% will receive all three honors as they are in the top 5, 10 and 20%. The top 10% will receive two honors as they are in the 10 and 20% and then you have those left in the top 20% (11 – 20%) that only get the one honor for top 20%.

    Why can’t they leave the valedictory and salutatory awards and add the other three? I was in the top 5% of my class but was not given the distinction of Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Cum Laude which would have look really nice on my resume.

  35. Paul on June 14th, 2021 11:57 am

    What does biden have to do with this?
    Florida and Escambia County is all republican run.
    I’ll bet it has more to do with what went on in MS. recently.

  36. northend resident on June 14th, 2021 11:24 am

    Another FINE EXAMPLE of CANCEL CULTURE in the making!!!

    RE: NorthEscambia.com reached out to District 5 school board Bill Slayton Sunday night. He told us that he was not ready to weigh in on the issue because there has been no board discussion, and he has not heard any opinion from Superintendent Tim Smith.

    This Mr. Bill Slayton not boldly taking a firm stand on this issue to stand up for students rights, from the get go sounds like he’s not got a back bone or strong ethics of right and wrong. He’s going to take the “wait and see” approach huh? Pathetic

  37. David Donaldson on June 14th, 2021 11:14 am

    What kind of knotheads have been elected this time. I for one, will happily vote against every one of them next go around.

  38. William Lingo on June 14th, 2021 11:09 am

    Many here seem to forget that we the people no longer have the right to elect the Superintendent of schools, voters apparently gave up that right in the prior election. Why are people continously giving up their rights? You can’t complain if you’re one of those people that voted to give up the right to choose the people that represent us or our children’s education!!!!

    Call the school board and let them know that you do not agree with them removing this honor or tell them that if they do away with valedictorian and salutorian, that all school clubs and athletic programs should also go away, they need to be fair across the entire board!!!

  39. Welcome to Biden's America on June 14th, 2021 11:04 am

    Welcome to cancel culture. Americans you were warned, yet you voted for him anyways, now these liberals think they can do whatever they want. True patriots need to step up and speak out. Socialism is not progressive but regressive and it didnt take long to see the proof.

  40. Miranda on June 14th, 2021 11:01 am

    This is just another way to not recognize the hard workers. Make every child feel good about being average. What good has ever come of complacency? None!

  41. Shirl on June 14th, 2021 10:45 am

    What else is going to happen in this God forsaken country? These students work hard to be awarded these honors. Leave things alone, to much has already been taken away. Let’s go back to the 50’s and 60’s way of doing things. God Bless American!

  42. fisherman on June 14th, 2021 10:23 am

    Any board member who votes yes on such an idiotic proposal should be voted out of office. If district three board member Laura Dortch Edler votes yes on this she will not get my vote.

  43. William Reynolds on June 14th, 2021 10:22 am

    @William Reynolds, can you the media, find which member of our school board brought this nonsense up?

    “Staff recommended” — it’s in the story. :) No school board member recommended the plan changes.

  44. JTV on June 14th, 2021 10:10 am

    @Bill Slayton, insults don’t help the cause, but they do help us remember the idiocy of your board come election time. You chose this profession, live with the consequences of your board’s lunacy. We won’t put up with it and will voice our displeasure with insults if it gets our point across.

  45. Grandma on June 14th, 2021 10:08 am

    Private schools need to increase their building programs, because this will be the beginning of the end to public schools.

  46. Mike J. on June 14th, 2021 9:53 am

    “Safebear on June 14th, 2021 6:20 am
    It’s what they do at colleges and universities. But I guess most of you against this probably never went or your kids won’t go so it don’t matter…”

    So, Safebear is saying that most of you are too stupid to realize that this plan is a good idea. Safebear insulted the education of commenters here and their children.

    That wasn’t very nice. Safebear has the right to their own opinion. But so do we. Let the voters of the district decide this plan, not just the board. I am against this move.

    And, yes. My wife and I are college graduates with Bachelor’s degrees. Our son has started taking college classes and is doing very well on the Dean’s list.

  47. EMD on June 14th, 2021 9:49 am

    The fearful and underachievers are probably the ones behind this. Care what GOD thinks and how these kids feel. The world is a political MESS.

  48. Lamar on June 14th, 2021 9:49 am

    I don’t have a dog in this fight….but using the new formula of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, 35% of the student body would be honored, not just two people. A student knowing he/she would not make a Valedictorian or Salutatorian might be encouraged to work and study harder to be included in the top 5, 10 or 20 percent of the student body. I understand Tate had a stellar year in academics this past year and that is to be celebrated! Kudos to the top two and congratulations to all students and their parents for achieving success despite all the lockdowns and restrictions placed upon them. This comment is the other side of the coin being flipped. And no, I am NOT a liberal, I am a conservative Christ follower.

  49. DFing on June 14th, 2021 9:42 am

    Please contact your school superintendent and let them know how you feel. I am going to. If this passes, we need to next get rid of teacher of the year, keep no scores in athletic events, pass or fail only/no GPA.

    I want to know who proposed this. Let’s vote them out.

  50. Dave Johnson on June 14th, 2021 9:21 am

    Nothing new to see here folks. Escambia County been going down the toilet for the last 20 years.

  51. JTV on June 14th, 2021 9:05 am

    @William Reynolds, can you the media, find which member of our school board brought this nonsense up? We the people need to know the assailant to our education system.

  52. tg on June 14th, 2021 9:00 am

    Cancel Culture Supreme part of the dumbing down of America

  53. CJ on June 14th, 2021 8:53 am

    I find this very disturbing. Not everyone can be or even deserve to be valedictorian or salutatorian. The students work hard for those honors. I have NEVER heard of any student complaining about those who have earned the honor. I believe that high school students need something to work towards. They just have to want to put in the effort. I don’t think they are more special than athletes who work hard for those scholarships. Both work equally hard for their honors and should receive them if they earned then. The next thing the honors earned by the exceptional student in music, band, FFA, science, math, robotics and other areas will also lose out of any honors they may have earned. Does that statement sound ridiculous? Of course it does. We all want our children to have the opportunity to work hard and stand out as the best in their area of interest. Watering down the accomplishments of our students is not what we should be doing. We need to continue to recognize those who worked hard to earn those titles/awards. So to the school board. Please do not water down the hard work students put into school and take that allusive goal away from our students. Btw I was never in the top percentage of students nor were my kids but I still applaud those students who earned the top honors.

  54. Aggie Dad on June 14th, 2021 8:38 am

    And starting in 2022 there will be no Super Bowl winner or a National College Football trophy, The team with the most losses get the same Trophy as the undeafted teams. Yep welcome to Biden’s America

  55. Sounds Fishy on June 14th, 2021 8:37 am

    Don’t you all think it is funny how we get a newly “appointed” superintendent and this BS “plan” is proposed.

    Mr. Slayton – if you support this then you should propose taking away first chairs in band sections. NO, you shouldn’t! Just like you should not support this plan. The best need to get acknowledged for what they achieve! EVERYONE SHOULD NOT GET A TROPHY!

  56. Proud Father on June 14th, 2021 8:35 am

    Our daughter was Salutatorian at a local High School in 1999. Don’t anyone think it isn’t a true competition.

  57. Concerned on June 14th, 2021 8:19 am

    Is this from the new Superintendent that we are no longer allowed to vote into office?

  58. Mom on June 14th, 2021 8:15 am

    My daughter was Valedictorian and my son is on the path to be. They worked very hard every year and deserve to be recognized for their achievements. What then happens to the scholarships they would receive for their honor? My child or anyone’s who put in the effort to want to learn and strive certainly should have the opportunity to be recognized as top one or two if they get there.
    Stop trying to take everything away from these kids or they will stop putting in an effort all together.

  59. molino resident on June 14th, 2021 8:13 am

    Insane. These do not need to be done away with. Stand up people for what is right.
    So what if “Little Johnny or Little Suzie” did not get Valedictorian. Obviously they did not work hard enough or just couldn’t make the grades for some other reason. Do not penalize the person that worked super hard their high school years.

    Anyone who votes for this is also the type of person that votes for all kids to get a participation trophy. That is what is wrong with America. Stand up for what is right for once.

  60. PcolaNative on June 14th, 2021 8:11 am

    Sad to watch our country decline into socialism. We will never compete against education systems in other counties when we continue to lower our standards to the lowest common denominator. I am shocked this is happening in Escambia county FL. Portland maybe but not here. Brainwashing by Hollywood and media is having its desired impact. We need to brace ourselves for the dark future in store for America.

  61. Andrew Carlson on June 14th, 2021 8:04 am

    Do a search, and you’re likely to find this is being done in Red states only. And they call folks like me ‘radical left’ while they take away your rights. Time to catch on to their bait and switch tactics…

  62. Jim on June 14th, 2021 7:47 am

    What’s next, teachers will not score test so that those students who fail will not feel offended by those that pass?

  63. Derek Finger on June 14th, 2021 7:42 am

    Please contact the school board TODAY and let them know how you feel. I certainly am. If we go this direction, I say get rid of “teacher of the year awards”, don’t keep scores in high school athletic events, pass or fail only and no GPA, etc.

    Don’t let this get started in our community. We still have control and can vote in or out those who support our values.

  64. LAR on June 14th, 2021 7:31 am

    I believe we all know the real reason behind this move. No one can really call it like it is anymore without offending someone.

  65. Lisa Traweek on June 14th, 2021 7:31 am

    What is wrong with these people….this is completely ludicrous….most likely whomever proposed this ridiculous idea was a underachiever or their child is….thru history we’ve recognized the hard work & dedication of the ones who’ve aspired to become the best they can be & achieved it…proof to those who follow in their footsteps that if you work hard you can accomplish anything! Are you taking away “teacher of the year” recognitions? We certainly don’t want the other teachers to get their feelings hurt..or homecoming Queen? Athlete of the year? You are what’s wrong with the youth of today… instead of giving them examples of what hard work & dedication can do for them in life & setting them on a path to achieve to be the best they can be…you want to remove all aspirations & tell them they are & never will be anymore than the underachievers in this world

  66. Bill Slayton on June 14th, 2021 7:21 am

    The board discusses many items during workshops and not in the media. I will listen to the reason for the staff to present the proposal as I do in all the items presented. I believe that is the democratic process. I appreciate the concerns but the insults do not help your cause. Let us work through the process.

  67. Steve Litton on June 14th, 2021 7:20 am

    “The staff recommendation will have discussion” – The fox is already in the hen house.

    “Staff recommendation?” Why is “staff” so against competition? We can pretend like competition is a negative, but who doesn’t seek the best doctor, home builder or even the best price on goods and services?

    How does getting rid of these two achievements benefit anyone? Are we really supposed to believe having no Valedictorian will raise the self-esteem of the LAST-atorian? And have we all forgotten the importance of RAISING the bar?

    Please, take what’s made this nation great and BUILD ON it instead of tearing it down!

  68. Jlb on June 14th, 2021 7:10 am

    Ridiculous..you have students that worked hard for this. Your afraid your gonna hurt someone’s feelings? Welcome to the everybody needs a trophy. Who sponsored this? Is our APPOINTED superintendent for this ? I will say this..if district 5 board member votes for this..he will not get mine on election day. I wasn’t in the top 20…but I congratulated those who were. Enough…

  69. Ted Hurst on June 14th, 2021 7:07 am

    What I and everyone else would probably want to know is who proposed this? If it’s the new superintendent then what other great ideas are we soon going to see?

  70. Ridiculous on June 14th, 2021 6:50 am

    There are scholarships at many colleges and universities offered only to valedictorians and salutatorians. Removing these honors will take away opportunities for those scholarships.

  71. Carola on June 14th, 2021 6:43 am

    Just stop already!!! Let everyone get a trophy so they won’t feel left out! Cut the crap!
    These young, striving, smart, dedicated students need to be recognized!
    Feelings….get over it! This sensitive crap needs to go and go now!

  72. YouKnow on June 14th, 2021 6:37 am

    I wasn’t in the top 5 of my class, because I didn’t push myself! I could have accomplished a lot more, my own fault, had other things on my mind. Hindsight is 2020! I was in Beta Club and others.

    With this being said, there needs to be goals to reach for in school and life and awards to win. But, we can honor, and some schools do, for best improvement, attitudes, etc.

    Attitudes go a long way in life, you can be really smart and have a terrible attitude and get passed over at a job interview! That is real life, I know this for a fact being on the other end of a job for over 30 years now. Seen really smart people get passed over for a job because of their own attitudes.

  73. tc on June 14th, 2021 6:36 am

    The snowflake Liberals are KILLING this country!!!

  74. MAH on June 14th, 2021 6:28 am

    Thus is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. How long are we as a society going to let this crap continue?

  75. Rod Persons on June 14th, 2021 6:24 am

    Oh boy, a participation trophy for everyone, yea!! Let’s keep dumbing down our country because it’s the politically correct thing to do!

  76. Not everyone is a winner on June 14th, 2021 6:24 am

    Seriously. Not. Everyone. Is. A. Winner.

    Yes read that again if you need to.

    Each and every single word of it. This is part of the everyone gets a trophy mentality, everyone is just as good as everyone else. Well its just not true. If you want to win work hard, if you still aren’t winning then work harder! Not everyone can win, some don’t even want to try. Let the people who work hard, earn their victory! No I wasn’t a Validictorian nor was I a Saloutitorian, but I worked hard for my grades. I made honor roll and earned Magna Cum Laude. I was proud of myself for not only graduating but even more proud to know my hard work had placed me in the top percent.

    Basically now there are no incentives other than personal drive (which some people have and others only get once there’s a competition). So, I suppose when my daughter graduates she won’t get to possibly have the extra honor or sense of accomplishment knowing she can work towards a higher goals because basically kids who skate by and make grades just ok enough to pass are really no different than the ones who give it all they have and work hard.

    How about if the school board wishes to do something about the schools they consider getting rid of the FSA test. The schools seem to teach mostly whats on that standardized test and tell the kids it doesn’t matter how you do all year if you fail this you fail the grade. One of my daughters friends, a very intelligent honor roll student, cried and lost sleep over this test because she gets test anxiety on big tests. She passed but was a nervous wreck for weeks.

  77. J.Larry Seale on June 14th, 2021 6:22 am

    If the school board does approve this,
    then take away football, baseball. gold
    and others……….
    This is only hurting the smart kids who
    really work for there future……..

  78. Safebear on June 14th, 2021 6:20 am

    It’s what they do at colleges and universities. But I guess most of you against this probably never went or your kids won’t go so it don’t matter…

  79. Oversight on June 14th, 2021 6:18 am

    Bill Slayton sounds just like every other double speak politician. He is for it but he’s not because he said so in his own words. Likely, it is Bill whose behind this push along with the new superintendent. When two board members will immediately come out against this absurd socialistic “everybody is equal” bull, Slayton shows his true colors because he can’t.

  80. StraightShooter on June 14th, 2021 6:11 am

    I don’t think it will pass, but we need to know who recommended it. They need Doxed.
    Agree, why are we keeping score at ball games?

  81. DoubleDee on June 14th, 2021 5:45 am

    More politically correct bs. Achievement deserves no recognition? Looks as if the emotionally overloaded wish to proclaim all as equal winners. It’s getting close to just handing out participation trophies to all. More of the “you’re so special and deserve everything” with little or no effort.

  82. Elijah Bell on June 14th, 2021 5:40 am

    Sounds like STAFF is pushing a WOKE agenda. How can this be good for the education in the distric?

  83. T.Bone on June 14th, 2021 5:36 am

    So every body gets a trophy, let’s not make anyone feel left out, even though these students worked very hard to accomplish this. Another case of “dumbing down the young”. WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING.

  84. Anne on June 14th, 2021 5:30 am

    “SCORELESS” Football, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Tiddly-Winks!!!!!

    So, if a SCHOOL SYSTEM fails to recognize the Highest Academic Achievers then just have the ATHLETIC Competetions be recognized as “Succwssful” and “Not So Successful” for winner and loser?

    Whoever came up with this consideration to eliminate high school valedictorians and salutatorians at the county’s high schools. Along with not recognizing HIGH Achievers will be bringing forth Pass / No Pass for ALL Things.

    Board Members and Mister Superintendent — if this comes from some court case elsewhere, and never an issue here, then grow a set and refuse to hear this silly proposal.

    Maybe if Academics brought in the MONEY that sports does this would be different.
    Going to my corner now.

  85. JTV on June 14th, 2021 5:29 am

    Idiots making education decisions

  86. misstrish on June 14th, 2021 5:24 am

    I’d like to know who submitted this new plan to the Board for consideration?

  87. Well on June 14th, 2021 5:06 am

    Mr. Slayton
    I assure you that if you vote yes on this…..

    I will vote no on your reelection……

  88. Concerned Citizen on June 14th, 2021 4:51 am

    This can’t even be a serious article, right? These Liberal idiots have lost their minds, maybe Governor Desantis can come in and just abolish whatever these idiots come up with. This whole everyone gets a trophy BS is a joke, that’s not the way it works in the real world. Those who work the hardest are the most successful. These people that want this are truly sick and should be voted out immediately!!!

  89. Marilyn on June 14th, 2021 4:51 am

    Does anyone know who it was who proposed this idea? I would like to know which member did. Or was it our appointed superintendent.

  90. Denbroc on June 14th, 2021 4:21 am

    This is just another step towards mediocrity.

  91. L burkett on June 14th, 2021 3:27 am

    I’m assuming the person who proposed this stupid idea wasn’t at Tate’s graduation and didn’t hear the wonderful and motivating speech made by the valedictorian. She told how she had overcome much diversity and worked hard to achieve her goals. That’s what this country was built on, but sadly is becoming a thing of the past. I hope that parents and students stand up against this.

  92. mnon on June 14th, 2021 3:06 am

    Why do these people keep trying to reinvent the wheel? Because X group or X people are feeling left out so we need 100+ first, second and third place positions? This is the equivalent of a participation award just for showing up. Kids today have a hard row to hoe… the real world is going to eat them up, why do you think we have a generation of anxiety riddled kids? Because they are coddled in school, being taught everything is equal and you’re #1 just for being there. Absolutely mind blowing. I have a hard reality reminder to everyone graduating.. the world does not care who you are or what you know… you are labor to make others money, period… and your reward for showing up is not a ribbon, only that you might keep your job that day.

  93. Phillip Abbott on June 14th, 2021 2:58 am

    More Marxist socialist efforts by the “woke” c new cancel culture coming your way. NorthEscambia.com should find out who made this proposal and expose them and their motives. Every parent in Escambia County should hold the school board members feet to the fire. Flood their phones, Email, and pack the meetings. Better yet, stop complaining and run for a seat. America is in the middle of a new communist revolution.

  94. SR on June 14th, 2021 1:55 am

    So then we will have ‘top 20 percent’ and ‘the rest’. That will eliminate first and second place; therefore being more inclusive? Am I wrong? I don’t get it.

  95. SR on June 14th, 2021 1:49 am

    So, basically it will eliminate first and second place and just say this part of the group are the higher achievers and the rest is the rest. Am I wrong?

  96. Jess on June 14th, 2021 1:48 am

    So, we can celebrate athletics and kids that excel on the field everyday. But kids that work their butts off to get top their class apparently don’t deserve recognition? These kids deserve their accolades just like a kid that can throw a bowl. Let’s stop dumbing down this country. It’s not cute

  97. Shaking My Head on June 14th, 2021 1:17 am

    These people have lost their ever loving minds.

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