Graduation to feature two student speakers

Tessa Duncan, Reporter

While typically the school only names a valedictorian, this year the class of  2015 will also have a salutatorian, which is the second highest grade in the class. Adrienne Cox will be valedictorian and Whitney Holloman will be salutatorian.

“The school’s computers were not calculating one of my weighted classes as weighted, so that changed my GPA and now I am first in my class and valedictorian as well,” Cox said.

The title of valedictorian is the highest academic honor a high school student can receive in their graduating class. A valedictorian is the student who upheld the highest grade point average (GPA) throughout the four years of high school.

Both the valedictorian and salutatorian give a speech at graduation and are the representatives for their class. The graduation speech is a tradition and a monumental moment in a student’s graduation.

Both Holloman and Cox are working to write a speech. As Cox prepares to begin the writing process, Holloman struggles to find the words to describe her class.

“I keep writing stuff and then throwing it away. It’s hard not to be cliche with the whole thing,” Holloman said.

Holloman receiving salutatorian had not come to a surprise to her, as she was ranked first in her class until junior year. However, this was not a goal for her throughout her high school experience.

Cox, being second in her class until this year behind Holloman, knew that the title of valedictorian was not far out of her reach.

“Once I learned I was second in my class, I thought it would just be really fun if I could get it. Plus, I knew I had worked really hard for it over the years,” Cox said.

Balancing grades and activities outside of school has been a challenge for both students. Both Cox, working 20 hours a week, and Holloman, playing several sports, encourage others to work hard throughout high school.

“Just do your best. There is no reason to take 6 AP courses. Take 3 or 4, and just take what you can handle. Topeka High really is the school of opportunity if you know where to look for it,” Holloman said.