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Valedictorian Stays Home During Graduation Over School Controversy

Atlanta Lawyer > Atlanta News  > Valedictorian Stays Home During Graduation Over School Controversy

Valedictorian Stays Home During Graduation Over School Controversy

One Etowah High School graduate who was supposed to speak to her class stayed home Saturday morning over the flap of having two valedictorians at the school.

Channel 2’s Rebecca Lindstrom talked with Kelly McCahill on the phone during the graduation ceremony.

She admitted the situation has taken some of the joy out of her senior year.

McCahill’s mother told Lindstrom she’s proud of her daughter and it’s time to focus on the future.

Despite not being there, the school called her name anyway during Saturday’s ceremony.

McCahill left the spotlight to Sydney Perlotto who embraced the moment with a smile.

“Today is such an amazing experience that I can barely contain my joy,” Perlotto said, addressing the student body as co- valedictorian.

Perlotto almost lost the chance to speak to her graduating class as co-valedictorian.

“Boy has it been a year that has put the senior class of 2011 to the test,” she said.

When the final GPAs were calculated McCahill, a student enrolled in name only to take part in an early college option, had earned the top spot. After a student uproar the district decided to have two valedictorians.

“There was a flaw in the system and we realize that now and this was the best way we could handle it at this point,” class president Dan McNeil said.

While students we talked with hope McCahill would have felt welcome Saturday, they say they support the districts proposed plan to require future valedictorians to have attended at least two classes on campus in both their junior and senior years.

“A true valedictorian is someone who has been a part of the campus and has affected the lives of the students and has made the school better as a whole,” McNeil said.

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