As high school graduates across the region accept their diplomas this month, one tradition has changed greatly. The title of valedictorian — the coveted top slot for the brainiest student — is no longer necessarily reserved for the single best student.
A growing number of schools, such as Robinson, bestow the title on every graduate who earns a grade-point average of 4.0 or higher. Montgomery and Howard county schools have done away with the distinction to ease competition in a system that was producing increasingly more 4.0 students. Other districts — Prince George’s and Loudoun counties, Alexandria and the District included — have stuck with the traditional route: Pick one valedictorian and a salutatorian. (Unless a tie forces a few students to share the glory.)