In a break with longstanding tradition, Gloucester High School honor graduates will no longer lead their commencement processional and recessional and receive their diplomas ahead of their classmates. The Gloucester County School Board agreed to the change in protocol by consensus during its special meeting last Thursday.
For the 2011 commencement on June 11, all of the graduates will be lined up in alphabetical order according to last name for their arena entry, diploma acceptance and recessional. The GHS honor grads, representing the academic top 10 percent of their class based on cumulative grade point averages, will continue to wear gold mortar board tassels and will be announced as honor graduates when called to receive their diplomas.
GHS principal Tony Beverage recommended the change in an Oct. 21 letter to school division superintendent Ben Kiser. In the letter, Beverage said it was the opinion of the GHS administration and faculty "that we end the practice of affording an extravagant degree of reverence toward honor graduates" and said the past routines "serve to detract from the accomplishments of our non-honor graduates, while fostering feelings of angst and inferiority."