Rowan-Salisbury school board approves class rankings, Latin honors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Class rankings, including valedictorian and salutatorian, are here to stay. The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education unanimously approved keeping the honor titles at its Monday meeting.

The fate of the titles had been much debated by the board after high school principals requested permission to move away from valedictorian and salutatorian honors and toward a Latin honors system.

On Monday, the board spent a short time debating as it gave a final reading of a policy that would allow high schools to keep the coveted honors as well as allowing high schools to implement a Latin honors system if they choose.

Much of the debate centered around the policy’s wording. Board member Dean Hunter argued against the use of the word “expected” and its implication that schools would be mandated to have a separate honors system.

“Are we forcing principals to also do the Latin honors?” he asked. “… I just think ‘expects’ sounds not optional.”

April Kuhn, chief legal officer for the school system, said she could change the wording, but board Chairman Josh Wagner reminded the board that it was the principals who requested the Latin honors in the first place.

“I’m OK with that wording,” he said.

After some more discussion, the board unanimously approved the policy. Board member Alisha Byrd was absent.

“We have put that one to rest,” Wagner said of the policy.

In other business, the board:

  • Voted to move its budget review meeting to 5 p.m.  June 29.
  • Hired Tonya German as the new principal of East Rowan High School. German is currently principal of Corriher-Lipe Middle School.
  • Hired Lisa Altman as the new school food and nutrition director.
  • Hired Lauren Raper as principal of Hanford Dole Elementary. Raper is currently an assistant principal at North Rowan High School.
  • Hired Carol Herndon as the school system’s chief financial officer. Herndon is currently executive director of Food for Thought.
  • Hired Daniel Herring as principal of Erwin Middle. Herring is currently an assistant principal at Corriher-Lipe Middle School.
  • Approved $115,420 out of its fund balance to pay for four vans to provide transportation for students at Henderson Independent High School. The board also approved a new schedule for the school. High school will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with an optional innovation session from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Middle school will run from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. with an optional innovation session from 1:48 to 3 p.m.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.