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Greenfield High School replaces GPA-based top-10 class ranking system

There's a new system at Greenfield High School to determine who's the best in their graduating class.

"We're hoping to move away from students competing with one another," said principal Paul Thusius. "We really want to look at things outside of the basic grade point average."

Right now, the school only honors its Top 10 graduating students based on GPA.

But starting next academic year, with the class of 2021, students will be required to achieve outside of the classroom.

Thusius said students must now complete a certain number of advanced placement classes, community service hours, hold a leadership position and participate in three extra-curricular activities.

"We talk to the students about leadership and character being important things, yet it's not what we celebrate," he said. "So we want to start doing that at our graduation ceremonies."

Thusius said the new standard is an honor more students can achieve.

Parents of next year's freshman class are looking forward to their students being the first of such a positive change.

"Their grade point average might not be as high, but leadership in the community is very helpful, very motivating for them," said parent Dennis Blanks.

"There's different kinds of smart," said parent Kim Ferguson. "You can be academically smart, you can be socially smart, you can be a leadership smart. So for those kids that maybe don't test well, they can still have their chance to shine."

A chance now to shine under three levels of honor: cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude.

"I think everybody wins with this approach," Thusius said.

The principal said there will still be class rank because students need the information to apply for scholarships. Other high schools in the area have already moved away from a class rank system.

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