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To the editor:

The 2019 Logan High school valedictorian selection process was stained by the poor decision making of LHS Principal Kenneth Auld, who undermined the values of Logan High, its staff and the Class of 2019.

Logan High has had the unique tradition of awarding the title of valedictorian to all students with a 4.0 GPA and giving each the opportunity to address the class during graduation. This has fostered a tenacious learning environment in which students were motivated by an opportunity to publicly address their community during graduation.

However, with the growing number of valedictorians this became impractical due to time constraints. To reduce the speaking pool, Logan High chose to hold auditions to select five out of the 26 valedictorians who chose to audition. A reasonable decision commonly used to select student commencement speakers at the university level. But as James Thompson’s June 3 letter to the editor explained this process was nothing more than a dog and pony show, a process at the whim of one person, Principal Auld.

While Principal Auld has the authority to make unilateral decisions, he also has the responsibility to uphold values such as fairness, respect, honesty and trust. Principal Auld’s decision to secretly select a student who chose not to audition as one of the five (after the conclusion of auditions), never release students audition feedback, and condescendingly dismiss grievances of this process has left his former students feeling betrayed, deceived and cheated out of an opportunity that took four years of hard work to get to.

The poor judgement exhibited at multiple junctures throughout this process shows the inability of Principal Auld to navigate the most basic of leadership decisions. But his failure to understand the responsibilities of a leader reflect a much deeper problem.

Its been disheartening that our complaints for the past weeks have either fallen on deaf ears or been mischaracterized as the whines of jealous sore losers, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. We only ask that the unfairness for which we have been treated with, a group of LHS students who have given so much to the school and its academic reputation, be acknowledged.

I call upon the Logan City School District and Logan High School to remediate a situation which has tainted their reputation amongst the Class of 2019.

Gareema Dhiman

LHS Class of 2019