To the editor:
The process for choosing Logan High’s 2019 valedictorians was met with complaints from students and parents which unfortunately have fallen on deaf ears.
Logan High School’s administration has pulled the rug from under the valedictorians’ feet as they changed the selection process twice within a two-week period. The administration presumed that holding an audition with outside resources judging the auditions would establish an unbiased selection process. The audition process is not only a dog and pony show as Gareema Dhiman’s June 4th letter to the editor stated, but it also disregards the efforts of several students who spent hours in planning for a speech that would be unique and memorable.
Furthermore, the administration has not been amenable to considering the complaints of parents and students about the mismanagement of the valedictorian process. In a meeting between Assistant Principal Eric Markworth and one set of parents, Principal Markworth continually characterized the complaints as stemming from jealousy of not being chosen to give a speech rather than seeing the unfairness in how the process was handled. However, I want to be clear that our grievances were not motivated by jealousy or anger at not being chosen. Our grievance stems from not being given a fair shake and being strung along through a process that we learned to be merely an illusion.
This has not been the only time Logan High School’s administration has shown a lack of transparency, a point eloquently made at the conclusion of James Thompson’s June 3rd letter to the editor. The administration did not inform students and parents about a new Utah law, R277-717. This new education law allows all high school students to restore their credits in any coursework no matter what grade they received in the course without the original grade appearing on the transcript. Important changes like this should be announced to students who would like the opportunity to change their grade. However, the administration had stated that those who knew the system were allowed to go through the program, but those who did not know the program could not do it. As a result, most students, parents, and even teachers were not aware of such a change. A process taken advantage of by one valedictorian speaker, highlighting the uneven playing field created by the administration's lack of transparency.
I call that the issue is not simply Principal Auld mishandling the situation, but all of Logan High School’s administration shares the responsibility in creating an opaque system. The valedictorian issue may have been one of the few poor decisions that came to light, but it most definitely isn’t the only.