MEHLVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s official — the Mehlville School District is doing away with valedictorians, instead planning to group students based on GPA.

“I’m really frustrated with the fact that they’re doing this because while it doesn’t affect me directly, it affects people that I’ve been in classes with for years,” says incoming senior Erica Seidel.

Seidel, who attends Oakville High School, says a lot of students work to be valedictorian.

“All of these numbers are kind of like your crown; you’re taking away one of the crown jewels of your achievements,” she told the school board.

But parent Sandy Roeger says those who aren’t miss out on scholarship cash.

“Mehlville district is using an antiquated system called ‘class rank’ that pits students in a mindless rank-race for GPA,” she says.

Roeger contends the Mehlville School District is not on even playing fields with other districts. She says Mehlville students with very high GPAs are at a disadvantage versus those from districts that go with groupings, like Rockwood and Parkway.

Mehlville School Board members unanimously voted to go with a Cum Laude System, where students are grouped based on GPA and college credit-bearing courses.

“The problem is is that you have a winner on one side or a winner on the other side, and somebody loses no matter what we do,” says board member Jamey Murphy.

Murphy says there is a compromise, essentially providing data of class rank to students who want it for the next three years.

This way, “both people have access to the proper data that will hopefully best benefit them,” he says.

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