WGSS Valedictorian Criteria
The Walnut Grove Secondary School valedictorian is selected by a committee of staff members based on the criteria below. Students are nominated by staff to the committee. Members of the valedictorian selection committee consist of: Administration, Counsellor(s), Teachers who have at least two students on the short list of candidates who have taught them in the past two years. In order to be considered for valedictorian, students must meet the following criteria:
1) Exhibits all Langley School District Core Values: Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Community.
- Integrity: accepting, respectful, kind, trustworthy
- Excellence: success, effort, engagement, achievement, adaptability
- Courage: hope, creativity, inspiration, critical thinking, problem solving
- Community: inclusive, connection, caring, collaboration, teamwork, belonging, partnership
2) Demonstrates High Levels of Academic Achievement:
- The student has maintained a very high GPA in his/her/their senior (Gr. 11 & 12) years
- The student is recognized for high levels of engagement in learning
- The student sets an example for others in their classes and the school
- GPA calculations will be based on six Grade 12 academic courses from any year for the purpose of comparison
3) Exemplifies the shared values and qualities of WGSS:
- Service above self
- Has made significant contributions to student life and the broader WGSS community
- Involved in clubs, athletics, fine and performing arts etc…
- Commitment to volunteerism both within WGSS and the broader community
- Is inclusive towards others
- Leads by example
- Makes those around them better – desires to see all to succeed (not driven by marks and comparison)
- Is recognized by peers as a student who is trustworthy, helpful, and caring
- Is recognized by staff as a leader, culture builder, student of excellence
4) Willingness to Fulfill the Responsibilities Associated with Being the Valedictorian:
- Compose a valedictory address to be delivered at the commencement ceremony
- Collaborate with an English teacher to write the valedictory address
- Incorporate an appropriate theme within the valedictory address which “speaks to” all graduates
Grade 12 Gator Award
The Gator Award is the most comprehensive award offered at WGSS and this year will be awarded to the Grade 12 student who has best embodied the spirit of excellence, commitment and teamwork in a variety of areas within the school over their five years at WGSS.
- Announced orally at year-end graduation ceremony.
- Winner is honoured and remembered on a plaque displayed across from main office.
- Staff nominate potential candidates using an online form.
- Staff committee determines winner.
Exemplary Student Award
Walnut Grove staff, using individual or department criteria, select the one student in each of their classes that they believe to be their exemplary or top student. Those that are selected and honoured might not necessarily have the highest mark in the class but rather have outstanding work habits, overcome adversity, and/or have an extreme passion for the subject.
- Staff must limit themselves to one recipient per class.
- Teachers are responsible for passing their own certificates within their classes.
- Some departments or teachers have taken to hosting lunchtime celebrations for groups of winners.
- Exemplary Students are photographed and honoured in our Gator newsletter and on the school’s various social media platforms.
- Staff also have the option of recognizing and celebrating Unsung Heroes who have gone above and beyond
- Staff can also acknowledge the most diligent and hard working student in the class with the Gator Hard Hat effort certificate.
*Grade 12 Exemplary student awards and certificates will be revealed and recognized at our grad ceremony and not in class as is the case with Grade 8-11s. Grade 12 winners will be celebrated and acknowledged orally, certificates will be placed in students’ grad folder, and teachers are encouraged to be on stage if possible when the student crosses.
This highly prestigious and exclusive list is for students who achieved 90% or higher in five approved academic grade 12 courses (per SFU list A) in any year at WGSS. One of the five must be English Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12.
The calculation for this award does not include Language Equivalency/Challenge courses or Career Life Connections/Capstone. All courses must have been completed at WGSS.
The academic courses used in the calculation can include:
- 20th Century World History 12
- Anatomy & Physiology 12
- AP Calculus 12
- AP Chemistry 12
- AP Computer Science Principles 12
- AP French 12
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP Microeconomics
- AP Physics 1
- AP Physics 2
- AP Psychology 12
- AP Research 12
- AP Statistics 12
- BC First Peoples 12
- Chemistry 12
- Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12
- Computer Science 12
- Economics 12
- Environmental Science 12
- Foundations of Mathematics 12
- Francais Langue Seconde 12
- French 12
- Genocide Studies 12
- Human Geography 12
- Law Studies 12
- Philosophy 12
- Physics 12
- Political Studies 12
- Pre-Calculus 12
- Social Justice 12
- Spanish 12
- Urban Studies 12
From the list of courses, only one of each of the following groupings will be considered:
- English Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12
- When a student has a dual credit AP course, only one of the two courses will count