To the editor of THE EAGLE:

This year I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and getting to know the top two graduates of Pittsfield High School. I like to call these two the valedictorian and the salutatorian. They are Rachel Rosiello and Courtney McMahon. I drew attention to these two impressive, driven and dedicated young women because their success has not been met with the recognition it deserves.

Long-held tradition has been schools in Berkshire County recognize its top scholars with publicity pictures, lists of accomplishments, scholarships and awards. And how proud the parents must be to see their child lauded for his or her tireless work and to have honored the achievement of ranking No. 1 or No. 2 among classmates.

The decision at PHS to alter this tradition, to name, rather the top 10 graduates is admirable, to be sure. Making it to the top 10 is nothing if not an outstanding achievement. PHS, is however, remiss in failing to also publicize the valedictorian and salutatorian. Such distinctions do not take away from the top 10. They simply announce and validate the realty of academic rigor and achievement.

Why, I ask, not give a shout-out to all these deserving students, the Rachels, Courtneys, future CEOs, doctors, lawyers and social workers, of our school by returning or changing, to a tradition that has worked in the long term. Let us honor those who strive and achieve academic excellence -- one student at a time.

MARIBETH DECKER

Pittsfield


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