Changes made to the academic awards

Working long and tiring hours to earn good grades finally paid off for juniors, seniors, and for the first time for sophomores on Monday, March 14. Oak Park held its annual Academic Awards Ceremony, but there were a few changes students weren’t happy about.
This year, sophomores with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher at the end of their third semester received recognition with an academic letter.
“I feel like it’s kind of unfair they put it into affect so late. Who knows if that extra third letter would’ve made a difference on a scholarship,” said senior Madison Russell.
Senior Claire Winegarner was also disappointed sophomores were only now just being recognized.
“I think it’s great that they’re getting recognized, but I wish I had that opportunity as a sophomore,” said Winegarner.
Some students might not know that OP was the only high school in our district to not award sophomores with this honor.
“One reason [sophomores are being included this year is for Oak Park] to be more in line with the other high schools in our district, but our main reason was to really honor our students here who are consistently semester after semester excelling in the classroom,” said assistant principal Molly Smith.
What upset other students was the new change to having the ceremony in the morning instead of in the evening.
“I think it’s shortsighted, it’s less inviting to parents ‘cause most of them can’t take off, plus I have class where I can’t afford to miss,” said senior Ali Ishkuntana.
Some students even thought the letter they got in the mail notifying them of the time the ceremony was going to start was a typo.
“When I first got the letter in the mail, I thought it was a typo. I was surprised to hear that it was actually going to be in the morning instead of the evening considering a lot of parents work and wont be able to come,” said senior Lauren Boeding.
The administrators have an answer for this dilemma as well.
“The Academic Awards Ceremony is about student recognition. We moved the ceremony to the morning in an attempt to have a higher participation from the students being recognized,” said Smith.