Top 25 is determined for class of 2021


Every year, just 25 seniors are honored with a distinct ceremony in recognition of their sustained academic excellence throughout high school. These are the “Top 25” students in their graduating class. 

According to Deputy Principal Gayle Kimbrough, the Top 25 is determined by the students with the 25 highest cumulative grade point averages (GPA), making up the top five percent of the class. 

To earn a place in the Top 25, a student typically must excel in every class they have taken and have a transcript heavily composed of weighted courses, including IB, AP and CCP classes. 

Taking on such an intense course load can be very demanding and requires a high level of diligence, coupled with an unwavering focus on academics. 

“My ambition and dedication helped me obtain a spot in the Top 25,” senior Zachary Geiger said. “Without these two characteristics, I would not have achieved this success in high school.” 

Those qualities and more have helped Geiger, as well as the others in the Top 25, maintain high grades for their entire high school careers. Though this feat is characteristic of Top 25 students, it is not limited to just those 25. 

In fact, almost the top 100 students have a weighted GPA above 4.00. This makes it incredibly difficult for administrators to draw a definitive, yet arbitrary line at 25 students when the Top 25 comes down to the decimals. 

“Being in the Top 25 is a testament to how hard one has worked, but it is not just those students who have worked super hard,” Kimbrough said. 

Though a multitude of seniors deserve to be recognized for their success as well, the tradition of honoring the Top 25 will continue to operate the way it has for over 20 years. 

As a reward for all their hard work, Top 25 students are recognized with a banquet in the spring of their senior year. 

At this banquet, each student honors an “Outstanding Educator” that has made an impact on them throughout their school career. 

“The significance of this is that while recognizing the students for their success, it also gives them an opportunity to think of other people who have helped them along the way and had a positive impact on them,” Kimbrough said. 

Picking an educator to recognize is always a major concern for the students because only one student can honor an educator. Also, many students find it difficult to select just one educator that has made a difference in their life. 

“I picked the teacher who I can talk to about any challenge or event in my life,” Geiger said. 

Once each student has chosen their outstanding educator, they write a short speech about how that individual has contributed to their life and present it at the banquet. 

As with all recent school events, the Top 25 banquet will take on a new look this year due to COVID-19 guidelines. Normal precautions will be taken, including the enforcement of mask-wearing and social distancing. There are also some additional changes that will be implemented for this year’s banquet. 

According to Kimbrough, the banquet will be held in the high school theatre rather than First Christian Church. There will also not be a traditional meal that is served at the start of the ceremony. Instead, our school’s catering team will be making to-go boxes of appetizers for all guests. 

“I believe we are still going to hold the integrity of recognizing these graduates,” Kimbrough said. “It will just be a little different.” 

Safety is the top priority, and the administration has certainly devoted time to planning this event in a safe, but still enjoyable way. 

With the banquet fast approaching, administrators are looking forward to celebrating the Top 25. Consequently, these students are anticipating this culminating event of their sustained dedication to academics.