Etowah High School, in Woodstock, Georgia, recently announced its valedictorian. She’s Kelly McCahill. Congratulations, Kelly.

The trouble, however, is that young Miss McCahill has never actually been to Etowah High School. According to an article by Nancy Badertscher in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

McCahill is a dual-enrollment student who studies at [the University of] West Georgia and has never attended Etowah High.

Some parents and students at Etowah are upset that the honor isn’t going to senior Sydney Perlotto, who has been No. 1 in her class since her freshman year but has now fallen to second behind McCahill.

The Cherokee County school board is discussing changing its policy on how GPA is calculated, effective for the next school year. The system currently assigns a 100 for any college A but has an exact numerical grade for students in its high school classes. Perlotto’s father complains that rules from the state also give double credit for a dually enrolled student’s college work. Cherokee County’s policy states that a dually enrolled student is eligible to be valedictorian.

The president of the University of West Georgia, Beheruz Sethna, tried to placate angry Etowah families. McCahill, he assured them, was “hard-working and deserving” of the honor. This is not exactly reassuring.

No one argued that McCahill was lazy. She’s obviously very hard working. She is, however, not a high school student. That’s why people object to her being the high school valedictorian. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer