Joshua Goldman graduated second in his class of 430 seniors, but did not deliver the salutatorian address during the June 9 graduation ceremony because of the way GPAs are calculated.
Weymouth High School graduate Joshua Goldman is among the best and brightest
students who live on the South Shore.
He achieved a perfect test score of 800 in mathematics on the SAT and helped
some of his peers understand number concepts while tutoring them.
Joshua graduated second in his class of 430 seniors, but did not deliver the salutatorian address during the June 9 graduation ceremony.
"Over the past week, he found out that he had actually been second in his
class and thus should have spoken as salutatorian at the commencement," said
Jessica Goldman, Joshua's brother, in a written statement to the News. "I am
shocked that the high school can so easily overlook someone who has put such
time and effort in his studies and deny him his moment at graduation."
Joshua learned he finished second in his class upon receiving a phone
message from Weymouth High Principal Marilyn Slattery last week.
"I don't understand how a high school administration does not know what a
student's grade point average is until after graduation," Jessica Goldman
told the News on Monday. "They called, left a message for my younger
brother, and said that you graduated second in the class, not third, and if
you have any questions, call the school."
Joshua could not be reached for comment before press time.
"I know he is disappointed," Jessica Goldman said. "He worked so hard to be
at that (grade point) level. He would have liked to have spoken at the
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mary Jo Livingstone said that a senior's
class rank upon graduating is determined at the end of the third term.
"When the grade point calculations were done at the end of the third marking
term, Joshua was ranked third in his class," Livingstone said on Tuesday.
"The reason it is done that way and we don't wait until the fourth term
grades are calculated is because there would not be enough time to notify
the (perspective) class valedictorian and salutatorian."
She said that administrators don't have the final grade point averages
tabulated until the day before graduation exercises.
"The fourth term grades close after the final exams are given," Livingstone
said. "These exams, along with makeup final exams, have to be scored, and
the results are not known until the day before graduation. There would not
be enough time to chose the valedictorian and salutatorian at that point."
She said that administrators determine a student's eligibility to be
valedictorian and salutatorian at the end of the third term to give them
time to prepare a speech.
"There are no plans to change the process," Livingstone said. "It would not
be fair to the students because a student needs time to prepare a speech if
named valedictorian or salutatorian. A student would not have enough time to
prepare a speech in just one day."
She said that a student's class rank changes little when the fourth term
grades are calculated.
"We don't recall ever having an event like this," Livingstone said.
She said that the school committee will salute Joshua's academic
accomplishments when it meets at Weymouth High School on June 28 at 7:30
"The Goldmans have been invited to come to the next school committee
meeting so we can recognize Joshua publicly for graduating second in his
class," Livingstone said.
Committee Chairman Sean Guilfoyle agreed that it is important to recognized
"Once we found out about what happened, we felt as a committee that Joshua
should be recognized," Guilfoyle said on Tuesday. "It is very important to
do so. I feel bad for Joshua with the grades closing so late in the school
year. He worked awfully hard to get to where he is at academically. The only
way to make things right is to recognize him at our next meeting to give him
the congratulations he deserves from the committee."
Ed Baker of the Weymouth News can be reached at email@example.com.