Senior Academic Awards Ceremony

Every year certain seniors get their own academic awards ceremony to be recognized by the district for specific achievements. The awards are categorized by the following:

The first is THE PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE: The students that receive this award must have attained a minimum or a 3.5 unweighted GPA since 9th grade, received a score of 85% or above on nationally recognized standardized tests and completed at least 12 higher level courses in different units.

The second is the FOURTH YEAR ACADEMIC LETTER: To obtain this, the student must have previously received first, second and third year academic letters by earning 3 units of semester A’s with no semester grade below a B and or have a 4.0 GPA. Fourth year letters are awarded for a minimum of 1.5 units of A at the end of first semester senior year and or 4.0 GPA.

The third is the: BOARD OF REGENTS RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE: (for completing the Kansas Scholars Curriculum): awarded to those students who have completed the Board of Regents’ Kansas Scholars Curriculum recommended program of studies for college-bound students and scholarship consideration.

The fourth award is the STATE OF KANSAS SCHOLAR: These are students who are recognized for outstanding performance(s) in the State of Kansas Scholarship Program competition as determined by the composite score attained from the ACT test, GPA and completion of the State of Kansas Curriculum.

The final (fifth award) that the students could receive is the KANSAS ACT SCHOLAR AWARD: These students receive a certificate in recognition of a composite score of 32 or above on the ACT.

This year, West has done the ceremony a little differently. Every year prior to now this event has taken place at night and every year the school has noticed a low attendance rate. Being that West was the only school that continued doing it at night, the administration wanted to see how everything would go during the day instead.

“Over the last few years we have noticed fewer and fewer students coming,” principal Dr. McLean said “they’re seniors, they’re busy and we get that but this is done in their honor.”

McClean and the administration decided since they are the only Shawnee Mission school to do it at night, that is why attendance is low.

“If fewer students are coming we thought, looking at other schools who do it during the day since we are the only ones who do it at night, this would be a good reason to try doing this during the day time” McLean said.

The plus to doing it during the school morning is that the students are already here.

“The major benefit to this is the students have to come to school anyways so we could start the event right at 7:40 am, serve breakfast” McLean said.

Although, doing is so early does conflict with some parental work schedules that the night time ceremony did not.

“Now, the people that could be very upset about this being during the day is parents, especially if they have to take off of work” McLean said.

With having the ceremony in the morning for the first time, attendance rate was higher and the students enjoyed it.