Two black students took home honors from the school. Then came the calls for a recount.


The parents of the newly appointed Promotion Major and Salvator walked out of the ceremony, aware that Emma Berry and her father were upset, but were not thinking about it. The next day, however, Emma and Dominic’s parents did their own homework.

“We found the 2020-2021 manual,” Berry said. “It all boiled down to the manual.

The problem was how to calculate who the top two students were. Ikeria and Layla won based on a cumulative grade point average calculation or QPA, a grade calculation system that gives extra weight to advanced internships and dual credit courses. But, it turned out that Dominic and Emma were the top two based on the GPA.

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Join Michael Barbaro and the “The Daily” team as they celebrate students and teachers who end a year like no other with a special live event. Meet students from Odessa High School, which was the subject of a Times audio documentary series. We’ll even get some noise with a performance by the award-winning Odessa Marching Band Drum Line and a special celebrity opening keynote.

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The parents of the two white students had discussions with Burnell McDonald, the superintendent of West Point schools, complaining that the school did not follow its own rules for calculating the rank of the class.

Based on the West Point High School student handbook and after speaking with white parents, Mr. McDonald, who is black, concluded that the class ranking should be calculated based on the cumulative grade point average, which would have made the two white students the winners.

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The day before graduation, Mr. McDonald informed Dominic and Emma’s parents: He was adding the two white students as co-honoraries – Dominic was now co-purchaser and Emma was co-Salvationatorian.

Mr McDonald also allowed two missing grades – which a teacher had not recorded in the system – to be added to the final grade in one of Emma’s classes, after a deadline and after the party. awards ceremony for seniors.

Mr Berry said the added notes for Emma did not change the outcome.

Once the decision was made, race was not the only issue raised.


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