Extinguishing Distinguished Students


Ferris McIntyre, senior, stands alone in the former Distinguished Student line.

Due to the new state-mandated Common Core standards, Cam High’s distinguished student program is coming to a close. The new standards eliminate the STAR test, which the distinguished student scores were based off of. As a result, several privileges previously given were revoked, including senior off-campus lunch passes and a special lunch line.

“I feel like this is taking away a lot of the things we’re used to, like the lunch line,” said senior Hunter Castanon. “Now everyone’s going to have to wait, and it’s going to be a (pain).”

The distinguished lunch line was taken away for a reason outside the change in standards: a ‘special treatment’ law regarding food and other necessities. “There wasn’t equal access to food,” said Cam High assistant principal, Mr. Tom Ito. “It isn’t fair to allow some kids to get their food before others,” but many students oppose this decision. “All that my friends and I cared about in the distinguished program was the lunch line, and now we don’t have that,” said junior Marie Eamiguel. “I miss it.”

Many seniors are furious about the off campus lunch passes being taken away. Some students view it as a decline in the way the school rewards their academic achievements. “I think it’s ridiculous. We should definitely have the passes because we all went into the STAR test thinking that we would get them,” said senior Alexis Kallen. “The school didn’t follow through. I feel like we worked hard for no reason.”

Officials say the old distinguished student program should soon be replaced with a new one. “I don’t think there is enough we can give to the seniors,” said Ito. “Hopefully the new program will start soon. The kids should know what they have to work for.”

Once entitlements like the Distinguished Student Award get locked in place, they become hard to remove it without some degree of frustration. The question for Cam High’s students, however, is what, if anything, will take its place.