Not enough prestige for Crossman winners

Outside of Duncan, most schools’ highest honor given to a student is that of valedictorian. This honor is yearly bestowed upon the top student in the senior class who normally has a 4.0 GPA and is a respected, well rounded student. Duncan, however, has its own special version of the valedictorian title. This would be the Crossman award.

The Crossman award is given to one senior who teachers have first recommended and the students have voted for. The award is named after Crossman Insurance, a former business in Stillwater that shut down during World War II. And although most people in Duncan know what the Crossman is, though they have probably forgotten its origins, most people outside of Duncan have no idea what the Crossman is. Therefore, colleges look at the words “Crossman award winner” on a student’s college application and think “okay …?”

So, really, this award doesn’t help the senior who gets it in any way; they don’t get a scholarship, and most colleges have no idea what kind of “prestige” is associated with the award so they don’t care. If the administration really wanted to reward a respectable senior who deserves recognition for being a great student, they would give them an award that would actually help them outside of Duncan.

Not to say that it’s not an honor to receive this award; it really is, and the seniors who are nominated are fantastic students who deserve recognition for their hard work. Another reason why the Crossman isn’t a great tradition anymore is because the choosing of the winner is corrupt. Although the teachers first choose the nominees based on a set characteristics such as leadership and initiative, the entire student body then votes who deserves the award. Since most students vote based on who their friend is or whose name they hear the most, the nomination for Crossman is just a popularity contest. And just because someone is popular, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily are the best choice for the Crossman award winner.