“Texas Cheerleader Holds Private Graduation After Being Stripped of Valedictorian Title”

"Texas Cheerleader Holds Private Graduation After Being Stripped of Valedictorian Title"
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In a heart­warm­ing dis­play of resilience, Maya Veliz, a Texas high school stu­dent who was stripped of her vale­dic­to­ri­an title due to a “mis­cal­cu­la­tion” by her school, held a pri­vate grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny with her family.

The 2024 grad­u­ate of Blue Ridge High School in north Texas was orig­i­nal­ly announced as the vale­dic­to­ri­an in March. How­ev­er, the school lat­er said they had made an error involv­ing trans­fer cred­its from anoth­er school, which caused her grade point aver­age (GPA) to drop and demote her to third in her class.

Unde­terred, Maya’s fam­i­ly decid­ed to host a pri­vate grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny on Thurs­day, sep­a­rate from the school’s cel­e­bra­tion. There, the cheer­leader was able to deliv­er the speech she had pre­pared as the intend­ed valedictorian.

“It was great. She gave her speech,” Maya’s father, Jorge Veliz, told The New York Post.

In her planned speech, Maya had expressed her hon­or at being named vale­dic­to­ri­an, shar­ing how “fail­ure has made me who I am today and to have found suc­cess and per­se­vere regard­less of the outcome.”

The Veliz fam­i­ly had received a call from the school’s prin­ci­pal, Trent Hamil­ton, in April about the GPA mis­cal­cu­la­tion and trans­fer cred­it issue. Maya had trans­ferred from a school in Frisco, Texas, in 2022 when she was a junior, and some of her class­es did not align with Blue Ridge High School’s policies.

“She feels sad, she feels left out. They’ve always had her be part of any kind of event at school. They had her give a speech dur­ing last year’s grad­u­a­tion,” Jorge Veliz said at the time.

Despite the school’s admis­sion of the error, they stood by their deci­sion and said they would not change their posi­tion. The dis­trict cit­ed com­pli­ance with state law and board poli­cies as the rea­son for the change.

In a heart­warm­ing twist, an anony­mous view­er of the local news cov­er­age of Maya’s sto­ry paid for her first year at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas, pro­vid­ing a bright spot in the midst of the disappointment.

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