During the upcoming school year, Eminence High School will hand out the varsity letter E to more than its athletes, EHS Principal Steve Frommeyer said. Now, students who participate in academic competitions will receive the varsity letter as well.
The change came about to put as much emphases on academics as athletics, and was officially started with students last spring. Originally, the policy at Eminence was students had to participate in a Kentucky High School Athletic Association sport at the varsity level to get a letter — except for cheerleaders, who could earn a letter even though cheerleading is not affiliated with KHSAA. Now, those that compete on the academic teams will be eligible at the end of their seasons, too.
“It’s been well received by the school community and the students’ parents,” said Frommeyer, who also coaches the football and track teams. “In no way are we diminishing the athletic teams, we just wanted the view that they are both important. To us, it was a common-sense thing to recognize what the academic teams achieve as well.”
The notion was first brought up last spring when Eminence’s Odyssey of the Mind Club, which provides creative problem-solving opportunities in competition for children of all ages, had 20 students participate in the World Finals in Maryland. The Club made a proposal to the Eminence High School Site-Based Council to allow its members to receive a varsity letter. Frommeyer then asked the Site-Based Council, which included three teachers, two parents and one administrator, to make all academic teams eligible to receive a letter, and they agreed to both proposals.
“It just made sense that if we were going to do it for one, we should include everybody on all the academic teams,” Frommeyer explained.
Eminence awarded its academic teams with letters last spring, while this will be the first full school year the new procedure will be followed. Frommeyer does not know if other school systems have given letters to academic teams before, or if they will follow.
“Usually, in a situation like this we look at other schools around the area to see what they’re doing,” Frommeyer said. “But this was a time we decided to do it for our kids regardless if anyone else was doing it or not.”
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