Changes will be instituted in the most coveted honors at Monett High School.
Beginning next month, the winner of the homecoming queen will not be announced until the coronation at Burl Fowler Stadium.
"For several years, we've had discussions on this," said Principal David Steward. "It's been an incremental step. I met with the Student Senate this summer, and before I finished the segue, the kids said, 'We want to change it.'"
As part of the drama of having homecoming royalty, Steward said the students wanted to have the suspense of not knowing until the last moment. The afternoon pep assembly will still be held but will only include an introduction of the court.
The announcement of the royal court will include three seniors, all of whom will be in the running for the crown. The process will also free the girls from the tradition of the queen buying a only white dress. Steward said all the girls can choose white or something else entirely.
The crowning will take place about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. The same process will be repeated for the Rose queen during basketball season.
The most sought after honor among the students, that of valedictorian and salutatorian, will be eliminated with the 2013-14 school year.
"We don't want to only recognize two students when you have a big graduating class where the top 10 percent is within a statistical point of each other," Steward said.
Around 50 percent of high schools, particularly on the east and west coasts, have abandoned the practice of recognizing only the top graduates. Steward said the real problem is students have chosen to take advanced placement classes that will keep them in the running for one of the top spots, rather than choosing courses that applies to their field of study in college.
"Students choose what fits their career or choose a class to get a trophy," Steward said.
College admission will not be affected by the decision. Steward said transcripts will still show a student's class rank, and colleges and universities will look at that in deciding whether or not to accept an applicant.
"The title is inconsequential to colleges," Steward said. "We're not the first in the area to do this. Bolivar did away with the top titles about 10 years ago. We didn't go about these decisions lightly."
There will still be two speakers at graduation. Steward said the top 10 percent of the graduating class will be asked to volunteer to speak. If more than two offer to speak, the entire graduating class will vote on who will give the speeches.
Since the present class has expected to have a valedictorian and salutatorian, the change will not be instituted until next year.