SHS Recognizes Need for Academic Hall of Fame


Lydia Jacoby, Journalist

Walking through Seward High School, the plaques and trophies lining the walls are evident to all who enter. Looking closer, one will realize that every award represents athletic achievement. Of course, athletes deserve recognition, but so do the school’s intellectual proteges. 

“Life isn’t all about sports… I think, especially in high school, they are given way too much priority,” says senior, Madilyn Moore. Junior, Tegan Retzer seconded Moore’s statement, adding insight into the lack of academic recognition in the school. 

“It often feels like students aren’t recognized for their academic achievements at the same level as athletics. I know several students who have won huge awards or done special projects that I would have never known about if it hadn’t been for us being friends,” Retzer claims.

Sophomore, Grant Hinders adds that he believes an academic hall of fame “would make the school more inclusive.” He furthered the discussion by adding that awards should only be given to “students whose achievements have surpassed the school’s expectations.”

Junior, Max Pfieffenberger contradicts his schoolmates statements, saying that the “valedictorian and salutatorian get recognized at graduation, and [he] [thinks] that’s enough.”  

“I think academic achievements are recognized,” maintains Pfieffenberger. “I don’t think there should be a hall of fame for academics.”

Contrary to his assertions, however, teachers and coaches commend the idea of further academic recognition for their students. 

Athletic director, gym teacher, and boys basketball varsity coach Al Plan puts an emphasis on the need for academic awards, stating, “academics should totally be recognized!”

Dan Marshall–English teacher of twenty-eight years–expands on proposed criteria for hall of fame nominees. “It is generally accepted that those awards would display a life commitment to excellence in work, their study, their personal lives, and their relationships,” he says. “Nominees must have proven themselves worthy, years beyond high school.”

Interviews came to a halt with Madilyn Moore’s wise line, “You can only play a sport for so long. Eventually you’ll get old and physically unable, but the knowledge in your brain can last pretty much forever.” Academic achievement has infinite value, and it is time that Seward High School recognizes the most accomplished of its many successful alumni.