Texas cheerleader stripped of valedictorian title — might lose scholarship — over ‘miscalculation’

A Texas high school cheerleader was snubbed from valedictorian honors and could lose her scholarship all due to a miscalculation while her family booked plane tickets to watch the speech.

Maya Veliz, a senior at Blue Ridge High School in the northeast corner of Texas, was officially announced as the school’s top student in March after working hard towards the feat over the last four years.

“It had been, like, the one goal I set myself for the beginning of my freshman year, was, I can do this,” Veliz told WFAA.

Veliz starred on the school’s cheerleading squad and was recognized by the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program for her academic achievements.

As Veliz progressed toward her dream, administrators allegedly told the student consistently that she was on track to be valedictorian as long as she didn’t fail a class.

High school cheerleader, Maya Veliz was stripped of her title as valedictorian because of a miscalculation by the school. WFAA

Veliz’s family also prepared themselves for the once-in-a-lifetime graduation moment.

The senior had written her speech and family members outside the country had purchased their plane tickets. But the plans went out the window after Blue Ridge High School Principal Trent Hamilton called the high schooler about the error.

Hamilton informed Veliz about a miscalculation with her GPA and transfer credits from a different school which meant she was third in her class instead of valedictorian.

“To hear those words not even 30 days before graduation was gut-wrenching,” she cried.

Veliz progressed toward her dream, as school administrators allegedly told the student consistently that she was on track to be valedictorian as long as she didn’t fail a class. WFAA
The school uncovered the mistake while following up on state law concerning student class ranks and grades. WFAA

Veliz, who was taking dual credits and AP honors throughout high school, had transferred from a school in Frisco in 2022 as a junior and some of the classes offered at her former institute weren’t offered at Blue Ridge High, according to People.

The credits Veliz earned at her previous school were not weighed under the district’s transfer policy that’s been in place for seven years, according to WFAA.

“I would understand if this was a policy that’s been in effect for a year or two that they weren’t familiar with,” the high schooler’s father Jorge Veliz said.

Veliz, who planned on attending the University of Texas, may also lose out on the scholarship she was lined up to receive.

Students who graduated atop of their class from accredited Texas high schools receive a tuition waiver for their freshman year of college, according to the Texas Education Agency.

“I now don’t have that stability,” she told the outlet.

“This is something I wouldn’t want any kid to deal with or any parent,” Jorge Veliz, added.

The frustrated father said he has been in contact with the school over the last year, to ensure her daughter’s transfer wouldn’t affect her position in her grade.

Veliz says the phone call from Principal Trent Hamilton was “gut-wrenching.” Blue Ridge ISD
Veliz, who planned on attending the University of Texas, may also lose out on the scholarship she was lined up to receive as her school’s valedictorian. WFAA

He even asked if his daughter had to take summer courses to maintain her class rank.

The school district said it completed the review of Veliz’s grades to comply with state law.

“Blue Ridge ISD has investigated this private student matter and communicated with the parents. The district reviews academic achievement, grade calculations, and class rank during this time period each year in accordance with applicable state law and board policies EIC and EIC Local,” a district spokesperson said to WFAA.

“Miscalculations were originally made when finalizing GPA and Class Rank; then corrected to ensure compliance with both of those board policies.  All students affected have been notified.  And in addition, plans have been initiated to ensure that a mistake like this does not take place in the future.  Any further specific student information cannot be discussed pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.” 

The district assured plans had been initiated to ensure that a mistake like this does not take place in the future. WFAA

The heartbroken student says she is not planning on attending the graduation ceremonies.

“This affects my future,” she said. “And I do not wish that upon anyone else.” 

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