Some of the top graduates in Harford County high schools will address their classmates during commencement exercises to be held this week, starting with John Carroll High School this morning.
More than 2,130 seniors will graduate from 10 public schools and two private schools in the county.
Valedictorians and, at some schools, salutatorians will join the keynote speakers on the platforms.
Valedictorians and salutatorians are the students with the highest and second highest grade-point averages in their classes. When factoring in grades in advanced placement courses, students can achieve averages higher than a 4.0, the normal straight-A average.
The races for the top spots at Edgewood and Fallston high schools are so close that officials there are waiting for teachers to grade final exams and calculate final grades this week before naming the honorees.
"Final quarter grades could change things," said Edgewood Principal Robert C. Williams. Five students at Edgewood have grade-point averages ranging from 4.11 to 4.16, he said.
At Fallston, five students with averages ranging from 4.17 to 4.25 are in contention, according to Principal Robert B. Pfau.
"It's great that we have that many doing so well," he said.
All the schools name valedictorians, and six also name salutatorians.
* Aberdeen: valedictorian, Mary Ishibashi; salutatorian, Shannon D. Hagy.
* Bel Air:-- valedictorian, Amie Wang.
* C. Milton Wright: valedictorian, David Bindel.
* Harford Christian: valedictorian, Jennifer D. Groff; salutatorian, Suzanne M. Akers.
* Harford Technical: valedictorian, Michelle Woods; salutatorian, William Grafton.
* Havre de Grace: valedictorian, Michael A. Clark; salutatorian, Amy L. Wiest.
* John Carroll: valedictorian, Katherine Lannon; salutatorian, Mark Ionescu.
* Joppatowne: valedictorians, Eva Pierorazio and Jolie Lassahn.
* North Harford: valedictorian, Dawn N. Harrison; salutatorian, Erin K. Chaney.