ALPINE, TX – A recent graduate at Alpine High School is suing the school after she claims they miscalculated her GPA and possibly costing her the valedictorian spot this year.
According to Dalee Sullivan, she ranked third at this year's graduation but says she does not trust how the school added up her grades. She alleges the difference between herself and the valedictorian is less than a point.
During an interview with local media, Sullivan says she spent weeks trying to figure out why the GPA on her transcript didn't follow the school's policies.
According to Sullivan, in the GPA calculation, the school included a Physics course, which was not a requirement for graduation. Inversely, the school did not count a Federal Government class that Sullivan says should have been counted.
Sullivan also alleges the school only counted one semester of British Literature, when she took two semesters.
“They’re counting it for the first semester, but not the second,” said Sullivan. “So, there’s just no clear following of the rules.”
In an affidavit, Superintendent Becky McCutchen acknowledged that at first the grades were not weighted according to the updated grading policy. McCutchen also stated that even after the calculations were remade Sullivan still ranked third.
“And as of right now, we truly believe everything we have done has been legal,” said McCutchen.
Sullivan is currently representing herself after area lawyers asked for more than $75,000 to take her case.
“I swear it’s like I graduated law school this year having to pine through all these documents,” said Sullivan. “Something that an 18-year-old shouldn’t have to do.”
For Sullivan, proving the error could mean the difference in paying higher rates of tuition or being eligible for certain scholarships.
"I can’t help but wonder if that’s why I haven’t received certain acceptances or certain scholarships,” said Sullivan.
Even though a judge denied Sullivan's request for a third-party audit, he ruled Sullivan can continue with the grievance process.
This will require the school Alpine High School to provide Sullivan with a written response explaining how they calculated the class ranking. Sullivan can also take her case before the Alpine ISD School Board.
“I can’t give it up. I have to fight this until I know it’s correct. And if that means I remain in third, I’ll accept that but not until everything is correct and all the policies have been followed.”