Does the Wall of Fame Deserve Your Name?


With more than half of the 2022-2023 academic year over, high school classes are in full swing. AP classes are beginning to ramp up in difficulty as exams are only about two months away. As in years past, many juniors and seniors have selected to take several AP classes. Lots of seniors hope to strengthen their transcripts by taking challenging courses, while juniors attempt to pass six or more AP in order to attain placement on Hinsdale South’s “Wall of Fame,” which features the names of current seniors who passed six or more AP exams their junior year.

However, in recent months, the importance of the “Wall of Fame” has been questioned by many students. Senior Jamila Nadine Booc shared, “It’s great to be recognized for my effort and academic achievements, but it’s not my favorite thing to be featured.” Booc continued, explaining that the “Wall of Fame” is not the best way to honor excelling students who may be introverted. 

“Every time a person mentions me being on the Wall of Fame, I am ambivalent. I’m honored and proud of my accomplishments, yet I don’t know if I want all the attention”, said Booc. 

Other students have suggested an alternative approach: retaining the overall concept of the Wall of Fame but modifying its specific requirements. 

Contrary to Booc, Junior Nikolas Giannakopoulos perceived the Wall of Fame to be an academic motivator. 

“I think the Wall of Fame can be good for motivating kids to take harder classes their junior year”, stated Giannakopoulos. 

 A lot of times, students lose their motivation to strive for academic success, especially when classes become very stressful and exhausting. The Wall of Fame has been a common motivator for all students that want to continue their academic success. 

At the same time, the current requirement of passing six AP tests in order to achieve placement on the wall is very demanding. 

Giannakopoulos remarked that “taking both AP Micro and AP Macro or doubling up on AP Bio and AP Chem [junior year] is a huge jump for kids who only took honors or just a few AP classes.” 

Currently enrolled in six AP classes, Giannakopoulos often describes to his friends and classmates the lack of sleep he gets and the sheer quantity of work he must complete nightly.

Instead, Giannakopoulos proposes an alternate solution: changing the requirement from passing six AP exams to either four or five exams.

This would, according to him, “[still] follow the natural path of taking the AP version of recommended classes for students who want to receive college credit without overwhelming them to a point of exhaustion.”

The Wall of Fame is a cherished Hinsdale South tradition, and thus it is important for students to admire its history and view placement on it as something to be cherished and sought after. Yet, it remains as controversial a topic as ever. It is important for Hinsdale South administration to honor past school traditions of academic excellence while also meeting the contemporary needs of students, and therefore should thoroughly consider revising what requirements the Wall of Fame should have and what this should entail for students.