I don't agree that only these two people get recognized and acknowledged within the school or at graduation specifically. I graduated less than ten years ago and people with honors, high honors, and highest honors were all acknowledged on the written graduation program. Besides the valedictorian and salutatorian, the entire top ten students had their pictures posted in school and were recognized by name at graduation. Additionally, there were numerous other awards presented at the graduation which recognized young people for great qualities that perhaps weren't based on academic achievement alone.
Also, have they changed how things work with respect to transfer students? The salutatorian in my graduating class had transferred into SHS during high school." Nov 28, 12 4:05 PM