How can a school pick just one valedictorian? Someone’s feelings might get hurt! What else should we expect from a generation which was raised to believe everyone deserves a trophy just for participating?

Bill Briggs of NBC News reports.

We’re all No. 1! Is 21 valedictorians too many?

When the seniors say farewell to South Medford High in Oregon next weekend, one of the school’s 21 valedictorians will lead the flag salute, another valedictorian will recite the history of the 365-member class, and a third will introduce the keynote speaker. But all 21 can enjoy a sweet piece of the ceremony, if they choose.

At Enterprise High in Alabama, the valedictorians — all 34 of them — plucked names from a hat to gain coveted speaking spots during their commencement earlier this month. And at Bluffton High in Ohio, more than 10 percent of this year’s 84-member senior class carried the title “valedictorian.”

As graduation season peaks, numerous high schools are rightfully praising their clusters of valedictorians yet also forsaking a time and tradition when just one elite student received that honor — along with the lone ranking of No. 1 in class. In fact, at South Medford High, all of those 21 valedictorians can tell colleges they are No. 1 in their class.

This is where “New School” has crushed “Old School.” And this is where college administrators say they are growing increasingly suspicious about the surge in applicants who boast the laurels of “valedictorian” and “head of class.”

“Yes, it has definitely watered things down a little bit,” said Jim Rawlins, president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “Definitely, the more ultra-selective universities have to be more critical and skeptical of class ranks than before.

“The question is: Where do you cross the line?