The change comes each spring.
Hundreds of high school seniors don robes and mortarboards and become something new. With the flip of a tassel, they turn from mere students into high school graduates.
Typically, as parents cheer and teachers beam, the most studious and hard-working among the graduates receive special awards to honor their achievements.
Here are faces of students who this graduation season were honored for the highest academic achievement in their high schools, the valedictorians and salutatorians.