Salida High School's top-ranking senior will be allowed to moderate graduation exercises Friday despite burglary charges filed against him, the School Board has ruled.

Principal Bob Carrick had decided to keep Dan Arnett from acting as moderator during the ceremony because of the charges, but the Shool Board overrode his decision during a meeting Tuesday, the Salida Mountain Mail reported.

The board released a statement acknowledging a longstanding tradition of having the senior with the highest grade-point average moderate the graduation exercises.

"The board further feels this position is based solely on academic achievement and is not an issue of character," the statement said.

Arnett and three fellow students face charges of felony burglary, theft and conspiracy following the April 14 theft of beer from a restaurant in Salida. Arnett is scheduled to appear in Chaffee County Court on June 5 to be advised of the charges.

Arnett has the highest grade-point average in his class and participated in football, basketball, baseball and numerous academic clubs and activities.