GRCHS graduation to be May 28
After nearly a year of separation from friends and teachers, George Rogers Clark High School’s graduating seniors are all going to get to be together in one place to celebrate their big achievement.
There will be one graduation ceremony, at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 28, at the school’s new Cardinal Stadium.
The original plan had been to divide the students into two groups to have two socially distanced graduation ceremonies because of COVID-19 concerns. But the Board of Education, after hearing from students and parents at a meeting last month, made the commitment to purchase a covering for the football field for the stage and to spread chairs out around the field as well as seat people in the stands so that they could bring the graduates and their families together.
At an emergency meeting on April 23, board members voted unanimously to purchase the protective mat at a cost of between $160,000 and $190,000. The proposal was brought before the board by Superintendent Paul Christy and the director of the school district’s physical plant, Donald Stump.
At the board’s previous meeting on April 19, several speakers made their case for one graduation ceremony.
“The kids deserve something as a whole. They haven’t been whole for two years,” said Latisha Fultz, mother of a graduating senior.
Figure out a way to do it, she said.
All the students have been thinking about is graduation day, senior Erica Berry said.
“Honestly, I think that should break you-all’s hearts,” she added.
School officials got the message.
“If we’re going to do this, I think we should do it the best that we can do, make it as nice as we can make it,” Christy said.
The superintendent suggested purchasing plywood, but Board Chair Ashley Ritchie said Wednesday school officials decided to buy the field covering instead.
School officials are expecting about 4,000 people for the event, including about 360-380 seniors.
According to the schedule published in Smoke Signals, GRC’s online student newspaper, the baccalaureate ceremony will be at Calvary Christian Church at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. The senior luncheon will be at the school’s auxiliary gym on May 18 at 11 a.m. Senior field day is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 24. Seniors’ sunrise breakfast is from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on May 25.
Mandatory graduation rehearsals are scheduled for 8:35 a.m. on May 24 and May 25, 8:30 on May 27, and 9 a.m. on May 28.
Rain dates for the graduation ceremony are May 29 and May 30.