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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rock Hill Schools Complete Graduation Without Incident

The three Rock Hill Schools completed graduation on Saturday without incident - one person shouted out a name and there were a few hollers during the Pomp and Circumstance march - but that is excellent in today's climate, with 1,076 students participating (unofficial rate of 82%) and guests in excess of 4,000 - it was a great day! The three schools reported scholarship totals in excess of 15.7 million dollars.

Having three graduations in one day, gives you an opportunity to decide what you like and don't like. I like that each school does things a little differently. Here is what I thought worked well and what I'd like to ad:
  • Slide show of the seniors on the scoreboard before graduation was great. I'd include the school jazz band and/or orchestra to provide entertainment as well. A lot of folks there just don't know how good those groups are.
  • Have the ROTC flag bearings bring up the end of the Pomp and Circumstance march and stop in front of podium until after the Star-Spangled Banner, then take the flags up on the stage.
  • I'd create a District Sceptre, and have the school's Teacher of the Year (or teacher selected by the graduating class) lead the procession down and place it on the platform. They would then lead the recession at the end of the program.
  • I'd have the principals speak less and let the student leaders communicate what they (the principals) are now doing.
  • Having all students together on the floor and announcing their accomplishments when their name is called works great. I'd have the student speakers return to seats with their classmates after speaking (none of the schools do this now).
  • One speaker to announce all the names works great - 3 to 5 seconds per name.
  • Only have two people on stage to greet the graduates - one to give them the diploma and one to shake hands - we have way too many doing this now.
  • I would start the recession shortly after greeting the new graduates - each school tries to do something afterward - but for the most part it gets drowned out by noise.

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