06/08/07 — Graduates will turn tassels at ceremonies across the county

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Graduates will turn tassels at ceremonies across the county

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 8, 2007 1:46 PM

School's out for summer.

Private schools finished up last month, while public school students have been busily completing end-of-grade tests and end-of-course exams.

This week has been filled with field days, award ceremonies, and report card distribution at the elementary and middle school level, preparation for graduation at the high school level.

Wayne County Public Schools dismissed early on Thursday, with six graduation ceremonies planned around the county tonight and Saturday morning. Three ceremonies are being held outdoors.

Eastern Wayne High ceremonies start at 6 p.m. today in the football stadium, with 281 graduation candidates. At 6:30, Goldsboro High ceremonies will take place in the school gymnasium, with 110 students graduating.

Three ceremonies will take place at 7. Charles B. Aycock will graduate 295 students in the football stadium; Rosewood High, with 117 students graduating, in Branch Pope Field; and Southern Wayne High, with 236 students graduating, in Kornegay Arena at Mount Olive College.

Spring Creek High will also hold ceremonies in Kornegay Arena, with 111 seniors graduating. Their event will be on Saturday morning at 11.

At presstime, there was no contingency plan in place in the event of rain.

But officials did offer a primer for those attending graduation ceremonies.

The students have already been advised to dress appropriately and arrive early for line-up. But parents and guests should also do the same.

"Make sure to be there early, with tickets," said Ken Derksen, public relations officer with the school system. "Please don't try to sneak additional guests in. There's only limited space, and we want to make sure each student has the appropriate number of guests."

Commencement is a serious occasion, Derksen said, and should be treated as such.

"Please be respectful -- wait until the end for applause," he said. "We ask that parents hold off on yelling while their graduate's name is being read so that every family has the opportunity to hear their student's name.

"This is such a sacred moment for the graduates. We appreciate that guests take that into consideration when their child is recognized."

Photos can be taken during the ceremonies, Derksen said, but within designated areas.

"We appreciate them trying to get photos from their seats but try not to block aisles or be on the floor or on the field so it doesn't detract from the ceremony," he said.

Such guidelines are not meant to discourage, but rather to ensure everyone can better enjoy their child's graduation, Derksen said.

"We want this to be a moment that our graduates and their families remember forever," he said. "Our students have worked hard for 13 years to get to this point. We would hate for something to take away from this sacred ceremony."