Graduation moved back to MVHS

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Graduation moved back to MVHS

Cynthia Mao

With less than a month until graduation, seniors received some unexpected news.

At lunch on Tuesday, May 10, all the seniors were called into the rally court for an announcement: They would be graduating at MVHS this year.

Because of the field construction, plans had previously been made for graduation to take place at Foothill College on June 8. But because of quick progress on the construction, as well as the exceptionally good weather this spring, field construction has been moving along at a speedy pace, and the field will be ready in time for graduation.

But while the field will be the site of graduation, it is still far from completion. According to Scott, stairs, ramps and safety measures will all be in place, but finishing touches like landscaping and the ticket booth will not. The current projected deadline for the grand reopening of the track and field on Jan. 7, 2013 still stands.

The senior class officers and administration had scheduled a meeting during fifth period that day and had a seemingly normal discussion about baccalaureate before taking what Assistant Principal Brad Metheany called a “field trip” to the field.

“[Metheany] actually messed with us a little,” said senior class vice president Craig Boman. “He was giving us reasons to tell people why we’re not having [graduation] at home.”

Then Principal April Scott dropped the big news.

“She said, ‘We are going to have graduation at home,’” Boman said. “We ran around and it was awesome and we took a lot of pictures.”

Superintendent Polly Bove had directed the construction company to focus its work on the upper field, and construction continued work despite some mud in the few rainy days this year. Because manpower was aimed toward the upper field, progress there is much farther along than on the lower field. Their efforts were, in a way, an extra gift to the class of 2012.

“[The Board and Trustees and Bove] were trying to provide something for the seniors,” Metheany said. “So they drove it, and when you’ve got the bosses of bosses driving that, that helps a bit.”

According to Boman, the senior class was elated to hear the news.

“[Telling the rest of the class at lunch] was really exciting,” he said. “We’re going to be the first class at [MVHS] to graduate on the new field which a lot of people think is really cool. Having underclassmen and juniors being able to come a lot [more easily is also a plus]. And just that whole spirit of being at Monta Vista.”

The new field will bring some changes to the way graduation has traditionally been held at the school. In the past, anyone could attend the ceremony; this year, each senior is receiving six tickets — which are required for attendance — to hand out to family and friends. Receiving a ticket, however, does not guarantee a seat. The new bleachers only seat around 2,500, while graduation attendance is usually around 4,000. Attendees are welcome to stand around the field, but those who want a seat will probably have to come early to claim one.

Because of the turf, girls will also not be allowed to wear high heels.

In addition, the continuing construction on the lower field means parking will be even more of an issue than usual this year. Last year, the lower field held over 200 parked cars; this year, attendees will have to look for other solutions. Kennedy Middle School and Lincoln Elementary School will both still be in session on June 8, so attendees will not be able to use those parking lots either. The school staff and faculty are planning to park in Blackberry Farm, and Metheany is encouraging seniors to carpool.

Seniors will first walk on the new fields on Monday, June 4 for the first day of graduation practice.

“On the 4th at 11:45, we’ll take the senior kids out there, set it up, and practice for an hour and a half,” Metheany said. “Tuesday, we’ll go at 8:45 in the morning and [practice] for two hours plus. Wednesday we’ll go, and Thursday we’ll go, and then Friday, we’ll do it for real.”

On Tuesday, May 14 at 10:22 p.m., a correction was made. Girls will not be allowed to wear high heels on the new field.

On Tuesday, May 14 at 10:56 p.m., a correction was made. “Scott” refers to principal April Scott.

On Wednesday, May 15 at 8:52 a.m., a correction was made to superintendent Polly Bove’s name.