Kenai students, not principal, should decide graduation issue

Posted: Friday, February 04, 2005

I would like to respond to the letter written by Jessica Summer. As a 2004 graduate of Kenai Central High School who participated in the graduation ceremony that took place at the Soldotna Sports Center, I am disappointed in the administration's choice to continue to have the graduation in Soldotna.

Last year's ceremony was ridiculous — I thought of it as a joke. The sports center is not personal, it is cold physically and mentally, and is not appealing to the eye. Graduation became something informal, where people had to stand on the metal or colored plastic school chairs to see their graduate walking down the makeshift isle. Spectators were also walking around like they were attending a sporting event or rock concert.

The administration deceived us. (KCHS principal) Mr. Dunn came around to each senior classroom and stated his argument to why the class of 2004 should hold their graduation at the sports center. His argument was that our parents would be the only attendees allowed, and that siblings and grandparents wouldn't have anywhere to sit; and in addition, our friends (underclassmen) would not be able to attend. If graduation was at the Soldotna Sports Center, everyone could attend and we would make it a "community activity." Thus, we voted in favor of the Sports Center not by choice, but by manipulation. In January of 2004, we started counting actual graduates (just over 90, one of the smallest classes in years) and seats in the auditorium (980). With that formula, each student could have 10 tickets per graduate, and with swapping tickets those who needed more could get them. We approached Mr. Dunn and he told us no, the announcements were already printed, so we could not make the change. From what I understand, the class of 2005 is experiencing what we did. My advice for you is don't give up, it is YOUR graduation, not Mr. Dunn's.

Amanda Gifford (KCHS class of '04)

Attending college in Reno, Nev.

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