It's the accomplishment, not the venue that counts

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2004

As a former KCHS graduate and parent of a 2004 KCHS graduate I feel compelled to write a letter concerning my opinion as to why I feel the KCHS graduation should have been at the Soldotna Sports Center instead of the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at the school.

I was one of the parents who pushed for the ceremony to be moved to the Sports Center. Last year, I watched my sister-in-law deal with the stress of trying to decide which family members and close friends they would allow to attend the graduation of her daughter, my niece. My spouse and I (aunt and uncle of the graduate) chose not to attend the event to alleviate some of the stress she was experiencing trying to beg, borrow or steal additional tickets for people to be able to attend. My understanding is that those who did get selected to attend were hot and uncomfortable at the event due to the auditorium being overcrowded.

I am relieved that my son's grandfather, who has traveled from Mississippi to attend his grandson's graduation this year, was able to have a seat without having to go hours early and sit in hopes of being close enough to see. I personally believe this should be about the graduates having their friends and family watch them get a diploma that they have worked 12 long years to achieve than worrying about which facility it is held in. I am a Kenai resident who shops in this town, pays taxes in this town, and I don't think my community spirit is diminished because I want to have my children's graduation ceremonies held in a facility that will allow more people to celebrate their accomplishments.

Furthermore, once this ceremony was over, the after-grad party was held at the Kenai Rec Center, and Soldotna and Skyview High's after-grad parties will be held here in the Kenai Rec Center this week. SoHi also had its after-prom event at the Kenai Rec Center, and no one from SoHi or Skyview has complained that they are coming over here to Kenai.

In closing, I would like to say that tradition is nice, but times change. I graduated in 1977, and it wasn't in an auditorium; it was in the gym. Regardless of the facility, I am still a Kenai Central High School graduate and my son now is one, too.

Valerie Ischi

KCHS senior parent

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