CLEARFIELD – On Monday night, the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors gave the go-ahead to Kevin Wallace, high school principal, to pursue plans for a gymnasium graduation ceremony.
“I think it’s a great idea. We’ll give it a go and see what happens,” Board President Dave Glass said.
Wallace said they’d prefer to hold graduation indoors for a number of reasons. During his 11-year tenure, he said they’ve only held the ceremony outdoors on three occasions. He said staff members recently requested graduation be moved indoors permanently.
According to him, they currently allot four days for the students’ ceremony rehearsal. He said they spend two days rehearsing indoors and then another two outside. He said they’ll be able to cut the time in half by holding graduation in the gymnasium.
In addition, he feels the ceremony becomes less formal, when it’s held outdoors. He said it allows people who don’t know any of the graduating students to attend. He said it results in an unprofessional setting for the seniors and their families.
“It’s not good or honorable for the students,” he said. He also noted the parents would actually be closer to the students in a gymnasium setting. He said he believed they would be able to hold about 200 more individuals than the auditorium.
Wallace said the gymnasium would be a more cooler and comfortable setting than the auditorium as well. He said they believe it could potentially shorten the length of the graduation ceremony.
Wallace said it would require less manpower to both set-up and tear down. He noted if it so much as “rained a drop,” the janitorial staff had to wipe down the students’ chairs on the track.
Vice President Larry Putt said many graduation attendees are elderly. He asked if they would be offered accommodations in a gymnasium setting.
Wallace said they would be open to arrangements with families prior to the ceremony. He said they’d also have reserved seating for these individuals on the gymnasium floor.
“Some years, they almost (didn’t beat) the rain. Almost isn’t good enough,” Wallace said. “It’s something we’d like to move forward with. It’d be a lot better atmosphere for the students.”