Exploring other graduation venues

Megan Woolard

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Here at Lake Oswego High School we hold our graduation ceremony in the gym. This venue has received mixed reviews from our overall school community.

The gym is small and can be very hot during the summer months.Yet, as Principal Rollin Dickinson states,” Students and staff enjoy being at our school for the commencement ceremony. The school is rich with our memories, all of which feel a little more poignant and profound that evening, the architecture a little more picturesque in the backdrop to all of the pictures taken here.”

While the school is a beautiful place to hold graduation, other schools don’t face the same type of problems. Mainly because we are one of the only schools in the greater Portland metro area that holds graduation at our own school. Most schools in the area have graduation at a larger venue.

But there is another option that allows us to keep the tradition of our school without anyone being at risk of heat stroke. A nearby school is already doing it.

Tigard High School is one of the only other schools in the area that holds their graduation at school. However they have theirs on the football field instead of the gym.

“The stadium and portable bleachers on either side of the stadium can accommodate guests. We have fireworks at the end of the ceremony. Guests can be seated in our auditorium for comfort and to get out of the elements to watch the graduation ceremony live streamed to a giant screen” said Tigard associate principal Angelita Miller.

Having the ceremony at the football field also allows for a larger number of guests. “We have not reached our maximum yet for seating at graduation. We limit students to eight tickets each, but we open admission to anyone without a ticket at 6:50 p.m.” said Miller.

This generous seating is in contrast to LOHS which only offers six tickets per student, and has no option for additional seating without a ticket. The football field seems like a good option to combine both the tradition of our school and overall functionality.

“We have not deeply explored having the commencement ceremony on our stadium field. It might be worth exploring” said Dickinson. The current plan for the class of 2020 commencement ceremony is to hold it in the gym.