DAVIDSON—Davidson School’s graduation ceremonies are coming home.
The class of 2012 will celebrate its graduation, May 19, in the school gymnasium instead of the local rink.
As the school’s population has declined in the last decade or so, moving grad back to the school had been discussed, however, the change was never made.
“I took the bull by the horns,” says teacher Paulette Killoh.
This year there are 16 students at the graduation. The small number makes it possible for the school to host the ceremony once again, which will make the event much more intimate.
“I want mom and dad and grandma and grandpa to have a good look at their grads” Killoh says. “It’s a celebration of our school and our kids. Anytime we get people into our school, it’s a good thing and grad should be all about that.”
As for accommodating the vast crowd that attends the ceremony, at last year’s graduation ceremonies, Killoh says she counted the 496 chairs set up on the floor in the rink.
“I am told we can get that in the gym and we still have our bleachers.”
Using the school gym will also make setting up for the ceremony much easier, Killoh says and they will save about $1,000 in costs of renting and transporting equipment to the rink.
Providing audio-visual equipment will be easier because the school’s system is all set up in the gym.
Killoh says she’s heard concerns that it will be too hot in the gym, but more often than not, she points out grads of recent past have been cool and wet.
“I think it’s a good idea to have it back in the school for the ease of it and it makes sense number wise. I thought it should be moved back years ago,” says retired teacher Rosemary O’Handley and former grad ceremony organizer.
The reason for moving grad to the rink was to make use of the brand new Communiplex facility that had just been built in 1995.
The town and the school have a joint-use agreement and using the Communiplex for grad was covered in this agreement, so the school did not have to worry about the cost
Back then, grad was held in June, it was usually hot in the gym, and the number of graduates was more than double the current crop.
“We had this new facility with lots of fresh air and lots of room,” recalls Diane Taylor, a retired teacher and veteran contributor to countless Davidson School graduation ceremonies. “It was a fantastic opportunity for us to get out of the hot gym.”
She hopes that future graduating classes will again have the kind of numbers that made the move to the Communiplex necessary back in the 1990s.
“Hopefully it will be ideal and needed again,” she says.
As the school’s population declined, she says they considered moving grad back to the gym a few times.
“Number one, it’s so much cleaner and it’s very nostalgic to be back in the gym,” Taylor says.
She recalls being on the gym stage herself when she graduated from Davidson School.