GHS seniors, 8th-graders prepare to graduate

By Melissa Flores
Gilroy
– As summer approaches and the last weeks of school wind down,
soon-to-be graduates are getting ready to celebrate with their
families.
By Melissa Flores

Gilroy – As summer approaches and the last weeks of school wind down, soon-to-be graduates are getting ready to celebrate with their families.

Gilroy High School’s graduation, normally held on the football field, has been moved to the junior varsity practice field because of delays in campus construction. The high school staff is going out of its way to ensure these graduates have as great a celebration as any other.

Janie Gillespie, office coordinator at the high school, said they’ve been working hard since September to help 2005 seniors have a great graduation.

“We ordered diplomas back in the fall,” Gillespie said. “We had our horticulture classes plant flowers.”

The school has even lined up Bonfante Gardens to loan them trees for the ceremony. Former theater teacher and current assistant principal Greg Camacho-Light is orchestrating the graduation production, Gillespie said. They will create the feel of a circle with the seating and the stage on the field.

The new arrangement has seats for 2,000 guests, nearly 600 more than the stadium seating in the football field. The school expects a crowd for the 500 students who are graduating.

Diagrams of the new graduation set up were sent home so there will be no confusion on June 17 when families show up for graduation. Students will still meet in the same area, in the student parking lot, but will march out right to the practice field instead of left to the football field.

Gillespie emphasized that the focus will be on the students and they are encouraging guests not to do things that will distract from the ceremony. They will be sending a memo home to all students asking guests to leave balloon bouquets and air horns at home. The memo also asks all guests to stay until the end of the ceremony and to turn off cell phones.

“It’s all about them on Friday night,” Janie said.

Before the school year ends, the GHS seniors have a last few hurrahs coming their way.

June 10 is Day On the Green. Students will take the afternoon off from class to pick up their yearbooks and collect autographs on campus. Then the seniors head off to Southern California for a full night of fun at Disneyland’s Grad Night in Anaheim on June 15. The celebration will continue with GHS’ own Grad Night, which starts right after the ceremony on June 17. The night is planned by parents of the seniors and the details are kept under tight wraps until the students show up for the fun.

Graduation Dates

Middle Schools:

South Valley:

When: 4:30pm Thursday, June 16

Where: Christmas Hill Park Amphitheater

Who: 340 eighth-graders

Graduation speaker: Students still voting on a staff member.

Brownell Academy:

When: 7pm Thursday, June 16

Where: Christmas Hill Park Amphitheater

Who: About 363 eighth-graders

Graduation speakers: A GUSD board member, most likely TJ Owens.

Solorsano:

NO GRADUATION.

St. Mary School:

When: 10:45am liturgy service, 6pm graduation service Friday, June 3

Where: St. Mary Church

Who: 36 eighth-graders

Graduation speakers: Principal Christa Hanson, valedictorian Nichelle Ellis, and salutatorians Michael Chrisman and Amanda Lafuente.

High Schools:

Mt. Madonna:

When: 6pm Tuesday, June 14

Where: Ascension Solorsano Middle School

Who: 60 seniors

Speakers: Senior president Rigo Munoz

Gilroy High School:

When: 6pm Friday, June 17

Where: Gilroy High School JV practice field

Who: About 500 seniors

Speakers: The valedictorian and salutatorian as well as surprise staff speaker.

El Portal:

When: 12:30pm Sunday, June 26

Where: Bonfante Gardens

Who: 52 seniors

Speakers: Undecided

Melissa Flores is an intern, who recently graduated from the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. Reach her at 842-1526 or [email protected]

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