November 24, 2010

Pinkerton Graduation will move to the Verizon

Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- After finding widespread student support for the proposal, Pinkerton Academy officials have approved moving this year’s graduation ceremony to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
“It was a very difficult decision because graduation is so traditional,” said
 Pinkerton Headmaster Mary Anderson on Tuesday. “And we’re going to try to personalize this as much as we possibly can because graduation is extremely important, and we want to make sure it’s a great experience for the kids and their parents.” 
In years past, the ceremony was held on the lawn in front of the Pinkerton Building with graduates marching down the notorious “senior steps.” But after space constraints forced a move to the school’s Memorial Field last year, Anderson said attendees were subjected to excessive heat and glaring sun. 
“It was nice and it was beautiful, but it’s hard for the elderly to get up there and it was hot and just very uncomfortable,” she said. 
With a new location, Anderson said inclement weather will have no effect on the ceremony, and students will be able to invite as many guests as they like. Further, there will be plenty of comfortable seating and handicapped access, she said, and holding an evening ceremony will accommodate the schedules of working families. 
The ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. 
But Anderson said she understands those who will miss the custom of a ceremony on campus. 
“I know there are going to be some people who are not happy with a change of tradition like this, but I have to think of safety and I have to think of all the parents and students,” she said. 
Anderson said she hopes to bring a painted facade of the school building as a background for pictures and include red and white balloons and other school symbols to bring a taste of Pinkerton to Manchester. 
In a survey this fall, about three-quarters of Pinkerton seniors voted in favor of moving the ceremony, Anderson said. Several years ago, a similar survey found the opposite result. 
“I was shocked,” she said. “I think that kids have just experienced it through siblings or parents and see how difficult it is.” 
The one hitch in the new plan, she said, is that Verizon Wireless Arena staff withhold the right to reschedule the ceremony to make room for another event up to 60 days before the event. Anderson said that school officials from Manchester and Londonderry, who each hold their graduations at the arena, said their ceremonies have never been rescheduled. 
After this year, Anderson said she will check in with students and families to evaluate the move before deciding whether to continue with the Manchester venue into the future. 

No comments:

Post a Comment