Two days of end-of-year celebrations for seniors: Gambol and graduation ceremonies no longer to be held on the same day

Even though second semester has not started yet, administrators are already laying the groundwork for the graduation ceremony and the Gambol.  For the past fourteen years, graduation has taken place the morning after the last day of school with Gambol scheduled for later that same day.

However, in order to accommodate requests from students and parents, the district broke tradition this year.  For the class of 2014, graduation will take place at night, and Gambol has been moved to the following day in order to give graduates ample time to prepare.

“It gives the seniors time to relax and enjoy graduation,” said senior Yvette May. “In previous years, time was restricted and there was so much to be done in the small amount of time between graduation and prom.  I think seniors will like the change.”

Many students felt they were rushed to fit in all of their plans on the day of graduation.  Families wanted to go out to lunch after watching their siblings and children graduate, but they were pressed for time as many students begin preparing for Gambol more than five hours in advance.

“Concentrating the conclusions of major periods of 400 plus students’ lives to one eventful day is overwhelming,” said senior Matty DiGiovanni. “Separate days are better.”

Moving graduation to the evening also allows students, faculty and family enjoy the ceremonies in greater comfort.  In previous years, graduation took place outside between 10 a.m. and noon subjecting families to dangerous heat.  While some families were able to reserve early seats in the shaded tents, the graduating students and many of their families spent the three hours under the sun.

“From my understanding, hosting the ceremony outside at high noon ensured most of the students and parents that there would be waterworks of more than one kind,” said DiGiovanni.  “This does not sound like one of the joys us seniors have been told to look forward to.  Gambol being a different day is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t want those with long hair, girls or boys, to have to worry about their hair getting frizzy the day they live out one of their fondest, final adolescent memories.”

With this year a new tradition will begin, following the same overall structure of the old ceremony with some scheduling changes.  This is because of the great feedback that was recieved.

“The reaction has been mostly positive. There was a potential conflict with Weber’s graduation, but this was resolved.  Some traditionalists objected, but overall the feedback has been positive,” said Board of Education Member Alan Baer.

On the other hand, rescheduling graduation does pose conflicts to families who have students graduating from both Schreiber and Weber Middle School this year.

“I think it was a good idea to separate graduation and Gambol like that, but unfortunately they decided to schedule it as the same time as the eighth grade party, which I highly disapprove of because now a lot of younger siblings can’t come to their older siblings’ high school graduations,” said senior Simon Shapiro.

While this doesn’t pose a problem to everyone, it is still a complaint coming from seniors with younger siblings that they were hoping to see at their graduation.

“I think it could be helpful in making that last day less hectic, but it could cause a lot of conflicts,” said senior Julia Zeh.  “I’m leaning more towards it’s a good decision but I also don’t totally love it.”

Aside from scheduling , the break from tradition caused unforeseen consequences.

“I feel like if Gambol is the day after then it’s going to be a drag for most people,” said senior Stephanie Anne Thompson. “We already graduated. Why do we have to wait an entire day to never see these people again sort of feel.”

Nevertheless, hopes are high that this new plan will make for a much more enjoyable graduation this year.

“If running the graduation ceremony at night means cooler students and more comfortable parents, I’m all for it,” said DiGiovanni.

“Graduation and the gambol are both special milestone events to take part in as  students, family and community.  They help us mark the passage from the K-12 experience to the next phase of life for all involved,” said Baer.

“It puts an incredible strain on teachers who would like to go to graduation,” said science teacher Ms. Marla Ezratty. “In order to finish the day at ten in the morning and come back at five for graduation – well, I’m not coming back at five. For us to have our last day and then go to graduation and be able to spend some time with the kids before they head out, that was really special. That will put a major strain on me; I don’t know about anybody else.”