Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 23, 2013

Pauls Valley grad event moves to new site

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A threatening storm spared Pauls Valley this week but still dropped enough rain to convince school officials to move graduation ceremonies inside.

Commencement for this year’s PV High School graduates is now set to get started at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24 in the school’s auditorium.

As in the past the ceremonies had been planned for the football stadium in Wacker Park.

That plan changed when weather systems over a two-day period, including the threat of a tornado on Monday, dumped a healthy amount of rain.

Both Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa and PVHS Principal Chris Caldwell announced the move is due to the wet grounds at Thompson Field.

“We have made the call to change the ceremonies to the high school auditorium,” Huckabaa said.

“This is because of the rain. It’s just too wet; just too saturated out there,” she said about the traditional site at the football stadium.

Huckabaa added the ongoing renovation work being done at the stadium, which for now means no available lighting there, had nothing to do with the decision.

The move to the auditorium could mean more than a packed house as seating there is limited when compared to the stadium.

With that in mind each of the seniors expected to take part in the graduation ceremonies, around 115 of them, is being allotted 10 visitors’ tickets.

The tickets will allow for seating to be made available for family and friends who plan to attend the ceremonies.

That means those who come to the auditorium Friday night will need a ticket to get inside.

“Every person attending the 2013 graduation must present a ticket to gain entry; there will be no exceptions made under any circumstance,” Caldwell said.

“However, there will be a standby line outside the front of the auditorium for any people who do not have tickets but would like to attend graduation if seats remain available,” he said.

Caldwell added about 5 minutes before commencement begins the PVHS senior sponsors will fill any empty seats with people from this standby line, which will be first-come, first-seated.

The two school officials know this system could create some problems. They stress the idea is to be as fair as possible.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may pose,” Caldwell said.

“Please understand we have done our very best to accommodate our seniors and their family members.”

“We’re trying to do it the fairest way to accommodate the seniors,” Huckabaa added.