Graduation for FHN on June 4


By Emily Wilson

With less than two months of school left, seniors are bracing for they day they’ve been counting down to since the beginning of high school: graduation. Over the past few weeks, senior delegates have been planning several events for the senior class to prepare for graduation and enjoy their last few weeks at FHN.

“Compared to prom last year, it’s definitely not as big of a task,” Senior Class Vice President Madi Oostendorp said. “I am excited for the concept of it. We’ll do what we have to do.”

The senior delegates’ first upcoming task is auditions for student speakers and musical performances. Every year, students can audition to either speak, sing or play music at graduation. Anyone can audition, and typically one speech and one performance, either singing or instrumental music, are selected. Auditions will be held on April 19 after school, and performances should be no longer than three minutes. Lorraine Smith, the senior class sponsor, believes that the auditions will allow students to add their perspective to the graduation ceremony.

“We’ll have one or two of [the delegates] help select student speeches and performances, because we think that student voice for graduation is important,” Smith said. “We want stuff that the students are going to like; it’s their ceremony.”

Once auditions are over, delegates prepare for Senior Week, which will start on May 2. Senior week is spirit week designed specifically for seniors, and has included days such as “senior citizen day” or “one year from now” in the past. Senior breakfast, graduation practice and the senior panoramic photo are scheduled for May 3. Seniors will be treated to a breakfast in the commons before running through the ceremony in the gym, where they will learn the procedure for entering, receiving their diplomas and creating the traditional horseshoe that students will line up in for throwing their graduation caps in the air. Afterwards, all of the seniors will get to be in a panoramic class photo taken in the gym before leaving school early and going home.

“Graduation practice will be the biggest thing for us,” Oostendorp said. “On our graduation day, we don’t do too much, the teachers really lead that since we’re graduating too. For graduation practice, a lot of it is up to us and getting the students organized will be a big part of it.”

Graduations for the three FHSD high schools are planned for June 4. FHN has the first graduation ceremony of the day at 10 a.m. at the Family Arena, but seniors need to be at their assigned areas by 8:45 a.m. Similar to last year, speeches will be given by Principal Andy Downs, the Graduation Marshal who seniors voted on during homeroom in March, student representatives, and members of the Board of Education. The biggest change will be that this year, students have the opportunity to take a photo in front of a green screen before receiving their diploma. Students will also have a photo taken of them shaking Downs’ hand after they walk off of the stage, and they can decide what pictures they want to order later.

“Graduation is such a formal event, and it’s a lot of tradition,” Assistant Principal Erin Steep said. “We have families who had students graduate years ago and it’s important to them that the traditions like the horseshoe at the end [continue]. That’s where they throw their hats up, because a horseshoe is good luck. That’s unique to North. We don’t change anything.”