All you Need to Know About Graduation

Seniors+Cullen+Smith+%28left%29+and+Tori+Childress+%28right%29+wear+their+caps+and+gowns.

Chloe Manley

Seniors Cullen Smith (left) and Tori Childress (right) wear their caps and gowns.

Chloe Manley, Staff Reporter

Graduation is a bittersweet time for all those whom it affects; this includes teachers, underclassmen, parents and, of course, the graduates themselves.

Graduation is one event that most people never forget. When people think of graduation, they usually think of walking across the stage, getting their diplomas and throwing their caps into the air. But what happens at LDHS to make graduation unique?

In the past, Laurens graduates, on occasion, have voted to do a class poem and even a class song instead of the traditional speech by the valedictorian. English teacher David Corley, who has been teaching for 34 years and who was in charge of Laurens graduation ceremonies for 15 years before World Geography teacher Brooke Yarbrough took the mantle last year, says that there have not been many changes to the traditions of graduation over the years. Corley said that when he first directed graduation, the valedictorian did not speak at all. He remembers almost no speakers besides teachers or principals.

In 2008, a unique thing that the graduating seniors did was to hang their tassels on a stand before picking up a black tassel from the stand in memory of Principal John Hendricks who had died earlier that year.

This year seniors will graduate June 1 in the LDHS Gym. LDHS has always had graduation in the Gym, unlike most other schools which have graduation on the football field or at a seperate place. The Junior Marshals will lead seniors into the Gym and into the row where the seniors will be seated. As the seniors walk into the room, the Concert Choir will sing a traditional graduation song, “Prelude”, and “Lonesome Road”. The chorus members who are graduates will branch off and join the chorus to sing. When everyone is seated, two members of the student body will get the audience’s attention and tell them, in both English and Spanish, to silence all electronics, not to be loud and that the graduation is for the seniors. The audience may all celebrate after the ceremony, but for now, these two seniors will ask them to be quiet and courteous.

After the speech telling everybody to be silent, the president of the student body will go on stage to welcome everyone. After the welcome, the salutatorian will make his or her speech followed by the speech by the valedictorian.

The Junior Marshals will then lead the seniors onto the stage, and Assistant Principal Dr. Debbie Fulton will call out the names of the graduating students. The seniors, one after another, will walk across the stage and shake the hand of Principal Christopher Moore, get their diplomas and  then return to their seats. After every student’s name is called, Fulton will announce that the seniors have now graduated. Then, finally, the audience may applaud.

Graduation traditions have always been a part of the ceremony. This year, those traditions will continue at the ceremony that will send our graduates out into the world

“Graduation should be a classy and reserved ceremony,” English teacher David Corley said.