After several years at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights and last year at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac, commencement ceremonies return to Royal Oak this evening at 7 p.m. sharp in the football stadium, weather permitting.
In June 2006, commencements were held at Dondero High School and Kimball High School. It was a tradition at both schools, as well as for the original Royal Oak High School, that commencement ceremonies were held onsite at the schools, according to Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin.
Following consolidation in the fall of 2006, out of sensitivity to students who may have started ninth grade at Dondero and would be graduating from the former Kimball site, a decision was made to move graduation to an off site location, Lewis-Lakin said.
Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights was used for five years; Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac was used last year.
“There were concerns expressed regarding last year’s site,” stated Lewis-Lakin. “As we looked at those concerns, and also the longer history of Royal Oak commencement ceremonies, it made sense to return the commencement for Royal Oak students to Royal Oak.”
“I think it’s appropriate,” stated parent Maryl Kacir. “The school is like home. It’s comfortable. I think the students will be happy to see the school one last time before heading off to college.”
The only thing that concerns Kacir is whether the sound system will be clear. Other than that, she stated the football stadium is always filled with spirit and the trees lining Quikstad Park are picturesque.
“If they move graduation to the gym due to weather it might get a tiny hot,” Kacir said. “But we will be really close. We’ll be able see and it will be simple to take pictures.”
“This is a community celebration of our students and their success and we feel great about the celebration being in the community,” Lewis-Lakin said. “Commencement activities were held successfully at the Royal Oak High School site for 47 years. We are excited about restoring this tradition and are looking forward to a wonderful evening.”
Where was your high school graduation held? Tell us in the comments.
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