Rains could shift THS graduation to KCKCC
Brent Smith, like other Tonganoxie school officials, is keeping a close eye on Saturday's weather forecast.
Tonganoxie High's senior class is slated for commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Saturday at Beatty Field.
In past years, in the event of rain, graduation has been held in the THS gymnasium. However, the gym is undergoing renovation as part of the school district's $25.3 million construction project approved by voters in a November 2004 bond issue.
School officials initially selected the Tonganoxie Junior High gymnasium for graduation if rains would force the ceremony inside.
But Smith, THS assistant principal, said Monday that in the event of inclement weather, graduation will be held at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.
Officials shifted the alternative site to the college campus because of concern whether the junior high could hold the anticipated crowd.
"There will be plenty of seating for everybody," Smith said about the new venue, which will be the KCKCC fieldhouse.
Inclement weather last forced commencement exercises inside in 1997, according to Smith.
He said he's been keeping tabs on the extended forecast through local television stations, but he's seen conflicting weather reports.
"Some stations are different than others," Smith said. "Some show it being clear and others show a possibility of rain."
Smith said he wasn't sure when a decision would have to be made on whether graduation would need to be moved to the college. He said Tuesday he was waiting to hear back from KCKCC officials about when they would need a decision from Tonganoxie officials. He said he thought the deadline would be Friday.
As for informing the public about a move to the college, Smith said school officials would treat the situation as a snow day. Radio and television stations would be notified. And, bank marquees also would display the schedule change.
Wherever graduation is held, senior Mollie Osborne will give the welcome address, while the senior ensemble will sing "Please Remember." The Chieftain Singers also will sing "Maybe Someday."
During the ceremony, the valedictorian will give an address, while salutatorians and 4.0 students will be recognized.
Before seniors spend their final moments at graduation as THS students, there will be a baccalaureate ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the junior high. Scott Brawner will be the featured speaker. Brawner is the dean of students at Midwestern Baptist Theological College in Kansas City, Mo.
Saturday evening, 105 students will graduate as the THS Class of 2006.
Basehor-Linwood High School
Graduation ceremonies will kick off at 7:30 p.m. May 18 for Basehor-Linwood seniors.
The event will be held in the BLHS gymnasium, where 131 seniors are expected to graduate -- 116 from the high school and another 15 from Basehor's virtual school.
The school's baccalaureate ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at the high school.
McLouth High School
McLouth seniors will have to wait an extra week to move the tassels on their mortar boards. Commencement exercises will start at 11 a.m. May 20 at the Bulldog Sports Complex in McLouth.
The graduation will feature senior speakers. In addition, two of the 41 seniors slated to graduate will sing.
In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will move to the high school's Purple Gym.
And next Wednesday, a baccalaureate ceremony will be at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 409 S. Cedar.