LAURINBURG — Scotland High School has revamped its graduation exercises to provide for a larger crowd than usual as more than 300 newly minted graduates parade around the Pate Stadium track on Saturday.
Each graduate will receive 12 tickets — four more than last year — to distribute to family members and friends. Tickets will be required for entry to the stadium for anyone over the age of 2. Between 320 and 350 seniors are expected to walk on Saturday depending on the outcome of final examinations, which conclude today.
Gates will open at 7:30 a.m., closing at 8:55 a.m. before the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” fill the air at 9 a.m., beckoning the graduating class of 2014 onto the field. Those attending the ceremony should be sure to allow time to wait in line and pass through security checkpoints before 8:55 a.m.
Noisemakers, balloons, and any object that could obstruct the view of others in the audience will not be allowed, and those attending the ceremony are encouraged to expedite security screenings by bringing only necessary items. School officials are reminding parents and other graduation attendees to respect the dignity of the occasion by refraining from loud cheers during the ceremony.
“These kids have all worked for 13 years to get to this point and every parent sitting in that stand wants to hear their child’s name called,” said Scotland High School Assistant Principal Amy Sloop. “We’re asking folks to limit celebrations to the very end so that every child has their moment to be recognized as a high school graduate.”
For the first year, seating will be available in both the home and visitors’ stands. All in the audience will have equal chance to spot their graduate, as the class will enter the field and proceed around the entire track before taking their seats from the visitors’ side of the stadium.
The stage, rather than sitting parallel to the stands, will be erected in the fieldhouse end zone so as to face the scoreboard.
Seniors should report to their assigned classrooms by 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, wearing appropriate clothing — no jeans, shorts, flip-flops, or athletic shoes — and carrying their caps and gowns. Graduates should not bring cell phones, cameras, other belongings, or non-graduating family and friends into the building.
Once donned, gowns should remain zipped through the duration of the 90-minute ceremony, and seniors are discouraged from writing on or decorating their caps.
In the event that inclement weather forces graduation indoors, the ceremony will be held in the new gymnasium. Of each graduate’s tickets, four will be valid for seating in the new gym, and four will be valid for the old gym or auditorium, where a live feed of the ceremony will be shown. If weather becomes a concern, that call would be made by Friday afternoon.
“We don’t anticipate any weather; it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day,” Sloop said.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.