Wet weather had Higley and Gilbert school districts scrambling Thursday to find indoor venues big enough for graduations originally planned to take place outside. Higley High School’s graduation was moved next door to the Higley Center for the
Wet weather had Higley and Gilbert school districts scrambling Thursday to find indoor venues big enough for graduations originally planned to take place outside. Higley High School’s graduation was moved next door to the Higley Center for the Performing Arts.
Highland High School’s ceremony was moved inside to the school auditorium, though Gilbert High’s was continuing as planned outside.
Higley Unified School District officials called each graduate’s parents and sent e-mails around 3 p.m. advising them of the change, spokeswoman Sara Bresnahan said.
The Higley ceremony was split to accommodate about 450 graduates. The first group, with last names starting with A and going through Knight, graduated at 7 p.m., while the rest of the class, from Knudsen on, began getting their diplomas at 8:15 p.m.
Graduates were also limited to six guests instead of the unlimited number allowed when the graduation was at the school’s football stadium, Bresnahan said.
Higley mom Annette Wilkins, whose son, Caylon, was graduating Thursday, said the district was doing the best it could with the weather.
The family had planned to bring only five family members, so the guest restriction wouldn’t affect them.
“Personally, I think they’re making the best of a difficult decision,” Wilkins said.
Gilbert district officials decided at 6 p.m. to move Highland High’s graduation inside, spokeswoman Dianne Bowers said.
The 671 Highland graduates were in the auditorium, while their relatives and friends watched the ceremony via closed-circuit television in the school gym.
“There is no indoor facility to accommodate everyone,” Bowers said.
As of 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Gilbert High’s graduation was continuing as planned at the Tiger football stadium, Bowers said. The 758 seniors planned on braving the rain and cold to continue their tradition.
The senior class president, Stephany Gomez, said the seniors didn’t want to move their ceremony inside.
“We just don’t like it, because it’s tradition to graduate out on the football field,” the 17-year-old said.