Should New Paltz graduation ceremony move back to high school?

New Paltz High School seniors want to walk the stage on their own turf, Jacob Patel told members of the New Paltz School Board last week. Patel is a student representative to that body, and brought that news as part of his regular report. Last year’s seniors were denied the same request, with then-superintendent Maria Rice reportedly using the fact that the location was printed in the school calendar as the reason; planning the district calendar is a process that takes most of the preceding school year to complete. The request was made by that class’s president, Evan Holland-Shepler, a scant 35 days before the ceremony but with the signatures of a hundred of his classmates to back him up.

Patel did not bring signatures, but he did raise the issue much earlier. The reason for moving the 2018 ceremony was construction noise, Holland-Shepler said at the May 22, 2019 board meeting, and it’s not clear why it continues to be planned for an off-campus location year after year. No board members commented on the proposal, and it remains to be seen if interim superintendent Bernard Josefsberg will choose to cling to the notion that what’s in an old-fashioned printed calendar should hold sway.

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