Go Behind the Scenes of Graduation

Graduate+Kyle+Enright+of+the+Class+of+2018+sits+among+other+students+during+the+graduation+ceremony+at+the+Sears+Centre+Arena+in+Hoffman+Estates.+Last+year%E2%80%99s+annual+event+was+held+on+May+13.+For+the+class+of+2019%2C+graduation+will+be+held+May+12+this+year.+%E2%80%9CGraduation+is+important+because+it%E2%80%99s+a+stepping+stone+for+bigger+and+better+things--+like+college%2C+trade+school+or+the+army%2C%E2%80%9D+Senior+Bryan+Silva+said.+
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Go Behind the Scenes of Graduation

Graduate Kyle Enright of the Class of 2018 sits among other students during the graduation ceremony at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Last year’s annual event was held on May 13. For the class of 2019, graduation will be held May 12 this year. “Graduation is important because it’s a stepping stone for bigger and better things-- like college, trade school or the army,” Senior Bryan Silva said.

Graduate Kyle Enright of the Class of 2018 sits among other students during the graduation ceremony at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Last year’s annual event was held on May 13. For the class of 2019, graduation will be held May 12 this year. “Graduation is important because it’s a stepping stone for bigger and better things-- like college, trade school or the army,” Senior Bryan Silva said.

@GABE MOZSI

Graduate Kyle Enright of the Class of 2018 sits among other students during the graduation ceremony at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Last year’s annual event was held on May 13. For the class of 2019, graduation will be held May 12 this year. “Graduation is important because it’s a stepping stone for bigger and better things-- like college, trade school or the army,” Senior Bryan Silva said.

@GABE MOZSI

@GABE MOZSI

Graduate Kyle Enright of the Class of 2018 sits among other students during the graduation ceremony at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Last year’s annual event was held on May 13. For the class of 2019, graduation will be held May 12 this year. “Graduation is important because it’s a stepping stone for bigger and better things-- like college, trade school or the army,” Senior Bryan Silva said.

Madison Parola, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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After four years of high school, students will end their time as a Mustang sitting in rows alongside their fellow classmates wearing a cap that originated from a biretta, which was used by scholarly clergy.  It is said to symbolize intelligence and superiority.

The ceremony in which these caps paired with gowns are worn, then, becomes a way to mark the end of an era instead of simply just leaving the building on the last day of high school.

While students just need to show up to graduation in these caps and gowns to sit through an hour and half ceremony to get their diplomas, those who organize the event have several to-do items to complete in order to make graduation happen.

The assistant to the principal, Peggy Billittier, is the point person for organizing all the work that goes on behind the scenes to set up graduation.

“I do pretty much all of the logistics,” she said. “Getting a list from the Guidance Office about who is graduating and who is not graduating, what time is reserved and all the things that we need– how many chairs, how many rows, how much space the band needs, how much space choir needs.”

Billittier also takes care of figuring out how all the material from MHS will get to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates where the ceremony is held.

Along with determining what MHS needs to bring, Billittier has to work with a sound technician, coordinate with Broadcasting Teacher Kent Meister on filming the event, work with the NHS row leaders–juniors who lead the graduates through the stadium, speak to staff who will be helping out, plan with the photography company, work with the cap and gown company, send out graduation information to parents and students and keep the list of graduates updated.

There are also events before graduation that the school has to put together.

“On the Friday before graduation, we have the day where [students] can pick up their cap and gown and their tickets,” Billittier said. “They also have to make sure that their fees are paid and their books are turned in, so that all happens in the North Gym, and that’s a huge production to get all of it put together.”

In the same week, there is also an awards ceremony.

“I also help out with the Senior Honors Ceremony, which is usually the Tuesday before graduation, and again, it’s lists of students and what honors their getting and who’s presenting [the awards],” Billittier said.

There will also be a rehearsal on a Thursday prior to graduation to go over what the seniors should expect at the ceremony.

During that rehearsal, students will learn from which side of the room they will enter at graduation as well as in what row they will be sitting.

Because of all that goes into the ceremony as well as the events leading up to the ceremony, the planning starts in September and goes through graduation.

“It’s a lot, you know; I kind of feel like I’m arranging a wedding every single year,” Billittier said.

Other pieces of advice that Billittier had for the seniors were the following:

  • Do not bring purses to the event. Every year students have to leave their purses in another room, and there is always a huge pile.
  • If you are going to have your phone, you should wear something with pockets.
  • Make sure to dress in shoes you’re able to walk in– up and down a stage.
  • It’s important to remember what row you’re in and what side you are walking in from at the ceremony.

“It’s a lot of work for an hour and a half, but it’s important, and the parents are so excited, and the kids are so excited. It’s such a happy day, and the energy is just so exciting,” Billittier said. “The kids are just so happy to see [the teachers] there and have the staff members be a part of their day. It’s a great way to signify the end of their four-year journey because the students have worked for a long time to get to that point.”

 

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