Grads plan to walk May 27 at EJ Thomas Hall

Kimi Ito, Reporter

 Graduation marks the end of an era for all seniors, and on May 27 at EJ Thomas Hall, Guidance Counselor Nicole Carmichael will oversee the graduates as they dash forward into adulthood.

For 17 years Carmichael has been involved with graduation, but this year is the first time she will be in charge of the event as Patti Kagafas retired last year. Also, Carmichael taught English until last year, becoming a guidance counselor only this year. At first glance, graduation may seem like an easy thing to organize; however, upon closer inspection, one can see the event is actually a gargantuan endeavor. 

To most seniors, graduation is a goodbye to childhood and a hello to freedom. To Carmichael, graduation consists of auditions, speeches and reserved seats. The Hudson City School District rents out EJ Thomas Hall at the University of Akron, and manages to reserve 2,400 seats for the event. A common misconception is that graduation tickets cost money to purchase. Each senior receives five tickets for family and friends. Since a student can only graduate from high school once, extra graduation tickets are a hot topic beginning in the spring.
How does one go about the process for acquiring extra graduation tickets? 
According to Carmichael, “We had a link up on the website for several weeks, and then the administration took it down because there was such a demand, and we don’t want to run out.“ 
While there is no official deadline, parents will want to snatch up those extra tickets as quickly as possible.  
The other graduation dilemma: should younger siblings attend? All little ones secretly want to see their older sibling graduate, but with about a two-hour long ceremony that takes place on a weekday, some parents question bringing the youngsters. Carmichael assures children of all ages are welcome, and with various musical acts, even the most rambunctious children will be entertained.  
    
To ensure only the entertaining acts will be chosen to perform at graduation, Carmichael holds auditions. The first round began on April 28 and the defining second round commenced on May 5. Typically only three musical acts and three speeches are chosen for the event. With such a talented senior class, the choices were tough, but the acts and speeches will be amazing when the event takes place, according to Carmichael.    
     
For most underclassmen, graduation is a semi-scary prospect that exists on the very edge of their future radar. They surely do not know what the ceremony consists of, and most likely some seniors do not quite know what to be expecting as they dress in their gown and cap. The graduation guru, Carmichael, can help answer that dilemma.
“We begin with the music performance and the speeches, obviously we are addressed by the Board of Education and the principals, and then following that is called the conferral of diplomas,” she stated in a recent interview.
Graduation can be scary, but some seniors are particularly excited for the upcoming ceremony. Senior Lyndsey Duecker is most “looking forward to the performances and the class speeches from classmates.”
Another graduating senior, Keaton Jones, says she is “most looking forward to being done with high school.”   
Graduation is a time for reflection, and also a time to honor Hudson’s best and brightest as they move on to their auspicious futures. Military enlistments will be acknowledged as well as academic and service honors, such as suma cum laude. 
With her extensive graduation experience, Carmichael has witnessed some interesting stories over the years. One year, the seniors organized a flash mob during the event. While seniors may think they have no control over their ceremony, they actually possess the power to make it special and their own. 
Carmichael has never missed a graduation during her time at HHS, and hopefully she will continue to usher generations of students out from under the wings of high school and into the land of opportunity of college and life beyond.   
 

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2015-05-19 10:33:43

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