By Janice Eck
Photos by Janice Eck
(Victorville)– On May 26, Silverado High School held their 17th Annual Commencement ceremony at their own Hawk Stadium. For the past several years, graduation had been held down the hill at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino. This marked not only a change in venue, but also a change in planning and execution, as there were definitely mixed feelings among students, staff, faculty, and administration.
“At first I was a little disappointed,” graduating senior, Tishara Saxton, who will be attending UNLV in the fall told High Desert Daily in an interview. “San Manuel was tradition. My brothers graduated there, so I was excited to graduate from there, but I do like how we’re starting a new tradition.”
Chandler Brown, Harvard-bound senior, expressed his feelings with High Desert Daily about being the first Valedictorian at Hawk Stadium, “It’s a real honor. The graduating classes before were always at San Manuel Amphitheater, so being here, being the first, it’s a really good feeling – being original.”
The Graduation Committee at Silverado High School had ceremonies at San Manuel down packed breezing through commencement year after year. This year certainly had its hardships, but Jessica Swift, Activities Director, made sure the ceremony went as smoothly as possible as Heather Conkle, Principal, took a few minutes before the ceremony to explain to High Desert Daily, “I think the biggest thing is that it was all new. Mrs. Swift did all of the planning and was very familiar with the setting at San Manuel, so we weren’t sure how it was going to come together here. Everything was a trial run this year, but we’re very happy with it so far.”
Holding the first Hawk Stadium commencement definitely came with its challenges, a significant one being ticket sales. San Manuel allowed an unlimited number of tickets to be sold to anyone, but to adhere to the 5,000 person maximum capacity per fire code, ticket sales to each graduate were limited to max out capacity and include everyone in the stadium from attendees to graduates to staff.
While there are definitely pros and cons to having their future graduations on-site, Hawk Stadium is indeed a great home for Silverado’s future commencements. Not only do graduates have the opportunity to graduate on their home turf in their hometown, but there is also no need to deal with traffic going up and down the hill, and families and friends can drive to someone’s home nearby or to a local, familiar restaurant to continue graduation festivities.
All in all, the ceremony was definitely a success. Staff worked together to ensure the first Hawk Stadium commencement ceremony flowed with ease. The heart and dedication Silverado’s Graduation Committee has is already preparing them for next year’s commencement as they met the very next morning to discuss improvements and changes for the Class of 2016.