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Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation Update

This is cross-posted from the TalladegaCitySchools blog:

The Talladega High School graduation will be held on May 28 at 7:00 in Mary Dumas Stadium. Note the location. After much discussion within our own ranks and with Dr. Rice's office, we did change from the original location of Harwell Auditorium so that we could accommodate more people. This post contains information that will be important over the coming week. Please check back here as this is the one place where we can put information that will be accessible by everyone.

Since graduation is at the stadium, do I still need a ticket?

Yes. Everyone needs a ticket, and the names of all ticket holders will be on a list. The Secret Service is involved in this event, so security is likely to be stringent.

How do I get my tickets if my child is graduating?

Students turned in names of people for whom they need tickets. Those tickets will be given to the students through Talladega High School.

I am a Talladega City Schools employee. How do I get tickets?

Principals at each school were asked to compile a list of names of those employees who wished to attend graduation. Principals will be given the required number of tickets to distribute to their employees.

I requested tickets by signing up on the this blog. How do I get my tickets?

You should have received an e-mail today. We did get some e-mails bounce back as being undeliverable. Be sure to check your spam filter before calling to inquire. Tickets may be picked up at the Talladega City Schools Board of Education between 8:00 and 3:30 this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Be prepared to present your identification when picking up tickets.

What happens in case of rain?

Whenever someone plans an outdoor event, a rain plan simply becomes part of the logistics. In case of rain, graduation ceremonies will be moved to Harwell Auditorium.

Will my ticket get me into Harwell Auditorium?

It depends. Two types of tickets are being issued. One type is being issued to the students and their guests, Talladega City School employees, local dignitaries, and "first-come-first-served" members of the public who signed up via this blog. The second type is being issued to those who signed up on the blog. The e-mail you received will tell you which group you are in.

In the event of rain, the lunchroom at Talladega High School will be used to house those who are not able to get into Harwell Auditorium. Those in the lunchroom will be able to watch the graduation ceremony through a live feed.

I didn't request tickets at all. Is there any way I can still go?

Yes. Simply come by the Talladega City School Board of Education on Tuesday or Wednesday between 8:00 and 3:30. You will need to present your identification since we do have to maintain a list of every person who is being admitted. Please realize that in the event of rain, the ticket you will be receiving will not get you into Harwell Auditorium. You will be able to view the ceremony in the THS lunchroom.

How much are tickets?

Tickets are free.

You mentioned security. Tell me more.

Being the most recent former Secretary of State, Dr. Rice still maintains Secret Service protection. Everyone will go through a metal detector upon entering the stadium. A list of names of ticket holders is to be maintained.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Yes. Savor the moment. To have Dr. Condoleezza Rice as our speaker is an honor, and the full magnitude of just how big this is will probably not be realized until next Thursday. This is special for our seniors. This is special for our school system. This is special for Talladega.

Many, many people have worked very hard to make this day possible. When we made the initial contact, we felt we had little hope of her actually coming here, yet we gave it our best shot. That in itself should be a message to our seniors about what is possible when people dream bigger than others think is practical.

Handling the logistics has required hard work, patience, and a little imagination. We are not used to something of this magnitude, and we are learning as we go. That is the second message to this senior class, that if you wait until everything is in perfect alignment before you are willing to step out of the box, you will never step out of the box.

Along the way, there are those who ask, "How can I help?" and those who simply sit back and criticize. That is the third message for our seniors, that they will meet both types of people in their lives and will get to decide into which camp they themselves will fall.

Class of 2009, your day is approaching. Savor the moment.



At 3:00 PM, Blogger Pattie Thomas said...

A wonderful speaker, a special day, careful planning, dedicated system employees...are keys to a successful ceremony. Congratulations to all seniors and thanks to the masterminds behind making it all happen.


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