Make Graduation a Success

Graduation ceremonies can be torturous or memorable. If you are a school administrator or teacher in charge of organizing this year's graduation festivities, follow these dos and don'ts for success.

DO make it all about the kids. Put the focus on the students' achievements and how they've grown. Now is not the time to honor faculty or talk about how the school has evolved.

DON'T schedule an afternoon ceremony. If possible, schedule the graduation in the morning. Many graduation ceremonies take place outdoors or in a gymnasium where temperatures can creep up in the afternoon. Few people will enjoy the event in the blazing sun or with soaring temperatures, especially graduates clad in caps and gowns.

DO choose the student speaker based on speaking ability rather than grade point average. Sometimes the best speakers are not necessarily the ones who earned the best grades in school. Ensure that everyone gets a chance to be honored by basing choices on merits that stretch beyond grades.

DON'T drag out a ceremony with a lot of awards and honors. Parents and relatives are there to see their sons and daughters receive diplomas. Award after award can grow tiresome to a waiting audience.

DO keep the ceremony brief. With hundreds of students awaiting their roll call, the diploma ceremony on its own tends to be lengthy. Don't add to the wait with extra bells and whistles. Everyone will appreciate the brevity and the chance to go home and celebrate the graduation accomplishment.

DON'T feel the need to have a speaker from outside of the school. Well known speakers, especially celebrity ones, tend to charge for their time, which can be expensive for a school looking to keep costs down. What's more, most graduates don't even remember what was said in graduation speeches.

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