Last May, the McDuffie County School Board made a promise. This December, they will keep it.
Thomson High School's first fall graduation ceremony is scheduled to take place in December. These commencement exercises are for those students who have completed graduation requirements between May and December 2005 and who have not participated previously in graduation exercises.
"Since this was the first time we did not allow students to participate in the May graduation exercises if they hadn't passed all of the exit exam, this was just something that we offered them when they got their results, that we would have a graduation ceremony for them," said Sheron Finnerty, guidance counselor at THS.
According to Lynn Cato, assistant principal at THS, the ceremony will be a traditional one minus the student speakers. There will be a guest speaker "who will speak to the graduates about perseverance and persistence, because obviously they embody that." The ceremony will take place in the high school theater. The students will march in and sit on the stage, wearing caps and gowns.
"It won't be as huge an event as it would be on the football field because you're not talking about that number of students, but we want it to be every bit as nice, because they have earned that recognition," Ms. Cato said.
Currently, 17 students are eligible for the December graduation. Ms. Cato said more are expected as scores continue to come in from the writing portion of the test in September, and from those who complete the requirements to take the test in November.
"They are kind of sitting on ready. It will grow," she said.
Ms. Cato said the community, parents, school faculty and staff are invited to attend. Also, "the students who graduated this past May are invited to join us, because these are their classmates."
The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 in the Thomson High School theater.