The McDuffie County Board of Education does not like getting their feet wet. After rains soaked last year's commencement exercises, high school administrators asked the board to make alternate plans for the future.
Board members voted at a called meeting on July 10 to change graduation from Saturday, May 22, 2010, to Friday, May 21, at 8 p.m. At the superintendent's recommendation, board members decided if there is rainy weather on Friday, the ceremony can be rescheduled to take place the next day, Saturday. Discussion included the options of having the ceremony in the morning versus an evening time, and trying to beat late-afternoon rains. Finally, it was decided that the time for Saturday's ceremony will be announced that day, if needed, and will depend on how the weather looks.
Dexter Lovins made the motion for the graduation date change/rain date, Dorothy Hart seconded, and the vote passed unanimously.
Previously, the decision of what to do if it's raining during graduation was left up to the Thomson High School administrators. Each year, the commencement exercises take place in the Brickyard stadium to accommodate the large number of guests. The rain plan for each year has been to move the ceremony to the high school gym, but doing so limits the number of guests each graduate can have.
When it became apparent this past May that it was going to rain on graduation night, the school principals talked to the graduates during their practice ceremony that morning. The graduates "were determined" not to move the ceremony indoors because they only would be allowed five family members per graduate, according to Thomson High School Assistant Principal Lynn Cato.
Superintendent Jim LeBrun said moving the date back to Friday and planning Saturday as a rain date gives administrators one more option to use besides moving into the gym.