Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2004

Seniors getting special night for honors

February 19, 2004

The Class of 2004 can expect some special treatment this year. The Eudora High School seniors will be getting their own special day this spring in addition to graduation.
Eudora USD 491 is planning a special night to recognize seniors for their various honors and distinctions, a celebration that will in turn shorten the graduation ceremony.
"Just from watching a lot of graduations, (I can tell you) when it's not their kid, they really couldn't care less," said Eudora High School Activities Director Dave Durkin, who first presented the idea to the Board of Education several months ago. "The people from out of town really don't want to listen."
By having a separate honors night, the people who care most -- the seniors, their parents and close family -- can watch the class of 2004 bestowed with honors like scholarships as well as other academic awards, such as those for best math or English student that often go to seniors. Those types of awards have traditionally been handed out during daytime assemblies parents and others can't attend.
"This would be a chance for the parents to be there; grandparents -- whomever they want to bring," Durkin said.
In the past, he said graduation included reading all of the scholarships seniors had been offered, a big order in and of itself. Durkin added that more than 70 graduated last year, and each following class was getting larger.
"We've got the last of our small groups of kids," Durkin said. "There's a lot of really great things to do for our seniors we don't get to do now."
Durkin suggested an honors program at 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon in the high school gym, followed by a 5 p.m. dinner in the commons. The Board approved contributing enough money to feed each senior, with parents and other guests paying and returning RSVPs.
The district plans to have the vocational education center's culinary arts students cater the formal meal.
"It's a great way to show off what we've got; show people what our kids can do," Durkin said.

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