he class of 2008 had a last year filled with several tragedies, but also its share of triumphs. While they mourned the loss of classmates, students also celebrated high student achievement as shown by stellar Academic Performance Index scores. For a record number of students--1,250 in total--next Friday will mark the end of the high school experience and the beginning of life beyond Pleasanton. They will walk the stage to receive the long-awaited diploma at the school where cherished memories were made.
It will be the first time in years that the commencement ceremonies will be held at the campuses. In recent years, they were at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, complete with air conditioned overflow seating and unlimited parking.
Kevin Johnson, senior director of pupil services, former Foothill High School principal and longtime district employee, said he doesn't remember exactly how long it's been since graduation was held at the schools, but recalls Amador Valley High moved its ceremonies in the early 1970s and Foothill moved to the fairgrounds in the late '80s.
Graduates and their families will gather at the football fields at both schools, with Foothill's ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. and Amador's at 8 p.m.
While there will be no overflow seating in an air conditioned building, Myla Grasso, public information officer for the district, said they are doing their best to address the limited parking at both schools.
"We will be opening up some of the fields or blacktop areas for parking," she said, adding that students and parents will be directed to different areas.
They are also encouraging people to take the limited parking into consideration by having parents drop graduates off, carpooling or even walking. Residents across the street from Amador were also mailed postcards about the change of graduation location, which could lead to increased traffic and parking problems.
"Having it at the schools enables students to give out more tickets," Grasso said. "There is guaranteed seating for [ticket holders] and also standing room in a different area."
The district is also asking that students and guests be mindful of the weather before the event,
"If it's very hot, we will have some water there, but people need to stay hydrated," she added.
Village and Horizon high schools will also be having graduation ceremonies. Nine Horizon students will graduate at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in their multipurpose room, while the Village ceremony will be held later that evening at 7 p.m. in the Amador Theater.