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Buy a better seat? REALLY??

Original post made by Mary, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on May 24, 2012

Posted on AVHS Newsletter:


Graduation Ceremony Preferred Seating

8 seats within the first 5 rows

The PTSA is pleased to announce the auction for 8 preferred seats

at the Graduation Ceremony on June 8th.

Minimum starting bid: $1,000

Incremental bids: $100

Really? So if I have more money than someone else, I can get a better seat to watch my son/daughter graduate? Does anyone else find this as disgusting as I do? I know the district is in a budget crisis but this is just not right.

Comments (18)

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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

I guess I don't have a problem with auctioning off those seats. Actually that is a good idea to help raise money for school. What I would suggest is, that the winner of the auction for the seat or seats, should be acknowledged as a SPONSOR of that seat, and allow the top-performing students to have those seats Front and Center to honor them and not allow a person with more money than someone else to plant their fannies in that seat. Just make it a sponsored seat.

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Posted by Outraged
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 24, 2012 at 8:57 am

Talk about prostituting the students for the issue of raising revenue.

I am ashamed of Jim Hansen. He should be ashamed of himself.

This is a public school, not a political fundraiser for a congressional or presidential election, where it is common to have $1000 dollar a plate political fundraisers.

Oh yes, remember, this is from the unethical District that did illegal bond trading that the taxpayers now must foot an extra $10 million for.

Never mind. That explains it.

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Posted by Cheryl James
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

Actually there are seats that are being given out as well. So many have a chance at similar seats. The Auction is one small portion of a larger whole. I am a Foothill Mom and applaud the ingenuity.

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Posted by Why Not!
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I think it is a great idea! They should also consider doing that with a few prime parking spaces at the various schools.

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Posted by PTA Board member
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Did you know that the District stopped paying for graduation ceremonies??? The Amador Valley PTSA paid $20,000 for the graduation ceremony last year and is doing the same this year. It has been a traditional practice to give groups on campus a "donation" for their fundraiser with this unique idea. Boosters and Friends of Music both get seats to auction at the annual events. PTSA was given 2 sets of seats this year to do the same. The board decided that one set will be raffled off with a drawing of all seniors. The other set is being used to offset graduation expenses through an auction. Graduation remains "free" to students and parents to attend, although there usually is a ticket limit per student.

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Posted by Why Not!
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I still think it is a great idea! We are in different times and many times "prime" items are auctioned off for an organization. Why not with schools? I remember years ago at one of the elementary schools they auctioned off two parking spots in prime spots in front of the school. Whoever won got the spot for the whole was theirs! It was a great idea and a great way to raise some money for the school to be used on the students!

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Posted by Betsy
a resident of California Reflections
on May 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I dunno...sort of leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Drawing I can see, auction starting at $1000 dollars that immediately eliminates most of the families at the school? Is this what we have come to in the budget crisis? Sad state of affairs here in California. That being said, I can appreciate the school's desperation for funding.

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Posted by disgusted
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Why not sell raffle tickets to parents for a chance to win the good seats. At $10 or $20 a ticket, it gives everyone an opportunity to contribute and possibily win the seats.

Money wins everytime is this town. And the ones that act like they have money, but really all they have is a huge, empty house under water. Hope Mrs. Mom gets her Gucci heels stuck in the grass as she prances to her expensive seat! living the dream in P-town!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I have no problem with this. If someone wants to provide a donation to the school for seats I think it's great and I think they should be able to park their fannies or anyone else's in any way they please. I think this is a much better use of the seats than what happens today person arrives and plants their blankets, purses, lunches, drinks and whatever else they have with them to save the entire row for people who walk in 5 minutes before the ceremony begins. I have no problem with the school district providing 2 free seats to each graduate and charging for any other tickets. I just went to a college graduation that was "open seating" for everyone. However, there was a prime VIP section for parents who made large donations to the school. I have no problem with it. If people can contribute to the cause - the more power to them.

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Posted by Face Facts People
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm

The state is in a budget crisis - this isn't new news. Schools continue to be asked to do more with less. That sucks for everyone. Graduations cost money and the district is no longer footing the bill for graduation. I applaud Amador for trying to raise some of the needed funds to cover the costs. We're talking about them selling a few seats here, not every seat in the stadium. Why not let those that can afford it help fund graduation for everyone. The alternative is to charge an entry fee to everyone attending the graduation.

"Outraged" - your are so off base with your comment about Jim Hansen. He is doing an incredible job. He cares about each and every student and about each and every program at Amador.

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Posted by Give me a break
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Oh my... I'm sooooooooooooooo tired of people who are jealous of what others have whining every time there is something that they cannot afford for their children or themselves. Pretty soon, ALL trips, sports and extra curricular activities will be cancelled because one parent complains that they cannot get it for their child! The whole attitude of 'if I can't have it no one can' is just really getting tiring. LIFE IS NOT FAIR.... GET OVER IT ALREADY.

Pay attention Mary, Disgusted and everyone else. The reason that the boosters is auctioning off these seats is to raise money so that things can be provided to ALL students. The people leading these booster groups and putting in countless hours of volunteering are doing this so that EVERYONE can participate in activities with minimal cost. Most likely, the parents leading and attending the fundraising efforts are NOT the ones that cannot afford to pay for the activities.

Instead of whining that you can't afford to bid and someone else is going to get a better seat than you, you should be saying THANK YOU to the people running the PTSA. Coming from the perspective of a FHS parent, I would be grateful that 1.) You have a graduation ceremony provided for without all the drama that has gone on at FHS this year and 2.) You have someone willing to give $1000 to AVHS to attend an event they could attend for free.

By the way, if you want a good seat at graduation, you are more than welcome get in line early. There is no cost for that.

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Posted by Al Cohen
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 25, 2012 at 7:12 am

The practice of "selling grad seats" has been going on for years at the Purple and Gold Gala. I have personally witnessed people spending multiple thousands of dollars on these seats. All proceeds from that sale goes to the Booster club.

I also believe (I was an usher for a couple of years at graduation) that the band organization also has "reserved seats". I believe their proceeds support the band organization.

The PTSA is the sole source of funding for the Graduation. PTSA has paid for the entire graduation for the past several years. As distasteful as this seems, the proceeds go DIRECTLY for paying for the graduation, which has been in excess of $20K for the past few years.

All of these efforts are a direct result of the continuing slashed budgets. For folks who are outraged, please google all the issues Foothill has had funding their graduation. Blaming Mr. Hansen is ludicrous.

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Posted by to gimme a break
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 25, 2012 at 9:36 am

This is high school folks, not colleges where huge endowments are the norm. It's supposed to be equal for all the graduates. And SHAME on PUSD for not footing the bill for graduation ceremonies....that is just WRONG is so many ways! They find money for other things but not graduation....really?? So that's what kids get for working their tails off to be listed as one of the top schools in the for your graduation ceremony yourselves? That's a disgrace PUSD; you should be ashamed!

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Posted by Give me a break
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

These are 8 seats out of the couple thousand that are available? It's not like parents and families CAN'T go if you don't want pay $1000.

I TOTALLY agree that it is a DISGRACE the the PUSD does not pay this. They want the recognition of being a top performing district yet they don't want to pay for graduation to recognize the work of the students that helped earn that recognition? Makes no sense. Yet, they continue to hire people at the district office. As I've said before.. they cut the items they know the PTA's and parents will cover.

That being said, the reality is that the district is NOT paying this year. They are also cutting other activities. The reality is that the schools MUST raise money. Can we the booster clubs work on getting the funds.. and be thankful someone is doing this, instead of criticizing their hard work? How many tubs of disgusting cookie dough would they have to sell to net $1000 profit? Be grateful that there are families who can and will support the school by paying $1000+ to attend the graduation ceremony that they can attend for free.

We need to get the current school board OUT. We need to VOTE in Nov for new members. If everyone that complained here put as much effort into getting better people elected, we could be better off.

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Posted by Pilar
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I was totally sickened by this until reading some of the posts. If they can pay for half of the ceremony by auctioning off these seats, then I can now understand the need.

What sucks is that while the district isn't paying for this, you can bet they will all be front and center on the stage as if they personally know the kids or that this is who the kids want to receive their diplomas from. I say let the kids have more say and do away with the suits who will sit in a row front and center and let the kids vote for the staff members they want to speak and be in the receiving line.

My child graduated from village and it was an intimate and very student driven ceremony in the Amador theater. Guess this is one area village can say their ceremony is the best. It is a day I will never forget.

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Posted by Sonoma
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I attended a family member's high school graduation in Sonoma COunty. At first I was a bit taken aback when the grad explained to me something about 'selling' front row seats. He thought it was quite acceptable so I didn't explore. I don't think it was an aution, but it might have been. So I guess it's the norm.

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a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 9:51 pm

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Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 30, 2017 at 10:29 am

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