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Jefferson seniors upset about graduation date

February 12, 2001|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

Jefferson seniors upset about graduation date



CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Senior students at Jefferson High School are upset over the date that was selected for graduation this year, saying the date prohibits all of the students from being able to graduate together.

Students thought that graduation would be held on June 3. Some of the students are entering the military and made arrangements to report for training between June 4 and June 7, said senior Kara Feagans.

The Jefferson County Board of Education decided to hold graduation on June 9, mainly because it would be easier to administer final exams with the later date, according to Board of Education members. The June 9 date will not be changed despite the complaints, officials said last week.

If graduation were held on an earlier date, two separate exam schedules would have to be conducted since underclassmen would still be finishing up their classes, said board member Pete Dougherty.

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One set of exams would have to be held for seniors and another set of exams would have to be administered later for underclassmen.

Although the June 9 date is better for the system, Dougherty said he could sympathize with the feelings of seniors.

Feagans said there are strong friendships in this year's senior class, and some of the seniors wanted to go through the ceremony together.

"This, so far, is the most important moment in our lives," said Feagans.

For the last seven years, graduation has always been held around June 3, Feagans said.

Dougherty said it has been as late as June 9 in some years.

At least 25 students, some accompanied by their parents, appeared before the School Board on Feb. 6 in an attempt to convince board members to change their minds.

"Someone's forgotten we are the system," a visibly upset Feagans told board members.

School Board President Larry Togans said the board plans to announce the graduation date earlier next year to avoid confusion.

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