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Board votes down graduation at Mount

January 21, 2004|by Richard F. Belisle

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Waynesboro Area Senior High School seniors may graduate on their home turf this spring as the result of a 5-4 vote by the Waynesboro Area School Board Tuesday night.

The vote against a motion to hold the graduation ceremony at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md., came without discussion by board members.

Last year, the school held commencement exercises at Knott Arena at Mount St. Mary's College, 15 miles away. The ceremony was moved there after more than 100 patrons suffered from extreme heat in the local high school gymnasium during the 2002 graduation ceremony. The gym has no air conditioning.

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Seating capacity in the gymnasium is limited to about 1,000 people. The Knott Arena can hold 4,000.

A majority of the members of the Class of 2003 voted to hold the commencement at Mount St. Mary's.

In calling for the vote Tuesday, Board President Lawrence M. Glenn said the district's administration recommended Knott Arena "in the interest of health, welfare and safety of the students and their guests."

Voting against the motion to hold the graduation in Emmitsburg were members Marilyn K. Smith, Todd Rock, Leland Lemley, Anna Bostwick-Foley and Megan Shea.

Those in favor were Glenn; Stanley Barkdoll, who made the motion; John Fitz, who seconded it; and Chris M. Devers.

There were problems in Emmitsburg last year. The exercises were delayed for more than 45 minutes when many students and their guests were held up on the road because of a major traffic jam through Emmitsburg and at the entrance to the arena across U.S. 15.

Some students had to race across the parking lot in caps and gowns in an effort to get to the arena on time.

The situation drew many complaints from parents. Others objected to the Emmitsburg site because of nostalgic reasons.

This year, seniors were not given an opportunity to vote on the issue.

The most favored site for the graduation has been the high school football field. Glenn said last week that in the 10 years leading up to and including 2002, bad weather forced graduates and their guests into the gymnasium eight times.




How they voted


The Waynesboro Area School Board on Tuesday voted down a motion 5-4 to hold the 2004 graduation ceremony at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md.

For: Lawrence M. Glenn, Stanley Barkdoll, John Fitz and Chris M. Devers.

Against: Marilyn K. Smith, Todd Rock, Leland Lemley, Anna Bostwick-Foley and Megan Shea.

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