Penn Manor seniors may not be receiving their diplomas at Penn Manor High School this year.
Penn Manor and Hempfield are looking to share a facility and split the costs for 2011’s graduation ceremony. Their top choice, Franklin and Marshall College, is indoors so inclement weather wouldn’t be a problem. Students getting their cap and gown drenched in sweat also wouldn’t be a problem because the building is air-conditoned.
Principal Phil Gale and others are discussing the alternative graduation site and are trying to get a site scheduled in time.
“We are looking for a place that can host a ceremony without running into problems with inclement weather or the hot temperatures of the gymnasium,” Gale said. “We don’t want to set up two locations again.”
During previous graduations, Penn Manor set up in Millersville’s football stadium but took everything down and held the ceremony in the school gym if weather threatened.
Gale has been talking with the Hempfield principal about the new idea.
“Hempfield was looking to move as well and so I discussed with the principal at Hempfield about finding a place together,” said Gale. “We could split the cost and have a nice facility for people as well as save money.”
Gale and Dr. Michael Leichliter, Penn Manor’s Superintendent, met with principals from two other schools to talk about graduation.
“In October, Leichliter and I met with superintendent and principal of Hempfield as well as the principal of McCaskey and talked about finding a common place that all three of us could share and split the costs,” Gale said, “but McCaskey graduated at the Lancaster Convention Center last year and they are scheduled to graduate there again this year.”
Gale also went on two different tours at F&M to see the facility Penn Manor could use and to get more information.
“Myself and Dr. D’Amico went over to F&M in mid-October for a tour,” Gale said. “It was really nice because the stage was set up so we could visually see what it would look like.
We also got more information and costs,” he added. “After the first tour, I talked with the school board about the concept and ideas. I then asked for permission to go further.”
On November 8, Dr. Leichliter, the class officers and Gale went on another tour of the facility.
This is a new idea, something that has never been done before. That has students wondering if this is a good idea or not.
“I don’t think we should do it. It’s bad luck and I would rather have it at Millersville (Biemesderfer Stadium) like we always do,” said senior Brittany Wright.
“I think it would be a great idea to graduate at a different place, but at the same time, I want to graduate at the school that I’m graduating from,” said senior Morgan Ream.
Gale pointed out the necessity of figuring out the location as soon as possible, saying, “We should know if graduation will be held at F&M soon because we need to book a date and get things set with Hempfield.”
By Allana Herr