In a dramatic about face, Lebanon High School will now hold 2014 commencement exercises in true Blue Devil fashion – at Clifton Tribble Field/Danny Watkins Stadium.
Principal Myra Sloan said the decision was made to keep outdoor graduation on the football field after parents addressed the Wilson County Board of Education about the importance of tradition.
“Schools Director Dr. Tim Setterlund met with our graduation committee and keeping it on the football field is what we came up with,” she said.
It was announced earlier this year that graduation for LHS, along with Mt. Juliet High School and Wilson Central High School, would be moved to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, May 31. At the time, Setterlund explained that the decision to move graduation to the Davidson County facility was due to the increasing number of graduates and guests.
“The Municipal Auditorium is the only place we could find that is large enough to accommodate parents and guests indoors. The difficulties that happened last year at Lebanon High School’s graduation causes us to start this conversation and come up with a permanent solution,” he told The Wilson Post back in August.
Lebanon High’s 2013 graduation ceremony was plagued by a fast moving spring storm that forced a last minute change of venue from Tribble Field to Campbell Brandon Gymnasium. Many parents were unable to attend the indoor ceremony due the move to a smaller facility and traffic issues.
Although it seems, MJHS and WCHS will hold graduations at the Municipal Auditorium – LHS has now officially opted out of the agreement in favor of the traditional outdoor graduation with an indoor rain-out plan as backup.
“We actually developed a rain-out plan last year after graduation. We never intended to have our last graduation indoors. What we are going to do is set it up inside and give tickets in case rain happens. We are also making parking arrangements with nearby churches to provide shuttle services for individuals,” Sloan said.
“We feel good about this choice. There is a lot of pride and tradition here. It would be easier to not have it on campus – we really work our fingers to the bone in the days leading up to graduation, but it is our tradition.”
Presently some 398 seniors are scheduled to graduate from LHS on Saturday, May 31 at 7 p.m. on the football field. “Having it indoors will be a last resort,” Sloan added.