LP graduation in all its glory, laughter and tears

Veronica Desouza, Staff Writer

As of May 25, the graduating seniors will walk across the stage with bursts of excitement.

Every student can have unlimited guests to join their special. At 7 p.m. Lake Park will host the graduation at the Sears Center

Graduation is a very important date for the family and the graduating student. However, the ceremony is not easily put together.

Lake Park has a graduation rate of 92 percent, according to Dominic Manola, assistant principal. By way of comparison, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the overall graduation rate for Illinois is 86 percent.

“(Graduation) takes about six months. A lot of work goes into (it), and (also) a lot of details because  it has to be done right,” Principal John Gouriotis said.

Graduation can also be very nerve wracking. For students who have a 5.0 GPA there is a breakfast where the peers choose a class speaker. It can be quite suspenseful waiting to see who gets to give a speech to over a thousand people.

“Speeches are normally congratulatory and motivational in nature ( congratulating all students and telling the unforgettable memories of high school),” Tim Noverini, associate principal, said.

At Lake Park High School there are 636 students in the senior class, according to Gouriotis. When students graduate, they receive their diploma as they walk across the stage. As opposed to other schools they are mailed home at a later date for behavioral circumstances.

“(Graduates receive their diploma) at graduation for convenience of the students. That way they don’t have to arrange to pick them up after the ceremony,” Gouriotis said.

Many people are needed to put graduation in order

“There is a large group of people involved in planning, including administration, administrative assistants, the registrar, the band/choir director, and more. Each person has different roles and everyone knows their job leading up to that event,” Manola said.  

The Sears Center provides the best ceremony venue because of unlimited seating as well as minimizing weather conditions to accommodate the ceremony, according to Gouriotis.

We love holding our event at Sears Centre because there is more than enough seats for this–because the venue holds 6,000, we have plenty of room,” Manola said.

Not all students graduate as seniors. Some want to make the best of their four years in high school, while others decide to put in extra work and dedication to graduate early.

In order for a student to graduate early they still need to have a minimum of 22 credits and an ACT on file. Since only the student has only three years to complete getting these credits, summer school is needed for some.

“If a student meets the required credit and core classes, and happens to do so ahead of the four years (typically three and a half), they can graduate early. They have to pass the same classes as a four-year graduate,” Manola said.