Selecting the Venue for Graduation Ceremony


Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Northwood and University highs hold their graduations at UCI, and while staff considered this location, it seems to present certain inconveniences, such as cost and the time of the graduation.

Maya Sabbaghian, Opinion Editor

The staff is starting very early stages of planning for Portola High’s first graduation ceremony in June 2020. This process includes selecting a venue, colors for caps and gowns and other logistics that will set the precedent for all future graduation ceremonies.

Heavy planning of the ceremony will not commence until this summer or early fall. However, the staff is currently considering some venues for the graduation.

“So far, we believe we are graduating here at Portola,” principal John Pehrson said. “It’s fitting that our first graduating class graduates right here in our stadium. That’s pretty much what we have planned so far.”

Staff has considered other venues, as well. Some include the stadium at the Great Park or UCI’s Bren Events Center, where Northwood and University highs hold their graduation ceremonies. However, each option outside of campus has presented challenges in terms of having enough room to hold students and their families, as well as meeting needs for cost. As of now, the most viable option seems to be the school’s stadium.

“I’m looking the most forward to the sentimental value that comes with our graduation more so thatn the venue because I believe since it’s Portola’s first graduating class that they will most likely do the traditional graduation at the school,” junior Miranda Wang said.

Another important decision is the robe color. Staff has decided on black robes for students and purple robes for staff. Another consideration is the regalia that students will wear.

“We still need to finalize what regalia will be acceptable, as we want it to look dignified but we don’t want it to look ridiculous,” Pehrson said. “I think it’s going to be a fairly basic but dignified ceremony. We want to honor students for their accomplishments. We want to make it a special event especially because it is our first one.”

Aside from the robes and venue, other factors are in the works, such as who will speak at the graduation. Staff plans to hold auditions for students who want to speak at graduation.

“The significance of our first graduation ceremony is that we are starting our own tradition from scratch because this is a new high school. All the other Irvine schools have their graduation traditions in place,” junior Samira Feili said. “Portola has this open field to work with and it is a rewarding and exciting moment for the first graduating class to come together in this final piece of our high school career. It ties us all together one last time before we leave for college.”