Graduation Guidelines

Grace Smith, Writer

Graduation is one of the most important days of the year for a senior. After years of work, students finally get to close the books and celebrate their accomplishments. While the excitement of graduation increases as the year ends, uncertainty about the process of graduation also occurs. Lori Poleway, senior class adviser, said that questions about the dress code for the graduation ceremony are the most frequently asked by seniors.

In previous years, when girls had to wear white gowns, they also had to wear white dresses as the graduation gowns were relatively transparent. Now that graduation caps and gowns are all blue, girls can wear any color they wish and any length as long as it doesn’t slow them down from walking across the stage.

Poleway said, “These are not rules; they are guidelines” meant to make the atmosphere formal. Graduates can wear jewelry, necklaces, heels of any color and height, and even headbands as long as the attire doesn’t interfere with cap and gowns. Boys should wear dress pants, a nice top and dress shoes.  Graduates should not wear tennis shoes.

Another requirement: graduates must limit cap decorations. In a recent interview with Principal Jim Gaskill, he stated that “graduation isn’t about your cap making you stand out. It’s about you and your class as a whole.”  Gaskill said the “cords should be the reason you stand out and be recognized, not what is on your cap.” Past graduating classes have shown their support of Stephen Gussler by writing “GussStrong” on their caps.  Gussler, who was a health teacher and baseball coach who passed away from cancer in April of 2014, made an impact on many students’ lives, so the school will continue to allow his name on caps. In addition, graduates can decorate their caps in support Joey Mechling, a member of the graduating class of 2016, who is currently fighting cancer. Other than these two names and the class of 2016, the school does not permit any decorations on caps.  

The school encourages all graduates to be on their best behavior for the families, teachers and board of education who will be at the ceremony to honor them. The graduates should represent Thomas Worthington in a dignified and respectful way. Not only does this mean dressing appropriately, it also means being supportive of everyone on and off the stage. If a graduate does not behave in accordance with the respectful atmosphere of the ceremony, the line leaders may decide to withhold the person’s diploma.

While seemingly strict, the guidelines the school recommends are meant to preserve the formal atmosphere of the graduation ceremony. Overall, it is the goal of the school to make graduation day an experience that graduates and family members remember and cherish.

Congratulations 2016 graduates!