MCHS plans to hold first outside graduation with all seniors

Upper Campus intends to hold graduation at McCracken following last year’s move to split indoor ceremonies


Allie Everhart

Students, parents, faculty, administration and the board of education celebrate the Class of 2022 during last year’s graduation ceremony on May 21 in the Upper Campus main gym. The ceremony was planned for McCracken but moved inside due to poor weather conditions.

Vanessa Moreno, News Editor

McHenry High School will hold its first outside graduation ceremony with all seniors at McCracken Field, weather permitting, on May 20 at 11 a.m. Otherwise, graduation will move to the Upper Campus main gym with two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Distinguished Warriors should arrive at the Freshman Campus by 9:30 a.m. Seal of Biliteracy recipients arrive 10 minutes later. Everyone else needs to be there with their cap, gown and regalia by 10 a.m. 

“I’m feeling pretty nervous about [graduation],” senior Claire Guzman said. “It feels surreal and it feels like the year went by so quickly. I just hope graduation goes as planned and we stay outdoors with everyone together.” 

McCracken will open for guests at 10 a.m., and parking is available at Duker, Edgebrook and Kane Street. Entrance is by ticket, which students receive five of at practice after paying all school fees by May 15. 

Attending practice, held on May 19 at 10 a.m., is a requirement to participate in the ceremony. It should last around three hours, and students meet at the Freshman Campus. 

“In case of inclement weather, practice will be held at the Upper Campus gymnasium,” a graduation letter sent by MCHS reads. “A notice will be sent out by Thursday, May 18th with the final decision on location.”

At graduation, students must wear “dress clothes and appropriate shoes.” No spiked heels or stilettos are allowed. Students cannot wear flowers, pins, artwork or jewelry on gowns. They can wear honor cords, military stoles and appropriate cap designs. 

“I’m excited to decorate my cap,” Guzman said. “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, though. I think I might put stickers or some design on it.” 

This year, teachers Mitch Stengel and Steve Levon are helping read names at the ceremony, along with senior counselors David Figueroa and Kaitlyn Schack. A committee is also working on choosing students to give speeches at graduation.

Walking at the ceremony is considered a privilege, so inappropriate conduct may lead to removal from the ceremony. Students violating behavior guidelines do not receive a diploma at the graduation event. 

“In closing, I want to extend my heartiest congratulations to the Class of 2023 and their parents,” Jeff Prickett, MCHS principal, wrote in the graduation letter. “The tradition of Graduation here at McHenry Community High School is a wonderful event that we enjoy each year! I look forward to celebrating graduation with you!” 

Students must meet all the requirements set by District 156’s Board of Education to graduate. Among these, completing 24 total credits.