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THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER: Graduation ceremonies set to unleash Class of 2014

ore than 220 Pahrump Valley High School (PVHS) seniors are expected to take the walk as the 2014 PVHS commencement ceremonies take place exactly one week from today.

This week, students are completing their final exams in anticipation of their respective rites of passage.

PVHS Registrar of Students Jennifer Shockley said on Thursday the schedule this year has been slightly altered for the benefit of all attendees.

“There’s been a change on when we will begin. We backed it up hoping that we will have a little more shade so the ceremony will commence at 8 p.m. We’re just concerned about people not having to sit out that long in the hot sun this year,” she said.

Two graduation rehearsals are also scheduled next week at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Shockley said families of graduating seniors should note parking regulations as they arrive on campus next week.

Accommodations will be made for those with mobility issues.

“We will be working with the Nye County Sheriff’s department who is putting it all together with their auxiliary units. Our JROTC program is also helping out with parking. There will be golf cart shuttles running from the entrance gates. We will get them all checked in and take them right to their seats,” she said.

School officials anticipate a large volume of family and friends and urge visitors to arrive as early as possible.

Gates open at 6 p.m.

The registrar said each graduating senior will receive seating tickets for their respective families.

“Currently with our number count, each senior will get five tickets for their families for seating on the football field. We also have open seating in the bleachers. All of the seating provides a great view of the ceremony because the students walk all the way around the crowd so there will be lots of great photo opportunities,” she said.

Throughout the evening all normal school rules apply during the ceremony.

No food or drinks will be allowed as the school will provide bottled water for $1.

Smoking will also be prohibited, including electronic cigarettes.

Officials also urge visitors, especially young children, to remain seated during the event.

Shockley said families and friends who plan to bring congratulatory gifts may do so with one important caveat.

“If they have flowers, balloons or signs, it would be best to leave those items in the car until after the ceremony. It’s unfair to the persons sitting behind you. It’s nice that people bring flowers, but they usually end up sitting on the seat next to them, which takes up much needed space,” she said.

Additionally, Shockley said diplomas will not be handed out during the ceremony but they can be picked up at the office the following week.

“For many years we gave the seniors their diplomas upon making their walk but we always had situations where some of the students lost or misplaced them. Some were damaged after they were accidentally stepped on while celebrating afterwards on the football field. We just hand out the diploma cover at graduation because it’s a little bit safer,” she said.

A special event is also planned for graduating seniors next Thursday evening.

Student Council member Kaylee Jones said the event, known as “Senior Sunset,” will take place at dusk on the campus.

Senior videos will be previewed and sold for $5.

“We are going with a Hawaiian tropical theme this year. There will be lots of food and games for the seniors and one guest. Many of the seniors have been working very hard on the sunset this year. There will also be a bounce house and water games. The students can also get an airbrushed tattoo if they want,” she said.

Jones, this week, also reflected on her final year at PVHS.

“This year has been kind of up and down dealing with passing all my classes. I’m planning on attending Great Basin College in July to become a certified nursing assistant. The following August I plan to enroll in nursing school at the College of Southern Nevada,” she said.

PVHS Counselor Elissa Couch has been busy as of late helping students with last minute details before their big day.

“The students have been working on their check-out sheets and I will sign off on them. I have gotten to know the students and their families quite well. I really enjoy counseling. I can absolutely say that I am beaming with joy and I know our kids are going to go on and do great things. I hope at some point they will come back to the community because Pahrump is a wonderful place to live,” Couch said.

Shockley, meanwhile, said that the campus’ graduation committee will once again provide sponsored chairs with a personalized message.

The chairs, used only for graduation ceremonies, cost $10 each.

“We’ve been doing this for the past two years. We purchased about 1,300 folding chairs and to help pay for that we got the idea for parents or businesses to sponsor a chair. They are all-weather labels for the desired message. Anyone sitting behind you will see the personalized message. It’s just a way to honor your graduate or advertise your business,” she said.

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton this week provided a message for all graduating seniors.

“What’s next graduating seniors? Will you be going to college? Will you go to various branches of the armed forces to help keep our country safe at home and abroad? Others may get right to work, or even take a year or more off to decide what they want to do. Leaving high school is such a difficult transition I do not know what the world has in store for you, but I am confident in the skills you have gained to attack the transition into everyday life,” Norton said.

Several northern Nye County schools are holding their respective graduation ceremonies this month on a slightly smaller scale.

Round Mountain and Beatty High School will each see 19 students graduate this year.

At Gabbs High School, five students will advance while 30 seniors at Tonopah High School are expected to make the traditional walk.

Pathways and Adult Education have 20 and eight graduating students respectively.

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