NHS graduation to take on palatial feel

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The Naugatuck High School Class of 2012 sits on the football field at the school during graduation last June. This year’s graduation ceremony for the Class of 2013 has been moved to the Palace Theater in Waterbury due to ongoing construction at the school. –FILE PHOTO
The Naugatuck High School Class of 2012 sits on the football field at the school during graduation last June. This year’s graduation ceremony for the Class of 2013 has been moved to the Palace Theater in Waterbury due to ongoing construction at the school. –FILE PHOTO

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2013 at Naugatuck High School and Woodland Regional High School are set for June 24.

For Naugatuck seniors, the stage they will be walking across will not be at the school on Rubber Avenue but at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.

A major renovation project is underway at the high school and the football field, which is where seniors would normally have had their graduation ceremony, is under construction.

Naugatuck High School Principal Janice Saam said despite the change in the location everyone is working to make this year’s ceremony as similar to a typical graduation as possible.

“I think we’re going to replicate as closely as possible what we would have done here,” Saam said. “The nice thing is, rain or shine, we know it’s going to be happening.”

Saam said there will be some differences, however.

“What’s different for us this year is typically the graduates are facing their parents and parents look down on graduates. Now everyone is facing the stage,” Saam said.

This doesn’t mean that parents will never see their child’s face. When the graduates walk onto the stage they will be in full view of their friends and family, Saam said.

“When they go up to get their diploma everyone will have a good view,” Saam said.

Since the ceremony will be held at the Palace Theater, each student will be limited to seven guests.  

“That divides them equally amongst all the students,” Saam said. “That will mean every seat is taken.”

On graduation day students will arrive at the high school at 6:30 p.m. to get ready for the event. They will then be bused over to the Palace, where they will enter from the wings of the stage and take their seats.

Parents will be able to enter the theater at 7:30 p.m. and the graduation will begin at 8 p.m.

Saam said she is pleased with how well the staff at the theater has been working with the school to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“I can not compliment or say enough wonderful things about the Palace. They have been extraordinary,” Saam said. “They have pretty much said they will do what we like to have done so it can be as close to our graduation ceremony as we normally have. They have gone out of their way to be accommodating to us.”

Woodland’s graduation ceremony will follow the same script it has for years.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. sharp in the school’s courtyard. Woodland Principal Arnold Frank said if the ceremony is moved into the gymnasium due to weather each student will receive four tickets for guests. Students will begin to gather at about 5:15 p.m., Frank said.