Hermiston’s graduation this year will mark significant changes, both for the individuals tossing their caps, and for the school district itself.
The 332 members of the class of 2018 will be the first to graduate at a venue outside Hermiston, as their ceremony will be held at the Toyota Center in Kennewick on Thursday, June 7.
Billed by the school district as a decision meant to accommodate the growing number of graduates and their families, the district is also providing transportation for those families to get to the venue, which is about 30 miles away from Hermiston.
The Toyota Center is located at 7000 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick, WA 99336.
The district is providing buses for parents to and from Kennewick, but district spokesperson Maria Duron said the high school already sent a letter informing parents that they need to sign up if they want to use school transportation. The deadline was May 11, she said, but if parents missed the deadline and still need transportation, they should contact counseling secretary Tammy Gattis as soon as possible. Families taking school transportation to Kennewick need to be at the high school parking lot by 5:45 p.m.
Gattis can be reached at 541-667-6125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduates will be bused up to the Toyota Center on the day of graduation, and will need to be at the high school by 5 p.m.
Graduation will also be live-streamed at the district’s Youtube channel. To find it, family members can search “HSD Communications” on Youtube.
Duron said there are some clothing requirements for graduating seniors. Those students are not allowed to wear shorts or flip-flops, and caps and gowns are to remain intact, with no additional decorations.
Though it’s been a common practice at previous graduations, Duron said things like noisemakers, silly string and confetti will not be allowed in the Toyota Center, and flowers are not allowed on the floor with graduates. Outside food and beverages are also not allowed in the Toyota Center.
“Due to the fact that there will be subsequent graduations other than just ours, it is imperative that the above rules are followed,” Duron said in a written statement.
A professional photography studio, LifeTouch, will be taking photos of individual students during the ceremony, and will be available for purchase.
The after-graduation party will be at the Tri-City Court Club after the ceremony.