by Lauren Holzmann | arts and entertainment editor

There are several different things that could play a factor this late in the year for reasons seniors won’t be able to graduate. Anything from outstanding fees to behavioral issues can keep you from walking the stage on June 7. 

“Anything that would obviously involve [seniors] in alternative school – drugs, alcohol, weapons, anything that’s going to cause them to get alternative high school; will not be able to walk the stage,” principal John Mehlbrech said. “During practices, during our assemblies, if they are goofing off, if they are messing around, they won’t go. They won’t [cross the stage] either. It’s so important for the community and for the parents that are attending [graduation] that everybody behaves and again I have to trust every single one of them.”

 

Because graduation is a significant event not only seniors and their parents, but Mehlbrech and his colleagues as well, as they are being evaluated.

“[A circumstance] that could prevent a senior from graduating or from walking the stage, of course any type of misbehavior that would lead to office referrals and that would definitely fall into that disciplinary category that could prevent a student from walking the stage and that can happen even during rehearsals or even the day of graduation,” lead counselor, Courtney Tarbox said. “We just want to remind students how important graduation is for them and their families and to be sure that they remember that while we want to have fun, we also want to be sure that everyone graduates in a very honorable and respectable way.”

A very common occurrence among seniors at this time of year is their lack of attendance in their classes which leaves them coming to school six days of the week instead of seven.

“Once they reach 10 absences in a semester, they have to start attending Saturday school. So I know they have been called in; they’ve been told to go and then the choice is really up to them if they go or not,” Mehlbrech said.

 

Because their high school years are coming to an end, it is not uncommon for some seniors to stop attending their classes and turning in their work. 

“For seniors, it’s super important that they are checking their grade and checking with their teachers and their counselors at this point. If a student is failing we encourage them to work with their teachers to get all of their missing assignments in, try to correct all of their failing grades to a 70,” Tarbox said.

After a senior has taken every measure possible to try and pass and that still isn’t enough, the student may have to part-take in course recovery to attempt to graduate with the rest of their class.

“We can also talk to teachers to see what a student needs to do to some type of credit recovery and start that process early so they can have it completed in time for graduation,” Tarbox said.

Knowing that senior year can get pretty hectic and some things can slip your mind such as membership fees or remembering to pay off a parking ticket can turn into an obligation preventing a senior from walking the stage.

“If a student has any we call them obligations or outstanding fines paid off by graduation, they will not be able to graduate or participate in graduation ceremonies so again we need students to make sure they are taking care of all of their obligations and taking care of any fines with the front main office,” Tarbox said.

Putting all of the responsibility aside, this is still supposed to be a memorable moment for the students as they end one chapter in their life and enter adulthood.

“This is an exciting time for our seniors and that all their parents, families, the teachers and faculty, we all look forward to graduation and celebrating our senior class so we are looking forward to it,” Tarbox said.

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About The Author

Lauren Holzmann is a senior at Johnson High School and is a second year writer for MyJagNews. She is currently the Arts and Entertainment editor. She is also involved in orchestra where she holds an officer position as well as a member in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Friends Club and is a peer tutor for the special needs students. When she isn't working, Lauren is usually hanging out with friends or binge watching multiple shows simultaneously on Netflix. She is also perfectly capable of remembering every Parks and Recreation episode ever made and wishes she was able to try waffles from JJ's Diner. She has 3 dogs, each more stubborn than the next and a younger sister with whom she shares her birthday.

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