GHS graduation moves to morning

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair

Camera-shy: After Guilderland High School’s 2018 graduation in June, Mark Gad, a young cousin of graduate Febronia Manseur, looks down as his mother tries to encourage him to raise his head for a photographer.

GUILDERLAND — The time of Guilderland’s graduation ceremony will change from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m., Superintendent Marie Wiles announced at the Nov. 13 meeting of the board of education, beginning with the June 29, 2019 ceremony.

Talking with The Enterprise this week, Barbara Fraterrigo, the school board’s longest-serving member, called this change “so much better for parents.”

Fraterrigo said that having the ceremony end at noon or 12:30 p.m. will be “great” for families who want to celebrate together, including those who have guests from out of town. Getting out at 6 or 6:30 p.m., as it has for the last eight years, limited families’ options, she said.

Before 2010, Guilderland held its commencement ceremony in the morning at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany for many years. The setting was more formal and the venue held fewer people than the athletic arena at the University at Albany, which is also closer for Guilderland residents.

One year, when the district didn’t get its bid in on time, it lost that slot, Fraterrigo recalled.

The ceremony was then moved to its current site, the University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena, where the only time available was the 4 p.m. slot, Fraterrigo explained.

Representatives of the venue called the district this year to say that the 10 a.m. slot was opening up, as the North Colonie school district was moving its ceremony to the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, Wiles said. She explained that the reason Guilderland got that call was because the district had frequently inquired about the getting an earlier time.

A decision needed to be made quickly, Wiles said, so district officials checked with the high school’s administrators and with the school board before accepting the new time slot.


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