Most Orderly Graduation Ceremony Ever

June 10, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

high school choir at graduation

There she is in the front row looking up to search the crowd for her parents.

graduates standing in line for diplomas

Standing in line for that trip across the stage and that well earned piece of paper

graduate names in the printed program

Just look at all the wingdings after her name. They stand for National Honor Society, North Carolina Academic Scholar, Honor Graduate, and Academically/Intellectually Gifted.

graduate and grandparents

The proud grandparents

graduate and father

Proud DaddyBird and his BabyBird

There were 4 speeches and 400 graduates, yet it only took 1 hour and 15 minutes start to finish. A well oiled machine, I’d say. This is due in large part to the strict instructions that grads and guests received. “Guests will not be allowed to approach the stage to take photographs or to videotape. … We ask all parents and their guests to refrain from yelling out, screaming, clapping, or acting in any inappropriate manner as names are called. Diplomas are not awarded to seniors who conduct themselves in an inappropriate manner or whose guests disrupt the solemnity of the ceremony.” There was also a rule against bringing any flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, or gifts into the ceremony.

You almost could have heard a pin drop in that place as the names were called. Only two pebbles were thrown into that pond – one grad fell down in the middle of the stage and one family disregarded the noise prohibition and proceeded to whoop and holler for their grad. They were promptly escorted out. As she was leaving the grandmother said “We came too far to be quiet!”

The rules seemed a little harsh, but I am very thankful. It was a pleasant ceremony. Of course, once everyone had their diploma and it was time to turn the tassels, the cheering began.



  1. Fantastic! Congratulations to our dear Rachel! And to the proud Daddybird and Kangayayaroo too!

  2. We do not have “wingdings” in English educational system, well we did not in my day.

    I did a double-take on fourth picture, with Paul having trimmed and coloured his beard!

    • No blade or dye has sullied the beard. It is au naturale. There were no wingdings in my day either. You were either in the top 10% of your class or you weren’t. I weren’t.

  3. Yea! Rachel and the parents and grandparents. Besides the obvious reason for wingdings (computer creativity) when we began making sure that kids had their self esteem built properly, we gave them lots of opportunities to shine, hence the need for the list. I do believe the we had * and ** in the olden days just in case there was something important to note =D.

  4. Decorous graduations are few and far between-I miss them. But, I understand the grandma’s comment. I, too, will be thrilled when Jon finally graduates–but I can cry quietly! And I hope the kids behave better next year than they did this year! I, also, want to say that I was startled, as well, with the pic of ‘Paul’ trimmed and dyed. Then, I realised who it was and thought, “Man, them Castle’s have good genes!” And the wing dings? I love them! Most schools around here still do the + or * and quite frankly, that is BORING! This school here didn’t even mark it’s Valedictorian or Salut. They spoke, but I thought it was odd they were not honored. This year’s class of maybe 40 in our tiny school had a graduation about as long as Rachel’s. And it was HOT!

  5. Congrats on the graduation and all the honors, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Sounds like a great ceremony, my daughters’ were less strict. We were allowed to cheer.
    Enjoy your holidays

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