Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

George Neely: Lodi residents invited to weigh in on graduations

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 12:00 am

Sometimes, what seems like a good idea doesn’t turn out as good as it sounded.

Take, for instance, holding Lodi graduations at University of the Pacific’s Spanos Center in Stockton. Apparently, we didn’t handle that situation very well this past year.

As a matter of fact, I think I’ve heard from just about everyone on this subject. Those comments ranged from respectful requests to move it back to the Grape Bowl, to assertions that there is some type of conspiracy driving the whole move.

Let’s set the record straight: The only reason the decision was made to move graduations to the Spanos Center was to give our students the best graduation experience possible. The decision was not made by the Lodi Unified School District board, but nonetheless, we own it and are responsible for it.

I can’t speak for the rest of the board, but in my opinion, we missed the target on this one. We should have floated the idea locally before the decision was made to move the graduations.

In 2013, the graduations were held at Pacific and there was nothing but praise for the facility. That year, we held three graduations at the Spanos Center — McNair, Lodi, and Tokay high schools. Bear Creek held its graduation on its own football field. I attended all three graduations at Pacific, and I too thought it was a great facility.

In 2013, though, the situation was different. That year, the Grape Bowl was closed for renovations, and we were forced to find a different venue. So why did we go back to Pacific in 2014?

Well, to be quite frank, it’s a better facility to host a graduation. Having now attended the four Lodi Unified graduations held in the Grape Bowl in 2011 and 2012, and the seven graduations at Spanos in the last two years, I can attest to that.

Why is it better? The Spanos Center is a large indoor facility that is completely protected from the elements. There are no worries about wind or rain like at the Grape Bowl, and to top it off, it has great air conditioning. The facility has more usable seats than the Grape Bowl, and those seats are not only more comfortable, they are arranged in a 180-degree span around the graduates. It has a spectacular sound system, and the event can be televised on a big screen so that the audience can see the details.

Like I said, it’s a better facility to host a graduation. But maybe it’s not a better location to host the graduations for Lodi and Tokay high schools. No matter how nice a facility the Spanos Center is, it’s not in Lodi, and it doesn’t have the tradition with our schools that the Grape Bowl does.

I went to my first Lodi High graduation in the Grape Bowl in 1961 when my brother graduated. I went again in 1970 for my own graduation. The parents and even grandparents of many our students have graduated there as well. I always love the part of the graduation where Bob Lofsted, Lodi High principal, asks for all previous Lodi High graduates to stand. The stands are full of former Lodi grads! Lodi Unified has long tradition at the Grape Bowl.

Yes, there are some issues with having our graduations there. A few years ago, I struggled handing out diplomas as the wind was blowing them off the table, but we made it work. There is also a problem with the amount of useable seating for graduation. We need to sit down with the city to see what we can do about that. There are other issues as well, but we should be able to work on those.

At the last board of education meeting, I asked Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer to put the graduation issue on the agenda for our next meeting on July 22. We will be discussing the issues related to where the graduation should be held. If you feel strongly about the situation, please come out and let us know.

There will undoubtedly be a number of reasons we should continue to use the Spanos Center, but like I said at our last meeting, sometimes tradition trumps air conditioning.

George Neely is a member of the Lodi Unified School District board of trustees.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Linda Dashnow posted at 7:12 am on Sat, Jun 28, 2014.

    Kayd47 Posts: 2

    Thank you Mr. Neely for your understanding response to many of our comments. I personally look forward to attending the meeting and will urge many of the concerned citizens on this subject to do the same.

     

Recent Comments

Posted 14 hours ago by Kenneth Huntley.

article: City of Lodi to hire sign consultant fo…

I would take this story more seriously if it was about San Francisco or Sacramento. Again, this is Lodi, a small community. It only takes 1…

More...

Posted 15 hours ago by Kevin Paglia.

article: Letter: U.S. suffers from total lack of…

In Cleveland a VIOLENT gang has now declared war on ALL white cops. This is a product of Liberal social leaders, liberalet media and liber…

More...

Posted 15 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: U.S. suffers from total lack of…

Mr Paglia your frenzy to be right about liberals clouds your objective thinking. How can you prove that liberals have made people into a f…

More...

Posted 17 hours ago by Ed Walters.

article: Letter: U.S. suffers from total lack of…

This entire subject, bla, bla, bla, bla, as Chang would say [sleeping] [whistling]. And for you information Kaur, you ass/umed I was …

More...

Posted 17 hours ago by Kenneth Huntley.

article: City of Lodi to hire sign consultant fo…

Downtown Lodi is not easy to find? Really?! This is a small city, a small city. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to get from one side of Lodi…

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists