I have been reading and hearing the concerns regarding the move of the Lodi high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center. Feeling and hearing the frustrations, I chose the “route” to clearly find the issue, and then a solution.
First, I placed a call to Jeff Hood at Parks and Recreation to find the true seating capacity of the Bowl — 6,000 was the answer. My next question was the feasibility of seating parents on both sides of the facility (home team and visitors), and having graduates and flower girls in the east or west as deemed appropriate with sunset. Mr. Hood saw no difficulty from his point of view.
Next, I called Kathy Nichols-Washer (Superintendent of Schools) at the district to determine which department makes the decisions on the location. Nichols-Washer was thorough, and did return the call of inquiry. Her findings were that each site principal and staff made the decision to accomplish the move. The consensus of opinion appeared to be that staff felt the convenience and efficiency of the Spanos site was the prevailing consideration.
So my point is, if any of us — you, me, them — are deeply concerned then we need to go through the proper channel. The leaders in charge of the committees that exist, the staff that feeds the information, the students who love the traditions all need to go about their desire for answers, input and participation in a community celebration of Lodi and the high schools here.
We do a much better job of accomplishing our goals when we all work for the common good of Lodi’s young adults! We may be late for this year, but early for the next!