Promotion and graduation ceremonies for Westside schools between May 19 and 28

       The District 11 2008-09 school year is winding down, with ceremonies planned over the next couple of weeks for Westside students finishing their last years in elementary, middle or high school.
       The reason for the time spread is that the school calendar ends twice this year - May 22 for elementary students and May 28 for middle and high schoolers. As a result, the elementary schools' fifth-grade promotion ceremonies are earlier, with some in the coming week.
       A total of about 880 students will move on from 5th, 8th and 12th grades, according to figures from the schools.
       This year will be especially significant for fifth-graders having promotion ceremonies in elementaries with the names “Washington,” “Pike” and “Whittier.” All three are closing after this year.
       Coronado High, the Westside's flagship school, will graduate about 300 students at its ceremony Wednesday, May 27 at the World Arena at 7 p.m.
       The event will include music by the school's Jazz Band, Choir and Blue Notes groups. Speaking will be Brent Urban, the high school's foreign language chair and leader of Cougars Care charity efforts; Valedictorian Emily Ziegler; senior speakers Derek Marlor and Alexis Rodarmel (who auditioned for the chance); and Salutatorian Katie MacMillan (providing introductions).
       Preceding the Coronado graduation will be the Senior Academic Awards Evening Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium at which honors and scholarships will be announced.
       The Bijou School (alternative high school) will graduate about 30 students at the Masonic Lodge, 1150 Panorama Drive, Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. The dinner/ceremony is by invitation only. Speakers will be Principal Wayne Hutchison, D-11 Superintendent Terry Bishop, Board of Education member Jan Tanner and Pete Lee (a father of two students who graduated from Bijou).
       The middle schools feeding into Coronado are Holmes and West, which will have separate promotional ceremonies.
       Holmes expects to graduate 221 students at its ceremony Thursday, May 28 at 12:15 p.m. in the Coronado High auditorium. Performing will be the Eighth Grade Jazz Band, Choir and Orchestra. A Coronado administrator will address the audience, as will five student speakers (Justin Ramsey, Austin Hartley, Rebecca Michaels, Kelsey Duquet and Sylvia Hayes).
       At West, Thursday, May 28 at 9 a.m., Board of Education member Tom Strand will address the 114 graduates, their families and others on hand, along with a Coronado administrator. The West Choir will perform.
       The following lists each Westside elementary's promotion numbers and ceremony dates and times:
  • Bristol, 28 students, May 22 at noon.
  • Buena Vista, 26 students, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Howbert, 41 students, May 21 at 9 a.m.
  • Jackson, 34 students, May 20 at 7 p.m.
  • Midland, 26 students, May 21 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Pike, 14 students, May 22 at 1:15 p.m.
  • Washington, 25 students, May 20 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Whittier, 27 students, May 22 at 9 a.m. Except where noted, all ceremonies will be at the respective schools, and are free and open to the public.
  • Westside Pioneer article