High school graduation is a time for celebration, but for the three graduating classes of 2013 in the Moore (Oklahoma) Public Schools, this Saturday’s ceremonies will be raw with emotion as the city south of Oklahoma City copes in the aftermath of the Monday, May 20 EF5 tornado that claimed the lives of 24 and injured hundreds.
The graduations for Moore, Westmoore and Southmoore high schools will take place as planned on May 25 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City in what will surely be a challenging day in many respects.
“All three high schools in the Moore Public Schools school district are still planning on having their graduations this Saturday,” said Ryan McGhee, communications manager for the complex that houses the Cox Convention Center and Chesapeake Energy Arena. “At this time, I’m not sure if any changes to the programs are being made or what additional resources the district will need from us.”
“Our biggest concern will be managing the media coverage so that the event’s focus will be on the commencement exercise itself and the recognition of the students and their accomplishments,” added Joe Jondahl, director of finance at the venues. “At this time, we don’t have any additional or special plans for the service other than making sure we are able to accommodate all those who want to attend.”
McGhee said that any such decisions regarding changes will be made today.
The event schedule remains current at the convention center as it does just south of Moore at the University of Oklahoma’s Lloyd Noble Center, other than a postponement from a scheduled May 22 graduation for the senior class of Newcastle High School, a city that was hit by the tornado as it raced east towards Moore.
“We are doing well,” said Loida Haffener Salmond, director of events at the Lloyd Noble Center. “We will have some plans in the future since this is going to be a long haul as far as disaster relief, but for now our schedule for upcoming events is still on track.”