RCHS to hold graduation at local church

CONYERS - For the second year, Rockdale County High School seniors will have their graduation ceremony at Church In The Now of Conyers.

"Last semester a senior assembly was held for students to speak about their preferred location, ask questions and have a discussion with their peers and administration," according to a statement released by Rockdale County Public Schools. "During this assembly, the students voted by anonymous ballot for their preferred location."

A group of students from RCHS spoke to the Rockdale County Board of Education at its November meeting and requested that the senior class be allowed to vote on the location, RCPS Public Information Officer Cindy Ball said.

Results from the vote showed that a majority of the students - almost 2 to 1 - preferred the ceremony to be held at Church In The Now, according to the statement.

"The building leadership, superintendent and superintendent's cabinet decided that they would support the majority vote. The majority of the school council also supported the majority vote to hold graduation at (the church)," the statement reads.

RCHS Principal Cynthia Hudson was not available for comment as of press time Friday. When the issue over where to hold graduation ceremonies arose last year, however, she said that a group of students approached her about moving the event from Reid Stadium at the school to the church.

"They were impressed with the ceremony and the setting the church provided," Hudson said at the time.

This year's graduation ceremony, which also includes students from the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, is scheduled to be held May 23.

Both Heritage and Salem high schools plan to hold their graduation ceremonies on their schools' campuses.

"I have no reason to think about changing it at this point; it's been a success," said Salem Principal Gloria Jackson last semester. "Several components might be lost ... if we moved it to a different location. It's something (the students) look forward to."

Greg Fowler, principal at Heritage High School, also said that the school has always had its ceremony in the gym or stadium, and that won't change this year.

"We're able to accommodate everybody," he said. "There's no reason to move it for the sake of moving it."

Heritage plans to hold its graduation ceremony May 23, while Salem's is planned for May 24.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.