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Crook County graduation ceremony set for Friday evening, June 7 at Ward Rhoden Stadium

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County High School seniors have one week until their big day.

It's the final countdown until approximately 160 local students receive their diplomas next Friday evening at Ward Rhoden Stadium.

But several celebrations and activities are in the works leading up to their big day.

Today, Friday, May 31, is the last day of school for Crook County High School graduating seniors.

The Senior Awards Ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 in the CCHS auditorium.

"This is a time for seniors to be recognized for their accomplishments, and they get to find out what scholarships they have been awarded," said CCHS College and Career Readiness and Aspire Site Coordinator Karissa Kingsbury. "This year, we have extra special news for four of our seniors who were awarded The Ford Family Foundation scholarship that pays for 90% of their college need for all four years of college and potentially more."

The following day is the senior trip to the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center in Sunriver.

Thursday morning, June 6, the senior breakfast begins at 8 a.m. at Club Pioneer. The sophomore class hosts the senior breakfast, and the school board, district office staff and administrators help serve and bus tables.

"This gives us the opportunity to celebrate and give back to the seniors before the ceremony," said CCHS Principal Michelle Jonas.

A mandatory graduation rehearsal follows at 9 a.m.

Once rehearsal is over around 11 a.m., the graduates, decked out in their blue graduation caps and gowns, will walk from Ward Rhoden Stadium to Crooked River Elementary. Graduates will walk through the halls and greet CRE staff and students.

They will then walk to Crook County Middle School for an 11:15 a.m. walk through.

A bus will transport the graduates up to Barnes Butte Elementary for an 11:30 a.m. walk through.

School district administrators started the walk through last year and decided to make it an annual tradition.

"We want all of Crook County School District students to be thinking about their long-term goals and how they are going to get there," Jonas said. "Walking through all of our schools in their caps and gowns is a visual for future CCHS students to see the milestone of high school."

She said that last year, the younger students even held up signs for the graduates as they walked through the halls.

"It was great for the CCHS students to get to see their former teachers and a way to celebrate them and their accomplishments," Jonas said.

Senior parents have planned a baccalaureate service for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the CCHS Future Center.

Friday, June 7 is graduation day. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. at Ward Rhoden Stadium near Crooked River Elementary.

While everyone hopes the weather cooperates for the outdoor ceremony, Jonas said a few sprinkles won't cause any changes of plans. But should a thunder and lighting rain storm hit, they'll have to move the ceremony to the Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena.

Like last year, all five Crook County School District board members will be present on the stage.

CCHS valedictorian Olivia Cooper and salutatorian Hazel Hoffman will give speeches. The senior class chose CCHS English teacher Jim Churchill-Dicks to speak.

CCHS class of 1969 graduate Mike McCabe and the late Daryle Ashcraft, CCHS class of 1951, will be honored as the CCHS Distinguished Alumni. Ashcraft's son, Leeland Ashcraft, will accept the award on his father's behalf.

After the ceremony, the students will attend the senior all-night party that senior parents have planned.

Jonas said the approximately 160 graduates are students of Crook County High School, Pioneer Alternative High School and Fuel Education, an online school.

Earlier this spring, students reported their plans for after graduation. Twenty-eight students plan to attend four-year colleges, while 58 will attend two-year colleges. Four students will go into the military, seven plan to go into the trades, and six will go directly into the workforce. The remaining students were undecided.

Jonas has said graduation day is always the best day of the year.

"The CCHS staff is very proud of the class of 2019 graduates, and we are excited to see what their future holds," she said.

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