Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Terry Myers said he’s unlikely to budge about not changing the date of the Clovis High School graduation despite a conflict with state’s spring athletic championships.
“I’m not going to change something that affects a large number of people to all of a sudden benefit a few,” Myers said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “It would have to be the other way around. Since we have over 500 graduating seniors, it would be difficult for me to change the date.”
The CHS graduation is scheduled for May 18, which is also the final day of the big school state track meet and state softball, baseball and tennis championships.
Joel Sievers, armed with a letter he said was signed by 300 parents, students and boosters, told the board and Myers he felt it was not too late to change the date. He said moving the graduation to May 19 — a Sunday — would affect travel plans as little as possible.
“Graduation is a culmination of 13 years of study, education and friendships,” said Sievers, the father of a Clovis senior athlete and CHS’ athletic department physician for 11 years. “Any state competition for a senior athlete also takes years of preparation, practice, driving, support from family and coaches. This is not the kids’ fault. They’ve gone above and beyond.”
Sievers, who felt board members were receptive to his request, said he will make the same request at the next school board meeting, although he hopes the graduation date will be changed before then.
V.K. Bussen, another parent of a graduating senior athlete, requested that parents receive a guarantee from school officials that action will be taken to change the date.
“I will be ashamed of our school officials if nothing is done about this situation,” said Bussen, who has volunteered with Wildcat student activities and sports since 1992.
Myers said he has spoken to a New Mexico Activities Association official about the accuracy and stability of the event schedules to avoid facing the problem again.
School Board President Max Best said this is the second time he has encountered the scheduling issue while serving on the school board, and sided with the parents and the students.
“They (the parents) feel strongly about it and I understand,” Best said after the meeting. “If I was a parent in their position, I would have signed the petition. The ceremony is for the kids. If a large majority of the kids at Clovis High are in favor (of changing the date) I think he (Myers) ought to seriously look at it.”