Graduation coverage gets a boost

Published 10:01 pm Saturday, May 22, 2010

With exams on the way, vacation plans in the making and the days growing hotter and longer, it’s clear that summer is on the way.

For most area high school students, that bit of non-news signifies only an all-too-brief respite from the occasional drudgery of the school year. Sooner than they wish, school will be back in session, homework will again be part of the daily grind and the lazy days of summer — if they ever really existed at all for a generation that is busier than most adults remember being at the same age — will be over.

But for about 25 percent of Suffolk’s students the end of this school year marks a major milestone in their lives. They are seniors, and come June they’ll walk onto a stage, take their diplomas, shake the proffered hands and walk off that stage again into a new world. Whether their plans include college, the military or some other form of work, they will leave that stage as alumni of their high schools, young adults taking steps to move out on their own.

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As it has in the past, the Suffolk News-Herald will help celebrate the transition by publishing photos of the graduates of Suffolk-area high schools.

“This year, though, we’re doing something different,” managing editor Res Spears said last week.

This year, instead of a single graduation section that includes graduates from all of the six schools in the newspaper’s coverage area, the News-Herald will divide its graduation coverage into four parts.

Next week’s lifestlye sections in the News-Herald will be devoted to graduation photos. On Tuesday, the area’s three private high schools — Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, First Baptist Christian School and Isle of Wight Academy — will take the spotlight. The city’s public schools follow on successive days and in alphabetical order — King’s Fork, Lakeland and Nansemond River.

“We wanted to do something that would help give the schools — and by extension each of the graduates — a little more attention,” Spears said. “With the schools separated this way, we’ll be able to make each of the sections a little more personal, and finding specific students will be a little easier. Plus, we believe the sections will be keepsakes for the graduates and their parents.”

Look for the sections Tuesday through Friday. Extra copies will be available at the newspaper’s office, located at 130 S. Saratoga St.