High school graduations headed back to stadiums

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — With renovations planned for Clemson’s LittleJohn Coliseum over the next year, Pickens County schools will be again hosting their own graduation ceremonies, according to school district spokesman John Eby.

“When (superintendent Danny Merck) first came here, that was one of his first things,” Eby said. “He thought the graduation ceremonies belonged at the schools. With the new stadiums at each school and Littlejohn being closed for renovations, it just wouldn’t make sense to have them anywhere else.”

The ceremonies will still be held on the same day, May 30.

“We’re hoping this will allow the students a chance to create memories at their schools,” Eby said.

In other news at its meeting Monday night, the Pickens County School Board voted to use April 6, June 4 and June 6 as days to make up for time lost due to winter weather.

The district is hoping that a fourth day lost due to weather will be forgiven statewide. Officials also expect days lost by Liberty Middle School due to a power failure to be forgiven.

Still, Merck said he is not pleased with the calendar and hopes to have more leeway in the coming years.

“When I took this job they came to me and said which calendar would you prefer, A or B?” Merck said. “I told them my choice would be C.”

Merck said he would prefer to have students finish all exams before the Christmas break. Because of consideration of schools in the lowcountry, that is not possible.

Merck is hoping the schools of Pickens, Oconee and Greenville counties can break off into a separate calendar.

“Maybe if we do they will allow us to start a little earlier,” Merck said.

The board voted 5-1 in favor of the changes to the calendar, with board member Alex Saitta supplying the lone negative vote.