Warren County R-III School District sticking with Saturday graduation in 2024

By John Rohlf, Staff Writer
Posted 7/21/23

Next year's graduation is planned for the evening, but the district could move the ceremony to Saturday morning in case of bad weather.

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Warren County R-III School District sticking with Saturday graduation in 2024


The Warren County R-III Board of Education elected to keep their 2024 graduation on a Saturday night, with moving the graduation to Saturday morning as the school’s backup plan. 

The R-III Board of Education approved a motion to leave 2024 graduation at 7 p.m. June 8, with graduation at 10 a.m. June 8, as the district’s backup plan. 

Warrenton High School’s 2023 graduation was planned for a Saturday night last month before forecasted rain led to graduation being moved to 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning. 

Next year’s graduation date of June 8 also is the same day as the ACT test at Warrenton High School. This was a main reason graduation was initially moved to a Saturday night this year before it was moved back to the morning. 

“We already set the (2024) graduation date,” Board Vice President Sarah Janes said. “I had brought it up to (Superintendent) Dr. (Gregg) Klinginsmith that it is on the same day as the ACT again. And so I was curious if we wanted to discuss. Because right now it is July, so it does feel like we’re giving plenty of notice.”

There was one Warrenton High School senior who took the ACT on the date of graduation last month, according to district officials. The student took the ACT at another district, so the district was unaware they were taking the test on the date of graduation. 

The board mulled multiple options last week, from holding graduation a week earlier to planning graduation for Friday or Sunday night. 

One issue with potentially holding graduation a day earlier on a Friday night is a student attending Project Graduation and taking the ACT the following day would be up all night before the ACT, according to Assistant Superintendent Brad Ross. 

“That’s a choice,” Board of Education Member Rich Barton said. “I don’t mind kids having to make choices because that’s life. That’s the choice between going to Project Graduation or the ACT. ACT and graduation should not make a decision.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Warrenton High School's 2023 graduation ceremony

Board Secretary Deanna Zwyers is ok with having graduation at the same time as the ACT. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year for a student to take the ACT before June, she said. 

“To put it in perspective, we only affected one student that was graduating,” Zwyers said. “That’s a really small percentage. I get that we affected someone but it’s not the majority.” 

Zwyers said individuals told her after graduation they were glad the district moved up graduation to Saturday morning. 

She suggested the district plan to keep graduation at 7 p.m. June 8 and utilize the morning of June 8 as the backup option. 

“If we put that ahead of time, they all know what the makeup date it,” Zwyers said. “I think that’s the cushion. We need to know what the makeup date is so that gets out to the public. I’m not for Sunday night honestly because I think that’s going to screw up people’s out of town issues in trying to get to work on Mondays.” 

Barton noted the board will not please everyone with their decision but stressed they need to stick to their decision and not change the plan later. 

Board Member Ginger Schenck thinks the late change due to the forecasted weather was the main issue with the time change at last month’s graduation. 

“I feel like where we had the most conflict was we changed it to the evening and then because of the rain we changed it to the morning,” Schenck said. “And I don’t think anybody had that in their head that that was the makeup time.” 

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