Morgan School Board to consider alternate graduation, prom location

Mar 21 2010 - 11:46pm

MORGAN -- Recent growth in the county is causing discomfort for tradition-loving Morgan School Board members.

For three years, the junior prom has been held outside of Morgan County, and graduation ceremonies could be next, if board members listen to rumblings in the community.

"We need to discuss the potential of taking graduation to the lower valley," said Superintendent Ron Wolff, who noted he had deep concerns about holding ceremonies outside the county.

Each year, Morgan High graduation ceremonies are held in the school gymnasium. Typically, tickets are limited and seating cramped. Even with televised graduation proceedings in the school's auditorium, empty seats are hard to come by.

"Most Wasatch Front high schools use Weber State or a similar facility for graduation," Wolff said.

But some board members aren't ready to make the drive down the canyon.

"I guess I take a certain pride we are not a Wasatch Front school," said board member Ken Durrant, a Morgan High graduate.

"It is something we should address, but I don't want to be a Wasatch Front school."

Durrant wasn't happy about the junior prom leaving the county three years ago.

"The thing that bothers me the most is, it's tradition I grew up with," he said.

"It takes a long time to establish and (is) something that people can take pride in. Tradition was having the junior prom in the Morgan school."

Morgan High School Principal Kenneth G. Adams, also a Morgan High alum, said he sees very few negatives to holding the prom outside the county.

"Kids are safer, dining together and staying longer," he said. "It is a less expensive encounter for the high school."

Board member Neil Carrigan, also a Morgan High graduate, said it might be time to change tradition.

"We started cutting paper in January and decorated every night for a week and a half. I was so tired when I got to prom, I couldn't do anything. I was pooped," Carrigan said of his own junior prom decades ago, when just 62 students attended the event.

"I'm sorry, folks. Sometimes tradition changes because of numbers."

Earlier this month, the 179 students of the class of 2011 held their junior prom at the Eccles Conference Center in Ogden.

Allowing both prom and graduation events to be held outside county borders will be on the board's April agenda.

This year's graduation will be held at Morgan High School, as usual.

However, any decisions at April's meeting could affect graduation and prom events next school year.

Wolff said: "Next board meeting's going to be exciting."

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