Board chair calls out ‘cheap’ grad policy


Advertise with us

Guests of staff, administration and honoured guests who wish to attend senior high graduations within Hanover School Division may have to pay their own way to the ceremony and dinner, a proposed policy change which the division’s board chair calls “chintzy.”

On March 7 the board of trustees passed first reading of amendments to the division’s graduation policy which included changing how spouses of trustees, teachers, guest speakers and local ministers asked to say grace at banquets are welcomed to the event.

Normally, those who wish to attend graduation events with their spouses who work in HSD, or were invited as special guests, are provided a complimentary ticket, but trustee Jeff Friesen told the board the governance committee proposed the change to take financial pressure off students who fundraise for the event.

“Why are we spending money on people we don’t know?”

“To me it seems kind of chintzy to invite guest speakers and not invite spouses,” Board Chair Ron Falk said to the idea, later adding “all of it” seemed cheap in relation to mandating spouses of teachers and administration pay, too.

Trustee Lynn Barkman took Falk’s side in the debate, while Superintendent Shelley Amos said parent concerns in recent years about the cost of allowing guest spouses to attend also prompted the potential change.

Senior students usually fundraise for their graduation through events and merchandise and food sales to help pay for venues and banquets to mark the end of their high school careers. HSD provides funding to offset costs through their annual budget, too.

The typical cost of a ticket to any SRSS, Green Valley, Niverville High or Landmark Collegiate grad ranges between $40 and $70 per person. Last year, students celebrated graduations in a more traditional way after two years of drive-in and virtual ceremonies owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the policy changes passed first reading at a vote of 8 – 1 with Falk being the lone vote against, the policy will come back to the board at the next public meeting of trustees on April 4.

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us