For the first time in Jessamine County history, East and West High School graduations will be ticketed. Since the idea of ticketing first emerged several weeks ago, there have been many alternate plans proposed including moving the ceremony from Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville, Ky. to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
On Monday, Feb. 24, four West students (Daniel Sherfey, Joel Mansur, Noah Dixon and Logan Conley) and three East representatives spoke before the Jessamine County School Board, urging them to reevaluate graduation plans for later this year. As of right now, graduation for both East and West will be held at Southland and each graduate will be given between six and eight “legitimate” tickets each. An overflow room would also be on hand, but would, according to West student senate president Daniel Sherfey, take away from a “cherished” and “personal” experience.
Students gave personal testimonials as to why ticketing is a bad idea.
“I want to show my appreciation to anyone who’s supported me,” first generation high school graduate and EJHS president Sydney Hurst said.
East Jessamine Student Activities Leader Hannah Campbell discussed her large split family and stressed how she is not the only student in that situation. She said she doesn’t want to have to “pick and choose.”
According to an estimated population projection based on current student in Jessamine County, the county could see upwards of 285 East Jessamine High School graduates and 309 West Jessamine High School graduates in 2019. Campbell noted the eventual need for a change in venues, so, “why not now?”
Holding graduation at Southland Christian Church has an initial cost of $12,000 but does not include the cost of a custodial staff, security and the sheriff department. Just 7.9 miles away, Rupp Arena costs $18,000 but does include services not included with the Southland rental price. Sherfey said the costs would be, “essentially the same.”
“We hereby call on you to take quick action in scheduling graduation at a venue that is large enough to fit the needs our growing school system,” Sherfey said at the conclusion of the presentation.
After the presentation, the board said there is no set time to discuss graduation further, but a special work session may be called later this school year.