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Letter: Super Extends Her 'Deepest Apologies' for a Wet Graduation

An open letter to Lacey's 2012 graduates, parents and families from Superintendent Sandra Brower

I again want to congratulate you on your fine accomplishments and all that you have contributed to Lacey Township. You have made us so very proud and I am inspired by the personal stories of family and special guests who attended graduation to see you – achieving greatness against all odds. 

Unfortunately, despite all the planning that went into preparing for graduation, yesterday’s weather did not cooperate. I want to extend my deepest apologies for the weather as it certainly did rain on us consistently and without reprieve.

The decision to hold the graduation ceremony is made using all of the data available including weather reports from NOAA, the National Weather Service, and news organizations that forecast local weather. As you may already know, yesterday’s forecast showed cloudy, overcast conditions and a 10-20 percent chance of rain and then only intermittently. Although the skies were not always consistent with the information we were receiving, we watched hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute for any changes to that forecast and there were none.

Using information we have, the decision to use a rain date delay for an outdoor ceremony must happen that day and at 3 p.m. or earlier for the high school. At that time, the weather data showed little to no precipitation. Graduates shared that they were ready for the night and with no rain on the radar, the ceremony was on schedule. 

Although the rain did not dampen the spirits of our graduating class, I regret that for parents, families and friends, not only were conditions uncomfortable, pictures and video were difficult to take. As a small token of our appreciation for helping us stay positive in most unfortunate circumstances, we will be making available DVD copies of the graduation to all high school graduates. As a convenience, please stop by any school office during the summer to pick up your copy of the DVD. We hope to have them available to you by July 2. 

Once again, we wish our graduates the very best as they journey onto their next destination and beyond. 
 
Sandra D. Brower
Superintendent 

Faith Johnson June 14, 2012 at 08:13 PM
As a parent of one of the graduates from last night, I was glad that the ceremony was not postponed. I would have stood out in hurricane conditions just to see my son receive his diploma. Who knows what the weather would be like on the rain day. They say that rain is angels tears from heaven, and I believe that my Mom and my Mother in law were in heaven last night and they were watching their Grandson graduate. The students that graduated did not care whether or not they got wet, they wanted their moment. So as parents we did not get pictures, remake the moment, it gives us another chance to dress up and see our children once more in their cap and gown.
Amanda buron June 14, 2012 at 08:34 PM
A very small token for me not being able to be there with our graduate's 3 sisters because our youngest isn't even 3 months! By 3pm, you could've definitely called it & implemented the rain date of today. Word going around town is that one of the high level attendees had another commitment for today. Not our problem! Not a good start for you, Dr. Brower. I hope my future dealings with you are much better.
Laura Speer June 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM
So am to to believe that these DVD's will be given to us at no cost (as a token of appreciation)? Any word on whether a photographer took pictures on stage as each graduate received their diplomas? When my son graduated back in '07 there was and I bought it as it was a great shot of him and the presenter.
Proudmamma June 14, 2012 at 11:51 PM
What a great way to look at it! Our children were showered with the blessings of their family who have passed. Jordan: Great Meema, Great Grandma Scarborough, your Godfather Matt and your Grandfather (my Dad who you have sadly never met) were looking upon you yesterday... so proud of the young man you are! It's true, Faith, the graduates did not care about the rain. I have lots of pictures of wet smiley faced graduates, family, friends and teachers. I have been following the weather all week and they got it wrong! The rain was supposed to end by noon yesterday.I would have made the same assumption that the rain would taper off. The graduates were all geared up for their big day and Dr. Brower made a decision based on good old doppler radar and what she thought was the graduates' wishes. I am sorry, Dr. Brower, that the National Weather Service played this nasty trick on all of us yesterday. Welcome to Lacey Township! Let's all show some class and kindness and stop all the complaining, Mother Nature is unpredictable.
Chief Wahoo June 15, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Best lesson these graduates could ever have received.....NEVER trust authorities judgments or follow their orders , just because they say to.....they are human , just like you, no better and no worse.....count on yourself and no one else
Favorite Teacher June 15, 2012 at 03:24 AM
CONGRATS to the GRADS!! Dr B: "Although the skies were not always consistent with the information we were receiving, we watched ... for any changes to that forecast and there were none." Doc, here in Lacey we look at the sky for the weather. Go ask any fisherman if it's going to rain. Sometimes a seagull is more useful here than The Weather Channel...just saying, look up...
md June 15, 2012 at 03:46 AM
As a parent of a graduate, I was extremely disappointed that the ceremony was allowed to go on. These kids have worked hard in their four years of high school and this is how we send them off!!! The only time in their lives this would happen and you couldn't even take pictures. I believe waiting one day would have been the right thing to do!
Jerseygirl4ever June 15, 2012 at 07:52 AM
I had to sit thru the rain for my 8th grader-soon to be freshmen- cousins to graduate i feel bad whoevers camera got wet :( when i graduate from the middle school next year i hope it doesnt rain :( but we survived right?
D.F. June 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM
My family and I sat in the rain and watched the ceremony until my child's name was called, then I had to go down onto the track and retrieve my elderly parents and in-laws who braved the elements (Yes, they did have umbrellas). I am ANGRY! The ceremony should have been postponed! I was not able to get ANY pictures of my daughter and her friends, sure we can retake the pics, but now that my parents are back home many hours away, that opportunity will not happen for a long time if EVER! I'm glad that I have an only child because I would hate to think about doing this again in the rain! The lack of common sense of our educators is scary..
Cynthia Arteglier June 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
It's not her or the Board's fault that it rained. I don't even think she needed to apologize, they have no control over the weather. The worst I can say is maybe they could have planned an alternate, indoor location in case of rain. But, seriously, as a parent, I would have sat in the rain with pride regardless.
Laceygoingdownhill June 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Really??? Your apology is not accepted. You just had to walk outside at 3:00 pm and knew it would be a bad choice not to postpone the ceremony. Obviously, your doctor degree gave you a lot of book smarts but very little life smarts. When does your contract end???
RON K June 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
You have to be kidding me. Ask the students. All of the ones I spoke to are truly angry this took place when it did. There was a meeting in the high school for all parents to attend about prom and graduation a few weeks ago. Had more parents attended they could understand that principal Zylinski let everyone know about the rain date and how it would be handled. Doppler, NOAA, the National Weather Service, please, open a window! It was raining at 3 PM when they made the decision to go on. Maybe the angel’s tears were ones of pity for the poor children who risked their lives sitting on metal chairs in an open field during a lightning storm (those weren’t camera flashes) to receive their diplomas (Which by the way they didn’t! They only received the holder that it goes into!) Trying to remake this moment is also out since the students caps got so wet that they sag on all 4 corners.
RON K June 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
My heart goes out to all of the families that spent time and money making their sons and daughters beautiful only to have them sit in the rain and have everything get ruined. Are all of you aware that there was a dress code for what they were allowed to wear under their gowns? Most of their clothes were now ruined by the color from the gowns bleeding through from the rain. These kids were frisked to make sure they were not bringing anything onto the field. What is happening here? I am so glad my family is finished in this school district. Lacey was once a school district to proud of. I look forward to the next Board of Ed meeting next week. Buckle up!
Elaine Buzzeo June 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM
@ Laura Speer and othe parents that may be interested. My son sent me a link. Apparantly there was a freelancer there taking picture (Which I am forever grateful for as I myself like others could not get a single shot in that wind and rain) The website is http://www.glennimagesonline.com If you go on you will see a link the the high school graduation. I was very fortunate that a very nice shot of my son was in there. I hope you all are just as fortunate. The prices are very reasonable as well.
sally June 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Seriously ....frisked? Come on. These kids had a blast. They all said YOLO and danced in the Rain. Any parent in tune with their teen knows what that means. The only negative comes from the influence of cranky parents. Ever hear the advice : Make the best out of a situation ......stay positive people. The kids don't need their parents raining on their parade. THAT rain can be controlled.
LaceyCitizen June 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Luckily a tornado or hail storm didn't hit like last week at Absegami's graduation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzP8X-nj8ZE&feature=share
Laura Speer June 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Thanks Elaine!!! I did check the site, however there were only 86 pictures posted. Half of them are of the BOE, principal, teachers, etc. Does anyone know if any other photographers were there taking pictures as they received their "mock" diplomas?? I am not complaining, I just believe out of respect for the children, they should have postponed the ceremony until Thursday. It wasn't the nicest of days either but it didn't RAIN!!!!
Laurel Fitts June 16, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I did not see any of the kids graduationg...am I missing some? THere are a few up to a souple speeches...
Elaine Buzzeo June 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM
@ Sally. With all do respect the parents had a right to be cranky. We too have waited for this day and because of a poor decision to have it with the weather conditions as they were, we were robbed of pictures to have of a special day for ALL. My father is 86 and he got sick from being drenched to the skin, with cold wind coming at him. He endured it all to watch his grandson graduate. We were one of the lucky parents to have found a photograph of our son within the 86 that the freelance photog took, because I certainly was unable to get one myself with the condions as they were. This was our parade too!!! @ Laura, I'm sorry there was nothing of your son. I hope that maybe someone else has more pictures they can share for parents who have nothing.
Favorite Teacher June 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Can we blame the weather reports? Flying umbrellas. soaking wet grandparents, the pictures say it all. News Flash: 94% humidity= bad hair...Look out the window! Someone made a judgment call, and it wasn't the weatherman's fault, they said it was...raining... http://weatherforyou.com/reports/index.php? Weather 08731 Wed June 13, 2012 15:00 (3 pm) Overcast/Light Rain 64°F humidity 94% barometer 29.95 in (1014 mb) winds Variable at 6.9 mph (Variable 11 kph) visibility 1 3/4SM And these people are in charge of the children's education??!!?? Raining with north winds? Go to plan B. Rent a venue. The families are not impressed.
JOHNNY Done it June 17, 2012 at 04:47 AM
IT was not too educated decision to have it inside or postpone I didnt need to a be "DR" to have an app on my smart phone to tell me it was not going to let up..another poor decision & you robbed these kids the special moment that they worked hard for..although i did not have a family member graduate. I did feel for the kids .. & the teachers , that there boss is an idiot . Thanks for the school board for hiring her..it is clear she doesnt have common sense ..
JOHNNY Done it June 17, 2012 at 04:52 AM
YOU cant control the rain , she can control the decision to have it inside..Positive thinking starts with making correct decisions with proper information on hand
JOHNNY Done it June 17, 2012 at 05:09 AM
You are right
RON K June 18, 2012 at 02:20 PM
To Sally: Yes, seriously…. frisked! They were patted down and felt up before they were allowed to proceed. Administrators didn’t want anyone to sneak an inflatable beach ball out onto the field. (YOLO) You only live once. No one danced in the rain! The world needs less cheerleaders and more common sense. Ever hear this saying? “Great in book smarts, but lacking in street smarts.” It amazes me that someone can attain a doctorate title and have no common sense. The decision to go on falls ultimately on one person, Dr. Brower. If she is going to demand that everyone refers to her as “Doctor” she should act more like a person befitting that title. Bad call. Can’t she just stand up and say “I make a mistake”?
Jessica June 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I think people will complain about anything. It was not unsafe.. There was no thunderstorm, so what that we got a little wet? Some people had plans to come to the graduation THAT day and wouldn't have been able to make it another day. You can't win ever- people would have complained if it was postponed and it ended up not raining! We got through it. It's over.. Let it go. Oh yeah and congrats grads!!!!
Proudmamma June 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I danced in the rain with my friend Andra whose son also graduated. And what lightning?
Proudmamma June 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I agree 100%! There was no lightning, and I did not hear any complaints from the graduates I know.
RON K June 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Those were not camera flashes and sonic booms. Maybe you didn't hear the thunder due to all of the idiots with the air horns. I guess the old joke about being able to see lightning and hearing thunder do not apply here.
MyOhMy June 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM
The next day was beautiful, should have been set back 24 hours. I attended the 8th grade ceremony. Doc B's speach was eh, TOTALLY loved Palino's words.....
MEJ June 23, 2012 at 01:53 AM
SO TRUE

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