Preparations for the June Graduation Ceremony at US Bank Begin in May

Anna Geldert, Staff Writer

May is a busy time of year at Minnetonka. There’s finals review and cramming in that extra hour of studying before the A.P. exam. There are track meets,  soccer games and an itch to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. For administration, one of the biggest focuses of the coming month is getting ready for that big event on June 6th: graduation.                                                                     

According to Principal Jeff Erickson, the complicated process of planning graduation is a collaborative effort for many different faculty members. Mr. Erickson and his assistant, Kayleigh Vranish, hold the primary role, but everyone from Ted Schultz, the Activities Director, to Josh Stephan, the Dean of Students, to the site manager at the U.S. Bank Stadium are involved. The group comes together to address the operational challenges of guiding 800 students and about 8,000 guests through ticket sales, security and seating.

“With more people comes more challenges,” explained Erickson. “And there’s no do-over. If you screw something up, it’s not like we’re going to say ‘hey, come back tomorrow for Act II.”’

This year marks the second that graduation will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium instead of at Grace Church. While the stadium opens up the opportunity for students to invite more guests, it also brings forth some new challenges, such as tighter security and new sound systems. Despite these difficulties, Mr. Erickson anticipates that this year will go much more smoothly.

“I feel much better this year,” said Erickson. “Now we know that it can be done. The feedback we got from most people was pretty good; there are just minor things that we need to rework.”

One big challenge with graduation last year was working out the sound system. The U.S. Bank stadium’s audio system is not great, so the school had to bring in new sound equipment to ensure that the audience could hear each speaker and music performer.

Another difficulty was the lack of water. Little did MHS faculty members know that the stadium would not have a single drinking fountain. This year, the principal assures us, there will be water bottles provided.

“It’s a special event, and we feel really good about what happened last year,” concluded Erickson. “We’re all excited.”