Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Board discusses graduation feedback


June 24, 2020

Members of the Tucumcari Public Schools board last week talked about positive feedback about the district’s May 29 outdoor graduation ceremony that included fireworks and confetti cannons amid strict social distancing because of coronavirus.

Board President Leif Gray said during the board’s short and otherwise routine June 15 meeting via teleconference the ceremony was “amazing,” noting his daughter was one of the graduates.

Board member Heather Gonzales said she also heard good responses about graduation and encouraged “putting ourselves out there a bit more” for future events.

Asked to elaborate on her comments after the meeting, Gonzales wrote in a text that school leaders should make more of an effort during “not just graduation, but all aspects of our district.”

“We used to be a very spirited school district,” Gonzales wrote. “This graduation and the senior parade (afterward) was a good flashback of how we used to be.”

She added this year’s graduation served as “a reminder of what we are still capable of being as a small district and community.”

The district changed the ceremony because of COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of it being inside Rattler Gymnasium, the drive-up ceremony was outdoors on a stage set up in front of the high school with no audience except for each graduate and his or her family. After each graduate was named, school employees or volunteers shot off a firework from the parking lot and confetti from near the stage. The ceremony also was streamed on the internet and local radio.

In other business:

• The board approved a fuel bid for the district from Tucumcari Oil Co. of $1.36 a gallon for gasoline and $1.41 a gallon for diesel, plus taxes, for the upcoming school year. It was the district’s only bid for the contract.

• The board approved an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, application for funding special education programs. The total amount of the nearly $428,000 request would cover salaries for a teacher, speech therapist, secretary, administrator and contracted services for the district’s schools and preschool.

• The meeting was the last for business manager Leola Patterson, who is retiring. Gonzales congratulated her on her retirement. Patterson had been the district’s business manager for nine years.


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