Revere graduation will move to EJ Thomas

by Sheldon Ocker

Sept. 20 board of education meeting

Senior class officers asked the Revere Board of Education to approve a change in venue and day of the week for the 2023 high school commencement ceremonies.

During the presentation, senior class Vice President Abby DiSalvo told the board the class officers met before the start of the school year to formulate a list of objectives.

“The first thing, we wanted to make it no cost for students and families,’’ she said. “Graduation is a really big milestone, and we wanted everyone in the grade to have the opportunity to invite family, friends, maybe grandparents, aunts and uncles, anyone they wanted who may be out of town.’’

Lauren Weil, class secretary, stressed the class’s desire to hold ceremonies indoors and off campus because of the possibility of inclement weather. Also, some seniors already take college credit courses at the University of Akron, of which EJ Thomas is a part.

Class President Merit Wagstaff and Treasurer Ryan Uher focused on the day of the week, saying that virtually the entire class wanted graduation to be on a Saturday or Sunday, which would give families more time to celebrate the occasion.

In addition to recommending EJ Thomas as the venue, the class officers proposed that graduation be held on June 3 at 1 p.m.

The past two years, Blossom Music Center has hosted Revere’s graduation, in part because it allowed a large gathering to be held outdoors during the COVID pandemic. This will not be the first time commencement will be held at EJ Thomas; it has been held at the Akron Civic Theater several times.

The board asked the students about parking availability and whether the Revere tradition of a Sunday graduation could be continued. The officers said a parking garage and parking lots are near the hall, and that neither Blossom nor the Civic could accommodate a Sunday graduation.

Revere Principal Andy Peltz answered a question about cost, saying that using EJ Thomas will be $4,000-$5,000 cheaper than the Civic Theater.

Superintendent Michael Tefs strongly endorsed the idea of students making decisions about their own graduation. The board passed the resolution.

Security issue

Tefs recommended that firearms equipment be stored and locked up on board property with access given only to School Resource Officer Scott Dressler. If approved, the resolution would allow firearms to be located in more than one building if deemed necessary.

“Some of the equipment the SRO currently has is stored in the trunk of his car,’’ Tefs said.

No vote was taken on the resolution to give the community time to react to the proposal.

Addressing wellness

School counselor Emily Rion made a presentation about the Ohio School Wellness Initiative, a statewide mental health program for grades K-12, and how it relates to Revere.

Rion said the program has been in the works for about two years and combines the efforts of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Department of Education and Miami University.

Revere received a $5,000 grant from the program last year and without applying again received $10,000 this school year because the district already was a participant.

Thinking ahead

The board approved the transfer of $75,000 from the permanent improvement fund to the turf replacement fund that pays for a new surface on the football field when needed, about every 10 years. ∞