BEATRICE – Graduation for Beatrice High School Seniors will be happening a week later than usual this year.
Commencement is set for next Sunday, May 19th, at the Beatrice High School O-Zone….with overflow seating available in the Hevelone Center for Fine Arts…with the ceremony live-streamed.

As has been the practice in the past, seniors will be allotted a set of tickets for family members either on the floor or in the bleachers, and they can arrive at 2 p.m. The general public will be admitted, at 2:30 p.m.

Commencement starts at 3 p.m, next Sunday. BHS Principal Jason Sutter says this year’s graduating class numbers about 175.

"This is one of the bigger classes we've had go through. We've had some classes in the 150s and then a couple of years ago, we had a class of 135. So, there's been some fluctuation. When I became Principal back in 2002, we were over 800 kids in our school and almost all of our classes had over 200. We've seen a little decline in our school population."

This will be the final commencement Sutter will preside over….as he is leaving the district after 36 years with Beatrice Public Schools. This year’s ceremony will feature three graduating seniors serving as class speakers at commencement….Kate Gleason, Devin Viveros and Bryan Price.

Sutter says it’s another great class of graduating seniors who have been great in the classroom, in activities and in the community.  "We have a lot of things we offer them. Our kids are very busy. A lot of them are involved in a lot of things....multiple activities. And then, many are involved in their church and some kids are maintaining some type of part-time job. The community, I think, would be very surprised to know some of the backgrounds of what our kids are doing outside of school, either to earn some money, or to keep themselves busy. With the amount of volunteering work and community work that our kids do....I think people would be very proud."

Sutter said a recent Senior honors night was held to recognize the accomplishments of the graduating class."Talking to some of those seniors, both before and after that event, one common theme that ran through that was how fast those four years have excited they were as they came in as freshmen....but how very excited they are, now that they are close to getting done with high school. Whatever their dream is after high school, hopefully they're very well prepared. The speed of life doesn't seem to slow down."

School officials encourage car-pooling to the ceremony, if possible. Beatrice Police will aid in directing traffic from the high school following commencement.
Seniors last day of school is Tuesday, while the final day of the school year for other grades is May 23rd.