The graduation ceremony is a tradition of saying farewell to not just adolescence, but also a high school and the faculty that has been a home to students for years.
NEW CASTLE, DE (DNTV): Ah, graduation day! The ultimate culmination of years of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a time to bathe in the glory of your achievement, the pièce de résistance of your scholarly journey.
The commencement ceremony is the ultimate grand finale where you and your fellow graduates can bask in the sheer awesomeness of your accomplishments – with your buddies and your family cheering you on like the rockstars you are!
This year, at William Penn, 476 seniors officially joined the ranks of the class of 2023, contributing to the school’s mind-boggling 92% graduation rate (woohoo!). And if that wasn’t enough, the class secured a whopping 4.4 million dollars in scholarships (no biggie, right?).
We also have 15 brave graduates joining the armed forces, while the rest start their journey in colleges, trade schools, or the workforce. It’s truly an unforgettable occasion, with all of us excited to see what the future has in store for our epic high school heroes!
While most High School graduations are covered by local news photographers, William Penn’s graduation ceremony was not this year.
According to public information officer for Colonial School District, Lauren Wilson, the News Journal Media Group, which is on the same road as the school and just minutes away, chose to cover a sporting tournament rather than acknowledge the accomplishments of 476 graduating seniors.
“On Sunday, June 4, 2023, inquiries were made to The News Journal (TNJ) about why photographs were not taken of our commencement ceremony as has been done with other schools.,” said Lauren Wilson, a Colonial School District spokeswoman. “We were told due to a staffing shortage the one photographer available was sent to cover a high school sports tournament.”
Wilson said, of course, this response was unacceptable to us, and a formal letter of complaint was sent to TNJ from Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Menzer.
“We are extremely disappointed that TNJ made a decision that sports took precedence over the academic achievements of our scholars.”
The News Journal is part of the USA Today network which is owned and operated by Gannett Newspapers. Gannett is the largest newspaper serving the east coast. In 2019, Gannett merged with GateHouse Media to form the largest newspaper publisher in the United States. The new company retained the Gannett name and is now known as Gannett Co., Inc. This merger aimed to achieve operational efficiencies and address challenges faced by the newspaper industry.
For a school to call out the News Journal like this, is ridiculous.
“When did any news outlet become obligated to any school event?” said Bill Wiph. “They are a private entity, and can cover any event they want to.”
While media companies are not required to cover graduations or any other events, some locals are calling out The News Journal.
“Shame on TNJ! Colonial School District is located closest to their office and they have never gotten the coverage the other schools in the state have.,” said Susan Stiles. “This has been going on for as long as I can remember!”
CHECK OUT THEESE GREAT IMAGES SHOT BY THE WILLIAM PENN HIGH SCHOOL MEDIA STUDENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: