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Blooming Brilliance: Mesquite High’s Year-Long Journey to Planning Graduation

Blooming Brilliance: Mesquite High’s Year-Long Journey to Planning Graduation
Tristan Chavez
Mesquite High Graduation Setup

High school graduation - a culmination of years of hard work, late-night study sessions, pep rallies and testing. But behind the scenes at Mesquite High School, another year-long journey unfolds. A dedicated team works tirelessly to ensure Mesquite’s graduation ceremony is celebrated smoothly and with excitement. From the first orders placed in July to the iconic cap toss in May, their efforts ensure graduation is an unforgettable ceremony for the graduating class and their families.

"Our focus is on empowering students and preparing them for a bright future," says Eric Cruz, Assistant Principal at Mesquite High. "These are remarkable young people, each with their own unique stories and experiences. Graduation is a culmination of their hard work and dedication, and we want to ensure the ceremony reflects that achievement."

Summer Sowing

While the heat is at its highest and summer vacation is well on its way, the halls at Mesquite High may be quiet but the administrative offices are already busy planning for graduation. July marks the start of crucial tasks, including setting calendar dates and placing purchase orders for photography, vendors, staging, fireworks, and much more. The team meticulously evaluates options for both Baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies, prioritizing factors like capacity, accessibility, and overall ambiance to create a fitting backdrop for these events. Finally, the team establishes a comprehensive plan outlining key tasks and responsibilities. Team roles are clearly defined and assigned, fostering a collaborative environment that will guide them through the year-long planning process.


Fall Foundations

As Autumn settles in and the new school year unfolds, the Mesquite High graduation team delves deeper into program creation. The team gathers information on the graduating class, specifically for the academic top 2% of seniors. These students then work with counselors and administrators to cover the graduation’s valedictorian and salutatorian processes. Additionally, the team identifies seniors who might be at risk of not meeting graduation requirements. Early intervention and targeted support systems are then implemented to ensure all students have the opportunity to celebrate this milestone in May.


Winter Focus

While temperatures cool and the school year enters the second semester, the work to prepare a graduation ceremony begins to heat up. Drafts for the graduation program take shape, with special consideration paid to every component. From verifying names and signatures to selecting program covers and even the type of paper, the team ensures a polished and professional final product is printed. Music selection for both Baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies is finalized, ensuring the chosen pieces create an uplifting and memorable tone for each event. Meanwhile, counselors and administrators continue to work diligently with seniors, keeping them on track for a successful graduation in May.


Graduation Chairs with Names Attached

Spring Sprint

As Spring approaches and gusts of wind speed up, so do the tasks for graduation. A crucial meeting brings together various departments to review plans for event setup. This includes the placement of the podium, microphones, sound equipment, lighting, and designated seating areas for special guests, graduates, and families. Chair numbers are assigned, and line reader banners are prepared to ensure a smooth flow during the ceremony. The team also coordinates with the ROTC leader to arrange for the presentation of colors at both the Baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies.

Caps and gowns are distributed to seniors, a tangible sign that graduation is approaching. Counselors ramp up their efforts, visiting senior classes and completing Spring Senior Credit Checks to ensure all students are on track. Diplomas are printed, and the staff carefully inspects each one for errors or smudging. Facilities are also readied as the football field is mowed, sprinklers are deactivated, and air conditioning is turned on for the Baccalaureate ceremony which ensures a comfortable environment for all attendees.


The Season Ends and Starts Again

The day before graduation arrives, the team conducts last-minute checks, ensuring the stage is set, diplomas are accounted for, and the sound system is up to par. A graduation rehearsal takes place to ensure each student and staff member understands their responsibilities. While some students practice their speeches, most teachers and staff are tasked with graduation duty assignments like office runners, pacers, stadium ushers, ground security, and diploma assistants.

On the day of graduation, the culmination of years of hard work, late nights, and early mornings unfolds for students and their families. For administrators, a single day that has been a year in the making comes to fruition — marking the completion of a remarkable journey for both students and the dedicated Mesquite High team.

Mesquite High’s graduation ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 7 PM. For information regarding Mesquite High’s graduation, including ticket information, visit