Coon Rapids HS to graduate 581

Coon Rapids High School will graduate some 581 members of the 2013 senior class Sunday, June 2.

This will be the fourth straight year that commencement ceremonies will take place at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus on a Sunday afternoon rather than a midweek evening at the high school.

The program starts at 1 p.m.; graduates are expected to be at Mariucci by noon.

According to Shannon Madison, assistant principal, this year’s senior class is a little smaller than in recent years, but it should remain about this number over the next few years.

Student speakers will be Frances Kanneh and Stephen Braschayko, who were chosen by audition.

In selecting the student speakers, the judges were looking for the message in each student’s speech and how it would relate to the senior class, Madison said.

Principal Dr. Annette Ziegler and Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 Superintendent Dennis Carlson will make some comments, while District 11 School Boardmembers Jeff Simon – he will accept the class – Bill Harvey and Scott Wenzel will present the diplomas to the graduating seniors.

Grant Farley, senior class leader, will emcee the event, while the Coon Rapids High School Band, directed by Brian Duffy, will play the processional and recessional and the choir ensemble, the Raven Street Project (formerly known as Vision), will perform during the ceremony.

Back in 2010 the school made the decision to move graduation ceremonies off-campus to Mariucci Arena, where Andover and Champlin-Park high schools had their commencement exercises, because the three prior graduation events at the school had had to be moved inside the high school fieldhouse because of bad weather and the number of guests for each student was limited to three.

There are no such restrictions at Mariucci Arena.

Doors will open at noon for general admission.

There will be seating in sections 1-7 and 19-24 with wheelchair seating available at the top of sections 23 and 24.

Seating will be on a first come, first served basis with no tickets required to enter.

Mariucci Arena is located at 1901 Fourth St. S.E., Minneapolis, with parking available in the Fourth Street Ramp, the University Avenue Ramp and lots 37 and 33.

Parking costs, which are set by the University of Minnesota parking and transportation services, vary depending on the event, but range from $4 to $6, according to the Coon Rapids High School graduation newsletter.

To get to Mariucci Arena, take I-35W south to the University Avenue/Fourth Street exit (18), then turn left at the second set of traffic signals on to University Avenue and head east to the arena and the parking areas.

The evening of graduation the senior all-night party will take place at the Mermaid Event Center in Mounds View.

Buses will leave the high school at 8:30 p.m. June 2 and return to the school by 5 a.m. June 3.

There will be food and drinks all night long, plus moonlight bowling, casino entertainment, hennas and temporary tattoos, salon services for hair and nails, a Best Buy gaming station, games shows, bungee basketball, a Comedy Sportz improv show and hypnotist as well as prizes with flat screen television sets awarded as grand prizes.

Senior recognition night took place at the high school May 29.

Scholarships and other awards were announced, including scholarships presented by the Coon Rapids Community Scholarship Association, while seniors earning highest honors (3.9 weighted grade-point average or above with honors courses requirements), high honors (3.6 weighted grade-point average with honors courses requirements) and honors (3.3 weighted grade point average with no honors courses requirements) for academic achievement during their four years at the school were recognized.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]