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School board told of rising graduation ceremony costs Featured


Cleveland School District Superintendent Jackie Thigpen informed the board of trustees Friday that the graduation rental fee at Delta State University Walter Sillers Coliseum has increased.
The cost of the coliseum is now $6,000.
In recent years, the cost for East Side High School and Cleveland High School was $1,200 each plus security fees.
Thigpen said, "They began charging for seats. The mesh chairs on the floor are like $125 each, the chairs on the stage are like $5 each, and they are charging for the use of the podiums."
Trustee Todd Fuller recommended the Bologna Performing Arts Center and Trustee Tonya Short recommended the Cleveland Central Middle School football field.
The board believed neither location would work because of the amount of people that attend plus there was concern about the weather.
Thigpen gave the board a copy of a letter DSU President William LaForge wrote explaining the costs of the coliseum.
Trustee Richard Boggs told Thigpen to ask if the district could provide its own chairs and podium.
Thigpen said she would continue to see what she could do to hold the graduation at the coliseum.
The Cleveland Central Middle School Choir performed for the board in observance of School Board Member Recognition Week.
The choir sang "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Rise Up" by Andra Day.
On Jan. 10, CCMS choir performed "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of thousands on national television at the Memphis Grizzlies games.
Choir director Dorothy Jones said her choir worked and studied really hard while preparing for occasion.
Boggs said he would like the choir to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the football games.
Jones said she is interested in hosting a Choir Camp for her students and incoming students this summer at CCMS.
"I want to bring in students that are ahead in college and other various places and we are just going to work with them," said Jones.
Se added, "A lot of money is in choral music education and band. Those are the untold stories in the arts.
"If you sing or play an instrument at an SEC school and practice 40 to 50 minutes three days out of week. That's a big scholarship."
Jones said her purpose of the camp is to try and encourage her students to take advantage of the opportunities choral music education has to offer and to show them that scholarships are involved.

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