LACONIA — Laconia High School seniors turned out in force Saturday morning for a Community Service Day and proved they weren't afraid to get their hands dirty in their effort to ensure that their graduation will be held on June 6.
The large number of snow days this past winter had cast doubt on whether the graduation would be held on the previously recommended date of June 6. A few weeks ago school administrators agreed to that date but with the caveat that at least 80 percent of the seniors would have to show up for a Community Service Day.
As it turned out just about 90 percent of the students turned out, according to Laconia High School Principal James McCollum. The students worked to beautify the Laconia High School campus by weeding garden beds, many of which were established a few years ago as part of Shakespeare Garden project, and doing general landscaping and grounds cleanup.
''I'm very happy that people turned out. Now we don't have to do it a second time,'' said Adam Kresco, a senior who is looking at joining the military and says that the work was nothing new to him as gardening is one of his hobbies.
Brianna Wood, who is looking to a career as a beautician, said that she was proud of her classmates and thought it was very impressive that so many showed up.
''We had to get at least 90 people and we had 90 here by eight 'o'clock,'' said Cierra Pinkney, vice president of the Class of 2015, who credited the large turnout an effective social media campaign. ''We texted a lot of people and got the message out over our own Facebook page,'' she said.
Pinkney said that the large turnout was impressive given that many of the students had prior commitments on Saturday for family events such as weddings. "We offered them breakfast to start the day and keep repeating the message that it's a lot better to give up four hours on a Saturday than it is to have to attend school for another week.''
The temperature as work got underway at 8:30 a.m. was in the mid 40s and many of the students were wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts but didn't appear fazed by the cool weather. LHS humanities teacher Rick Crockford, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt bearing the logo of his sister's landscaping business, said that he was at the age where he needed to wear something warmer but the students appeared to be doing fine. ''Their metabolism makes it easy for them to handle this kind of weather,'' he said.
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