The excitement is setting in as students prepare their caps and gowns for their high school graduations taking place over the next two weeks.

Along with the students, graduation party coordinators are putting the finishing touches on their respective events, all while looking for donations and volunteers.

Marana High School

At Marana High School, administrators are expecting about 525 students to receive their high school diplomas on Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. About half of those students plan to attend the school-organized celebration following the graduation ceremony.

The graduation night celebrations are done with the hopes of giving students a fun and safe environment where students can celebrate without causing a risk to themselves or others.

Marana High School event chairwoman Shari Saxton said they are ready with their Hollywood Night themed party, but are still looking for additional items for the prize wall. Items can be as simple as a $25 gift certificate to a local store. They are also looking for volunteers.

“We are always needing volunteers,” Saxton said. “In fact we are needing volunteers for our casino area. We always get a lot of volunteers for the first shift, which goes from about 9:30 (p.m.) to 1:30 (a.m.)”

A variety of dinner, snack and dessert foods are available to the students all night. Prizes are raffled off throughout the evening with tow grand prizes, a car, which was donated by Jim Click Automotive Team, and a cash prize of $2,012, which was donated by the Herb Kai Family.

To volunteer or donate, contact Saxton at 668-8436 or

Canyon Del Oro High School

For Canyon Del Oro, chairwoman Maria Trujillo said they are also in need of donations such as gift certificates, or people to volunteer to work at the graduation party with washing dishes from 10:30 p.m. to midnight, to work as security in the locker rooms, or around the event from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., or to work in the casino from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

“We do need some people to help us out in the wee hours of the morning,” Trujillo said. “Those are always the hardest to fill.”

The school’s graduation party theme this year is “Candy Land” for the 385 students who earned $1.96 million in scholarship dollars for next year, and $7.66 million for the next four years.

Graduation is Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m.

To volunteer, contact Maria Trujillo at 971-7560 or  

Ironwood Ridge High School

Ironwood Ridge High School will be putting on its ninth graduation celebration in a row. This year’s theme is Party Zone 2012, and like all high schools, is focused on keeping students safe.

“If it keeps one senior in a safe place and not making a ‘bad choice or bad decision’ on that night, for the community, it is entirely worth it,” said event chairwoman Joyce Contrades.

Contrades said they are looking for volunteers to help set up, and stay during the night of the graduation party.

The graduation party committee is also looking for people to donate $65 for a student’s ticket admission.

Each year, the committee lets students know that if they want to come, but cannot pay for it, they will pay for them.

If a donation is not used one year, it will carry over to the next year to pay for another student to attend the celebration.

Ironwood Ridge High School will graduate about 450 students on Monday, May 21.

To volunteer or donate, contact Joyce Contrades at 834-2401.

Mountain View High School

Mountain View High School will graudate 435 seniors on Wednesday, May 23 at 8 p.m.

The Grad Night theme is Las Vegas, and like all high schools, volunteeers and donations are still needed.

For more information, contact Jen Griner at

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy is the first high school in the Northwest region to host graduation ceremonies.

Pusch Ridge will host the ceremony on Friday, May 18, at Casas Church.

Pusch Ridge will be graduating 59 seniors.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.