York City Superintendent Deborah Wortham got what she asked for, even if she didn't know it at the time.

William Penn Senior High School's graduation will now be held at Small Field after the senior class took the professional route to getting their request granted for a change of venue.

The school board had initially considered once again having the ceremony at the Toyota Expo Center.

Then, school officials decided it would be best to have graduation at the high school auditorium.

Limited seating: The problem, though, is that the auditorium's limited seating capacity would require students to choose which four family members or friends could see them accept their diploma in person, with the others having to watch on a screen in the gym.

Senior class president Marissa Scone said students didn't want to have to pick and choose loved ones.

Now, after getting the go-ahead from Wortham and the school board, they won't need to do that.

To show Wortham they were serious, Scone and other seniors invited the superintendent to the school to talk about the graduation site. Wortham said she stepped off the elevator to see them wearing suits, ties and dresses, and ready to talk business.

They even had infographics about how they would raise funds to help offset the cost of having an outdoor ceremony, and offered to help in any way possible.

"I was shocked," Wortham said.

The ceremony: The graduation is set for June 8, with the time to be announced. If it rains, which was a primary concern for the school board, the


ceremony will be moved back to the high school.

Kinsley Construction is donating a stage for the ceremony to help offset the cost, Scone said. But there is still a cost involved in decorating the field and renting equipment. Students hope to raise about $3,000.

Seniors will also have a fundraiser Tuesday through Isaac's restaurant in Springettsbury Township. Anyone with a flier from the seniors, available at the high school main office, will have a portion of the cost of their meal donated to the William Penn graduation fund.

And seniors will also have a car wash at the Metro Bank near York Crossing Drive in West Manchester Township from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

All that initiative is exactly what Wortham said she's wanted.

"We talk about character education, what we want from our students when they graduate. That's what I want. I want students to be able to articulate, to ... have solutions," Wortham said.

It'll be Wortham's first class to graduate since she became superintendent.

"So I told them I'd get them a first-class graduation," she said.

-- Reach Andrew Shaw at 505-5431 or ashaw@yorkdispatch.com, or on Twitter @ydblogwork