Education

Park City High School PTSO to provide popular Grad Night celebration for seniors

PARK CITY, Utah — As it’s done for more than a decade, the Park City High School Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) formerly known as the PTA, will host Grad Night for senior students.

After they ‘walk’ for their High School graduation ceremony and go out to dinner with their families, seniors can join the roughly 80% of their classmates who’ve historically gone to the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse for a celebration at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 7. 

Unlike the annual Docudrama, which the PTSO puts on at the school each May to highlight that the month ranks among the most dangerous for alcohol-related accidents of young drivers, Grad Night isn’t designed to communicate to students the perils of bad decision making. Quite the contrary. It’s simply a place they can come to relax with their friends and be celebrated by the community.

It’s also unlike the high school’s prom, which was recently held at Black Rock Resort, in that this event has no formal dress code.  

Once they pass a professionally-administered breathalyzer test at the door, graduates get to enjoy decorations, snacks, crafts, sports, and music by a D.J. who is an alum.

“We rely on donations from senior parents and local organizations to make the fantastic Grad Night happen,” Heather Sims, outgoing president of Park City’s PTSO, told TownLift, “Additionally, the event strives  to recruit the parents of sophomores and juniors to help with set-up on the night of graduation so that the families of the seniors can spend quality time together.” 

Tara Stocker, chairwoman of the Grad Night Committee, told TownLift that there’s a raffle that night as well as giveaways. Parent-volunteer Sylvia Hebert, a mainstay at school-sanctioned events like these, walks around the crowd and randomly gives away nominal cash amount bills and gift cards, just to show the organizers’ appreciation that the students are there. 

In support of those activities, parents and Parkites-at-large can make  donations by bringing gift cards to the front desk of the High School in the days leading up to June 7. Cards can be in any amount up to $100 from local businesses or national ones since the grads will utilize them in the cities in which they matriculate in the fall. 

Only adult volunteers who have signed up via the PTSO will be allowed in to Grad Night since Basin Recreation will be closed off to the general public. Private security guards, as they team up with on-site local law enforcement, will have a list of the graduating class members.

Grad Night is a marquee event for the PTSO, current Vice President Kim Abbett who is poised to take over as president next year is reluctantly saying goodbye to outgoing Treasurer Julie Strople. 

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