Top 15% at Kenmore West HS want to sit on stage

Posted at 11:35 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 23:35:36-04

Ten weeks before graduation at Kenmore West High School in Tonawanda, administrators announced that a decades old tradition would be ending.

Every year, students in the top 15 percent have the honor of sitting on stage at the graduation

“We haven’t as parents heard anything of the reason why. . .  so it’s still kind of up in the air as to why what is going on,” Kenmore West parent Jennifer Lee told 7 Eyewitness News.

Senior Destiny Kausner holds a 95 percent grade average and is currently ranked in the top 15 percent of her class.

“It’s your moment to shine,” she said.

Like many of her friends, Kausner decided to take action with a petition.

“It spread like wild fire a lot of people have signed it,” she said.

“Someone from Ecuador signed it.”

Now, only days after the change was announced, the district is having a change of heart.

Kenmore West High School shared this statement with 7 eyewitness news reading in part:

The leadership has determined it best to consider this change for next year to provide additional opportunities for student, parent and community feedback.

For senior Elena Slawson this reversal means someone very special – her grandfather who is battling brain cancer -- will get to see her take center stage.

“I am more than thrilled I absolutely cannot wait to go up there and tell him. . . I think it will completely make his day so thank you a very kind old man smile,” Slawson said.

A district spokesman says the change may be implemented for the class of 2017, but that will be decided after feedback from students, community and parents.