FORT CAMPBELL, KY - May 21, 2009 -- Local high school graduates can cross the stage knowing that deployed loved ones won't miss their proud moment.

Upcoming graduation ceremonies for seven area schools will be broadcast live via Web streaming.
Fort Campbell High School Principal Dave Witte said the Webcasts include deployed mothers, fathers and family members in one of life's monumental occasions.

"There's birth, the first day of school and then graduation," Witte said.

Because military duty can take a Soldier away from the family for long periods, it's not always possible to attend a milestone event. But the Webcast, Witte said, provides the next best thing.

The live feed is a collaborative effort between Austin Peay State University who will shoot the video, the Clarksville Montgomery County School Systems whose Web site will host the broadcast and the Directorate of Information Management who will enable Department of Defense computers to access the transmission.

"It's a multifaceted partnership with the community and DOI," said David Bilan, Fort Campbell's visual information manager.

Normally DOIM blocks streaming media because of threats to security and available bandwidth. But Bilan said the division command feels graduation is important enough occasion to make an exception.

To access the Webcast, the user need only to open a Web browser on their computer and go to at the graduation's scheduled time. The viewer can then click on the "Live Stream" button and watch the event in real time.

Each graduation ceremony will be recorded and archived on the same page if the user wants to watch the ceremony after the fact.

Bilan said DOIM will monitor the feeds from start to finish to guard against any technical disruptions. To check a particular computer's access, one can click on the "Test" button.
The FCHS graduation is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time. The ceremony will award diplomas to as many as 109 graduates and feature speeches by Valedictorian Brooke Davies and Salutatorian Nicole Swope.

Also on that day, Webcasts will be available for Clarksville High School at 4 p.m. and Northwest High School at 7 p.m.

Saturday will feature ceremonies for Northeast High School at 9 a.m., Montgomery Central High School at noon, Kenwood High School at 3 p.m. and Rossview High School at 6 p.m.

All graduations will be held at the Winfield Dunn Health and Physical Education Building, on the APSU main campus.