By Margret N. MenziesMay 21, 2008
WIESBADEN, Germany (Army News Service, May 21, 2008) - Some deployed servicemembers will be able to view their high school graduating seniors crossing the stage and moving their tassels from right to left via live webcasts on graduation day.
At least 18 graduation ceremonies at Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe will be viewed by an estimated 211 deployed parents in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world.
DoDDS-Europe has teamed up with U.S. Army Europe and the 5th Signal Command to enable the live webcasts via the Internet. The first graduation ceremony will be webcast June 5. Ten graduation ceremonies will take place simultaneously on June 6. The last ceremony will be webcast on the evening of June 13.
Schools identified as having students with deployed parents are:
Aca,!Ac June 5 - Hanau and Bamberg;
Aca,!Ac June 6 - Naples, Heidelberg, Hohenfels, Kaiserslautern, Ansbach, Baumholder, Ramstein, Vilsek, Lakenheath and Aviano;
Aca,!Ac June 7 - Mannheim and Rota;
Aca,!Ac June 8 - Patch High School in Stuttgart, H.H. Arnold in Wiesbaden, and Vicenza; and
Aca,!Ac June 13 - AFNORTH.
Using Web technology, deployed parents will be able to see their graduating senior cross the stage and view student messages recorded for the occasion. The collective effort is intended to give graduating students and deployed parents the opportunity to share in this life event, officials said.
This is the fifth year the effort has been undertaken, said Diana Ohman, director of DoDDS-Europe. She has been involved with each of the yearly webcasts and said that although it is a monumental technical challenge, these webcasts are emotionally significant to the student and the deployed parent.
"There is no room for error. It is too important. It is important to the graduating senior that he or she be able to share the event with parents, as well as for the deployed parents to be able to view their son or daughter crossing the stage," Ohman said.
Planning for this year's webcast began in January. Seniors who had, or anticipated having, parents deployed at graduation were identified through the high schools and the immense coordination process began.
For more information on webcast times, contact Margret N. Menzies in Wiesbaden, Germany at +49 0611 3807612 or DSN: (314) 338-7612.