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Graduation name game

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As seniors march onto the stage Saturday evening night at the Ford Center to receive their diplomas, there will be a new voice saying their names as assistant principal Stacey Whaling replaces Frisco ISD Advanced Academics Coordinator Srikrishna Chetty in the role.

I’ve been trying to make sure I have the names spelled correctly and the phonetic spellings on my cards, that way I can say the names properly,”

— assistant principal Stacey Whaling

Whaling has been preparing for Saturday by spending the past month calling seniors out of class to make sure she can pronounce their names correctly.

“I think it’s just easier to have someone on campus, so I think that was never supposed to be a permanent situation,” Whaling said. “I’ve been trying to make sure I have the names spelled correctly and the phonetic spellings on my cards, that way I can say the names properly. I love seeing how excited the kids get, they get so happy and they’re so excited to start that next chapter. I just want to make their parents proud really, I just want to say it right.”

Experience was a key element in Chetty feeling more comfortable in the role of graduation announcer.

“I did it for three years,” Chetty said. “It was definitely easier the third year versus the first year, I just new what questions to ask, what names to be looking out for and things like that. “I would go talk to each student and I guess the biggest question is ‘what do your parents want to hear?’”

Having to learn the pronunciation of hundreds of names was an anxious experience for Chetty.

When you walk down the stage at high school graduation, your entire family and your loved ones are there to cherish this moment with you,”

— senior Vinayak Chatterjee

“It was definitely nerve wracking right until I’m standing up there doing it,” he said. “It’s funny because I would always mess up an easy name because I would focus on the hard names. I probably missed a James Smith somewhere along the way.”

Whaling is doing everything she can to make sure she pronounces every name correctly which is important for seniors and their families.

“When you walk down the stage at high school graduation, your entire family and your loved ones are there to cherish this moment with you,” senior Vinayak Chatterjee said via text message. “To be respectful to you and your family, saying your name correctly is really important. I’m looking forward to finishing off a good thirteen years of school with the same people I grew up watch as we all go our separate paths and tackle the world and everything it has to offer in our own ways.”

About the Writer
Lucas Barr, Editor-in-chief

Lucas Barr is a junior entering his third year of newspaper. After two years as a staff reporter, he is returning as editor-in-chief. He plays the violin,...

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Graduation name game