A milestone will happen Friday

Tomorrow, Tri-City United will graduate its first-ever class of senior students. Like so many things in the school district, it will be historic for everyone, especially the students and their families.
Before that happens, I want to draw your attention to this week’s edition of the Montgomery Messenger. It includes the traditional graduation supplement for the area’s graduating senior class. In past years, the section has been eight pages and inserted in the Montgomery Messenger prior to graduation. However, with the birth of the Tri-City United School District, this year’s edition presented  a new challenge: How to effectively present the graduating TCU Class of 2013 to its communities in Montgomery, Lonsdale and Le Center. 
In year’s past, the Messenger and Le Center Leader each produced their own graduation sections  for their respective school districts. However, students who lived in Lonsdale never had a section for the Montgomery-Lonsdale School District because Lonsdale’s paper is owned by same company that owns Le Center Leader, which was in the other district. 
When the districts consolidated, I wondered how this was going to work. Would the sections continue as they had in the past, or might there be a better, more efficient way to present this?
I arranged a meeting with Stephanie Hill, the publisher of Le Center Leader, about possibly producing a common graduation section and insert it in all three communities’ newspapers. This would take care of Montgomery, Le Center and also include Lonsdale. All three newspapers are printed at the same printing plant, so inserting them would be a snap. 
After she and I figured out advertising prices, ad sizes, color options and printing prices, we got to work selling ads for the section. The advertisers in all of the communities were quick to jump on board.
So what you have today is the first TCU Graduation Section. This would not have been possible without the help from several important people. In addition to the staff at the Messenger office, Stephanie Hill, and production departments for the Messenger and Leader, I would also like to thank the TCU school staff who made this possible:
• Barb Turek, TCU Guidance Secretary, for making sure all of the graduates filled out their information forms, and for hunting down those who didn’t. 
• Carolyn Harmeyer, TCU Yearbook Advisor, for supplying the senior photos, and for taking snapshots of those who didn’t turn one in or have them taken.
• Heidi Keller and Emily Erwin, TCU senior co-advisors, for arranging the panoramic photo that you see on the section’s cover, and getting me the graduation program information.
• Lori Tuma, TCU High School secretary, who has been a life saver getting us any and all information that we were missing.
Alan Fitterer, high school principal, who has always been very accommodating with any information that I need.
I hope you like it as much as I do, and congratulations to the Class of 2013.

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