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Coal City and Morris graduations to stream online

MORRIS – Watching as your child or grandchild graduates high school is something you don’t want to miss.

But for some it’s just not possible due to distance or mobility issues.

Grundy Area Vocational Center students in Joe Terrell’s computer applications class are working so anyone with a computer can watch as Coal City and Morris High School students walk across the stage to get their diploma in the coming weeks.

“This is our second year live streaming both graduations,” Terrell said. “It only takes one to three students to be able to have the video stream online.”

With the help of local sponsors, since 2010 students have volunteered to bring area athletics to the Internet audience by live streaming games. Last year, they decided to take the technology a step further and use it for graduation.

“We asked to have GAVC live stream our graduation again this year,” said Kent Bugg, superintendent of Coal City Community Unit School District 1. “It gives families not able to make the trip an opportunity to watch. The possibility for a dad three states away to watch his children graduate is exciting.”

Terrell said the option to be involved is up to the students. He takes whatever volunteers are interested and schedules the year.

Emaly Garcia, who has spent a lot of time behind the camera shooting sports, will be on the other side of the camera May 23 as she walks across the stage at Morris to get her diploma.

“When I was asked last year I thought I like video editing, and I like being behind the camera,” Garcia said. “Because I’m on the field during halftime, I was only able to do the second half of the football game, but I enjoyed it.”

She said the difficult part of sports video is watching the sport as a whole and not just an individual player.

“It’s interesting to learn to get the balance,” she said.

Pat Halloran, superintendent at Morris, said having the event streamed live online is a great opportunity for those who can’t be there but would like to watch it.

“Those kids do an excellent job,” he said. “They’ve really expanded over the years, starting with live streaming the games.”

George Howard, a senior at Minooka Community High School, also has been involved for the past two years. He said filming requires a lot of concentration and said it’s easy to get caught up in the game.

“I like live streaming football because it’s my favorite sport,” he said. “The atmosphere with everyone wanting their team to win is awesome.”

Howard prefers video editing over the live stream because he can choose what the viewer sees, and it allows you to see the reactions to things.

Terrell said Morris basketball games have had up to 240 viewers a game, showing him there is a need for the service.

The program is not a graded portion of the curriculum so sponsors are needed to continue to live stream. Pricing for sponsorship will be available after June 1. For information, contact Joe Terrell at or call 815-942-4390, ext. 4211.

“Sponsorship goes to a $500 scholarship for one of the students,” Terrell said. “The other money goes to equipment.”


To watch live coverage of Coal City and Morris high school graduations, go to and type in the name of the school.

• Coal City graduation – May 18 starting at 1:50 p.m.

• Morris graduation – May 23 starting at 6:50 p.m.

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