Graduates' New Journey Often Begins With Party


Graduation is going to be followed by a sleepless night for most of Ventura County's high school seniors, and the unlucky parents assigned to chaperon a number of parties set to rage until sunrise over the next few weeks.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds will host an all-night party for Ventura and Buena high schools after their graduation Saturday.

For seniors across the county in Oak Park, the after-hours shindig is at a mystery location. Parents will have four luxury buses waiting to whisk graduates away June 16.

Seniors in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley will head to Disneyland after their commencements Thursday and June 16. The theme park sponsors graduation-night events for Southern California high schools.

"The time between prom and graduation night is the most dangerous for a teenager," said parent Cheryl DiSpaltro, who is helping to organize the Oak Park all-nighter. "They're going to party, so we want to make sure it's safe and sober."

Graduates who attend the all-night parties will not be allowed to leave the site once they arrive. There will be plenty of music, dancing, food--and chaperons. But at the Ventura and Buena high school events, parents must first get the permission of their kids before signing up as chaperons.

At Fillmore Senior High, graduates will take a cruise around the harbor in San Pedro after graduation. The trip has been underwritten with $10,000 in community donations.

This annual event started in 1991, a year after 18-year-old graduate Jimmy Anderson died in a car accident after a graduation party. He was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk student.

Here is a list of area graduations:

Conejo Valley Unified

Newbury Park High School--Friday, 6 p.m. at school stadium, 456 N. Reino Road; 375 graduates.

Thousand Oaks High School--Thursday, 6 p.m. at school stadium, 2323 Moorpark Road; 545 graduates.

Westlake High School--Thursday, 5 p.m. at school stadium, 100 N. Lakeview Canyon Road; 395 graduates.

Fillmore Unified

Fillmore Senior High School--Thursday, 7 p.m. at school football stadium, 555 Central Ave.; 180 graduates.

Moorpark Unified

Moorpark High School--Thursday, 6 p.m. at school stadium, 4500 Tierra Rejada Road; 360 graduates.

Oak Park Unified

Oak Park High School--June 16, 8 p.m. at school stadium, 899 N. Kanan Road; 156 graduates.

Ojai Unified

Nordhoff High School--Friday, 6:30 p.m. at the school stadium, 1401 Maricopa Highway; 214 graduates.

Oxnard Union High

Adolfo Camarillo High School--June 26, 2:30 p.m. at school field, 4660 Mission Oaks Blvd.; 550 graduates.

Channel Islands High School--June 26, 2 p.m. at school stadium, 1400 East Raiders Way; 600 graduates.

Hueneme High School--June 26, 2 p.m. at school field, 500 Bard Road; 436 graduates.

Oxnard High School--June 26, 2 p.m. at school field, 3400 W. Gonzalez Road; 489 graduates.

Rio Mesa High School--June 26, 4 p.m. at school football field, 545 Central Ave.; 458 graduates.

Santa Paula Unified

Santa Paula High School--Friday, 6:30 p.m. at the football field, 404 N. 6th St.; 270 graduates.

Simi Valley Unified

Royal High School--June 16, 6 p.m. at school stadium, 1402 Royal Ave.; 560 graduates.

Simi Valley High School--June 16, 6 p.m. at school stadium, 5400 Cochran St.; 600 graduates.

Ventura Unified

Buena High School--Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at campus quad, 5670 Telegraph Road; 490 graduates.

Ventura High School--Thursday, 3 p.m. at Larabee Stadium, 2155 E. Main St.; 360 graduates.

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