FRANKFORT – Nearly 90,000 high school seniors from across Kentucky are set to receive General Assembly citations for graduating this spring.
Legislative Research Commission staff cull the students’ names from high school rolls, print the citations and distribute them upon a legislator’s request. This year the LRC is on pace to match last year’s figure of issuing 88,579 citations to graduating seniors from public and private schools but the number has grown exponentially over the last two decades.
“There is a lot more involved than just stuffing envelopes,” LRC Project Center Supervisor Sally Everman said while describing how many LRC offices mobilize to fulfill the requests. “There are a lot of moving parts. It truly takes a team effort.”
Project Center employees recall when individual high schools faxed the LRC names of graduating seniors. Now the Education Department provides a master list of graduating seniors from the estimated 227,000 high school-aged children residing in Kentucky.
Augie Phillips said he received a citation when he graduated in 2011 from Western Hills High School in Franklin County.
“Receiving honorary citations … made me consider several things: that it was meaningful and a privilege to be graduating from high school; that as I go into the world I will serve as an ambassador for our state in my own way; and that I have representatives in the state legislature who care about my success,” he said.
Technical Writer Supervisor Roxanne Hurt said her team in the Citations Office is also intimately involved in the endeavor.
“We’ve got this down to a science,” she said of everyone involved at the LRC. “The biggest challenge is timing. Graduation season always comes on the heels of the legislative session.”
But Hurt said sloppiness isn’t acceptable while handling a task that requires a careful attention to details.
“I always try to remember a lot of these citations will end up in a frame on someone’s wall,” she said. “Accuracy and aesthetics count.”