During the night of graduation every year each graduating class comes together in the late night to celebrate their achievements. This party is known as Chem-Free. The term Chem-Free means free of chemicals. Chem-Free is a good place for students to make healthy decisions and be safe after their graduation.
“It was a goal that no student from Shawano Community High School will ever pass away on their graduation night. So the Chem-Free party was put together. It was meant to be this clean, no drugs or alcohol, event so that no one loses their life on the night of graduation,” stated SCHS Principal Scott Zwirschitz.
Chem-Free is the last time that most students will get to see their fellow classmates before they take the next step into their adult lives. Some will go to college, others will go into the workforce or the military, but Chem-Free serves as one last night of fun.
“I think it’s a great way to celebrate the graduation that they just went through. It’s the last time that the group gets to be together. A lot of the time there isn’t really a point where the group gets to get together as a class,” commented Principal Zwirschitz.
Many teachers and parent volunteers, as well as local business owners, come together to put on this event. Whether it be by volunteering their time or donating prizes for the students to win, Chem-Free is a community effort.
“I have worked Chem-Free four times over the course of my employment here in eight years,” said SCHS Teacher Mr. Matthew Brunette.
There are many activities that go on during Chem-Free ranging anywhere from card games to hypnosis. Many prizes are also given away during the festivities.
“We try to do a lot of different things. We’ve done similar things over the years because it’s a different group.” Principal Zwirschitz continued, “We’ll have a lot of games that take place at the beginning. We have blackjack, bingo, a horse racing game, a dart competition, bean bag toss, music playing, we have a photo booth, and that’s to start the night.”
The school also provides a hypnotist show late in the night for the students brave enough, as well as blow up houses and castles.
“There’s an obstacle course, jousting, boxing, and then there’s that one game where you have to run and try to get the velcro thing as far as you can before you get yanked back,” stated Mrs. Rhonda Krueger.
With student safety being the main goal of everyone involved with Chem-Free, the party lasts until about 5 a.m.
“I don’t want anybody to leave when it is dark because I don’t want kids to leave and just be tired, so when it’s about four or five is when the party will end,” stated Principal Zwirschitz.
The class of 2019 has a lot to look forward to on their graduation night, and everyone at SCHS congratulates them.
Principal Zwirschitz commented, “I highly recommend it. Come with a positive attitude and come ready to have some fun and win some prizes!”