The Canal Winchester Times

Groveport Madison High School

2014 valedictorians represent district's diversity

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Groveport Madison High School's valedictorians for the class of 2014 are (from left) Samentha Jean, Isaac England, Adja Ba, Morgan Clark, Larry "Nate" Parsons and Erin McElhaney.

More than 300 seniors will graduate from Groveport Madison High School June 1, including valedictorians Adja Ba, Morgan Clark, Isaac England, Samentha Jean, Erin McElhaney and Larry "Nate" Parsons.

The commencement ceremony is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in the Celeste Center at the state fairgrounds, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus.

"The 2014 valedictorians represent the diversity in our school district and the value it brings to the community," GMHS Principal Aric Thomas said.

"We have students of varying race, religion and social experiences. We are extremely proud to have these individuals representing Groveport Madison Local School District as our top-performing students."

Ba, originally from Senegal, moved to the U.S. in June 2013, transitioning quickly into the school system and learning English. She eventually became a volunteer in the Homework Help Center. Her interests in science and mathematics are the basis for her plans to pursue an engineering degree in college.

Clark, who is a fourth-generation Groveport Madison graduate, participated in a number of organizations as a high school student, including the National Honor Society, marching band, athletics, the Cruiser Theater Company and Mission Ensign. She also is president of the class of 2014.

England has spent much of his high school experience delving into leadership opportunities such as the Marine Leadership & Character Development Academy, several Naval Academy programs, the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program, and the Central Ohio Leadership Academy. England plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Jean is a member of the marching band, and for the past two years has participated in the Mosaic program where she has been a member of the Poetry Slam team. She recently won accolades as a writer for her poetry at the Word Church presentations at Brothers Drake Meadery in Columbus. She is considering furthering her education at Ohio State University.

McElhaney is also in the marching band and participated in the Leader Spark program. She plans to major in nursing at Capital University, starting next fall.

Parsons has served as captain of the varsity tennis team and president of the National Honor Society. He also was the recipient of the Honda Math Medal for being the district's highest-achieving math student. He plans to attend Ohio State University to study engineering, and continue his service in the National Guard.

District Superintendent Bruce Hoover said members of the class of 2014 set an example not just to their fellow students, but to the whole community, particularly with their efforts to get a levy and bond issue passed in May that will provide the district with a new high school and some financial security.

"This group was probably the most actively involved group of students, not only for building a positive representative class of Groveport Madison students to the community, but setting a strong academic example to the underclassmen," Hoover said.

"Their example and hard work helping to pass the levy will allow us as a district to continue to grow and achieve more, so I'm just very thankful for all they helped with -- as much outside of the classroom as inside," he said.