Grove City Record

Graduation day times four

District high schools head to Vets for last time

Hundreds of seniors looking to pick up their diplomas May 30 and 31

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The four high schools in the South-Western City School District will hold their graduation ceremonies Friday and Saturday, May 30-31, at Franklin County Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St.

The ceremonies will mark the end of high school for the class of 2014 and the last year the school district will hold its graduations at Veterans Memorial.

The facility is slated to be torn down later this year to make way for a new civic center, park and museum.

"It's kind of sad that we'll be holding our last ceremony at Vets Memorial," Grove City High School Principal Mike Starner said. "It's been a wonderful venue for our district and for the central Ohio community."

It is still to be determined where graduation ceremonies will be held next year, said Sandy Nekoloff, the district's director of communications.

Westland High School's ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday. The other schools will hold their ceremonies on Saturday -- Franklin Heights High School at 11 a.m., Grove City High School at 3 p.m. and Central Crossing High School at 7 p.m.

South-Western Career Academy held its Career Passport ceremony May 22.

A little more than 400 GCHS seniors are expected to receive their diplomas, Starner said.

Three seniors will speak at the ceremony.

Maya Gosztyla will be valedictorian and Kayla Heacock will be salutatorian. Senior class president Mason Warner also will speak.

"The class of 2014 has been a lot of fun," Starner said. "It's a class with exceptional talent and character."

While graduation marks an important milestone for the students, "when we go into the English classes back in March to start talking about graduation, we tell our students that the ceremony is really for their parents and grandparents," he said.

"It's a chance for them to look on with pride as their children graduate and celebrate what they've accomplished," Starner said.

Approximately 323 Central Crossing seniors are expected to participate in this year's graduation ceremony, Principal Jill Burke said.

The valedictorian is Michael Chamblin and salutatorian is Kylie Rezes.

"Both Michael and Kylie have greater than 4.5 GPAs," Burke said. "It was very, very close for a while as to who would be valedictorian. They are two extraordinary students."

Caleb Mosley and Stephanie Karnes will be recognized as Central Crossing's Ideal Seniors.

The award recognizes students who display the qualities and skills -- academic achievement, character, leadership, participation in extracurricular activities and sound representation of the class and school -- that Central Crossing students are encouraged to pursue, Burke said.

Students are nominated for the award by teachers, then the senior class votes for the five male and five female finalists. A panel of outside evaluators interviews the finalists to make the selection.

At Franklin Heights High School, seniors earn more than just a diploma.

They had the opportunity to participate in the annual Senior Night Out, set May 28 at Dave and Buster's, Principal Andy Jados said.

"It's a fun night for them to celebrate what they've accomplished and a reward for their hard work," he said.

Julia Ott and Alex Gifford will speak at the graduation ceremony.

Seniors must audition to serve as speakers, Jados said.

Jados said the class of 2014 will always be special to him.

"This was my first year as a principal and the leadership and character the senior class displayed made it a much easier year for me," he said. "They are a special group."

As of Tuesday, May 27, no one from Westland High School had responded to requests for comments about the school's senior class and its graduation event.

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