"Awesome" is the word Marysville High School Assistant Principal Shawn Williams uses to describe the class of 2014.
"This year is pretty cool. Show choir did awesome. FFA did awesome. Athletics did awesome," Williams said. "This is such a hard-working group, with academics, athletics, music and theater. They are just very accomplished all the way around."
Principal Aaron Cook said 379 students will graduate at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Marysville High School football stadium.
"I think they are a first-class group. For instance, the Pit (the student cheering section) -- after football games or basketball games -- would stick around and clean up the trash they left in their part of the bleachers," Cook said.
Nearly 31 percent of the senior class boasts a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. There are 10 valedictorians, all of whom have a GPA of 4.15 or higher and at least 25 credits and six Advanced Placement classes. They are, listed by GPA: Matthew Reed, Annmarie Soller, Haley Willoughby, Hannah Staats, Aaron Carpenter, Hannah Beil, Thomas Borawski, Matthew McCoy, Lucas Yost and Jeffrey Book.
Book and Reed will speak at graduation, as will class president Nick Baird.
Many seniors will graduate with some type of distinction. Twenty-one have the designation of summa cum laude (4.0-4.149 GPA), 34 are magna cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA) and 52 are cum laude (3.5 to 3.749 GPA).
Also, 69 earned honors diplomas and five earned vocational/technical honors diplomas. To earn these, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and meet other criteria, including specific courses and scores on college admissions tests.
The class has a commitment of $3,250,324 in scholarships over the course of four years.
Cook said the graduation ceremony will include a performance by the choir for the first time as well as a change in the awarding of diplomas.
Students can request that a certain teacher or staff member hand them their diploma. In the past, diplomas were awarded alphabetically by student. This year, each staff member will hand out all of his or her diplomas in alphabetical order, eliminating the constant switching on- and offstage.
A senior awards ceremony held Thursday, May 15, recognized many of the accomplishments of the class of 2014.
The football team advanced to the Division I state playoffs, the boys basketball team reached a district semifinal, the show choir won a record-breaking five grand champion awards, the girls soccer team won a district championship.
Two wrestlers won state championships. The softball team is seeded first for the district tournament and was 22-2 entering the second round of the tournament. The baseball team was 18-8 before its second-round district game, and members of the boys and girls track team are poised for a run at the state meet.
But Williams said the class is more than just the sum of those accomplishments.
"Yes, they're great athletes. Yes, they are accomplished in the classroom, but beyond that, they are good people," he said. "They are good, kind, caring people. I think it's just who they are and how they were raised and a credit to the parents and the community."
Cook, in his first year at the school, said he was pleased to see the character of the class.
"They are polite. They say 'hello,' 'good morning,' 'thank you' and they help fellow students out who are in need," Cook said. "I told the junior class of National Honor Society inductees, 'The senior class set the mark high.'"
Williams said in the four years the class of 2014 has walked the halls, this year stands out.
"Which is perfect, if you're a senior. That's the one you want to stand out," he said. "They are a motivated, very hard-working group of kids."
At the graduation ceremony, seating in the stadium will be first-come, first-served.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will move to the high school gym. In that case, each student will be allotted four tickets for family and friends. For families with more than four guests, graduation will be streamed live in the auditorium. Tickets are not required for those seats.