Westerville News & Public Opinion

South's top 10 excelled in and out of classroom

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Westerville South's 2014 top 10 graduates -- its Academic Varsity as recognized by the Westerville Kiwanis Club -- are (from left): row 1-Aaron Sens, Rebecca Parkhurst, McKenna Davis, Vi Dinh and Anna Aylor; row 2-Principal Steve Andersson, Carissa Tedeschi, Benjamin Potts, Meredith Lind, Ben Gannon and Kiwanis President Norman Rearick. Not pictured: Kieran Arens.
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Westerville South High School's top 2013-14 students will graduate with GPAs of more than 4.0 and impressive extracurricular resumes, too.

Soon-to-be graduates McKenna Davis, Benjamin Potts, William Gannon, Vi Dinh, Kieran Arens, Rebecca Parkhurst, Meredith Lind, Anna Aylor, Carissa Tedeschi and Aaron Sens will graduate from Westerville South High School on May 24 as the school's top academic students.

The Westerville Kiwanis Club honored this year's top 10 students from South, as well as the top 10 from Westerville Central and Westerville North, at its Academic Varsity dinner April 23 at Genoa Middle School.

"I think about our list of top 10 and they're really a thoughtful group and supportive of each other," Principal Steve Andersson said. "I don't find them to be individually and selfishly competitive. They are always willing to share their talents with each other and with the school."

McKenna Davis, daughter of Laurel and Malcolm Davis, was the top student at South with a GPA of 4.7. She will pursue a double major in physics and math at Rhodes College starting this fall, as well as play lacrosse for the school.

Davis stayed incredibly busy during her time at South. She received varsity letters in tennis and lacrosse, and managed to participate in the arts by acting in shows and playing in the school's band.

Davis said her busy schedule contributed to her successful academic career.

"I find I am a lot more productive in a sports season," Davis said. "When I'm not really busy, I think I can do it later. I get work done because I know I have to."

Davis also completed International Baccalaureate classes and received a diploma a year earlier than most.

"McKenna is remarkable herself. She got the IB diploma at the end of her junior year, and that's the only kid who has ever done" that at South, Andersson said.

Davis said she took advantage of opportunities early, which made a significant difference in her success. During her senior year, she even got a jump-start in college. Most of her classes were at Otterbein and Ohio State universities. Band and theater were the only classes she attended at South.

"Westerville does a very good job for providing opportunities at an early age," Davis said. "Those opportunities were provided to me to give me an opportunity."

South's graduation is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 24 in the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus.

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