As students in the class of 2018 near the end of their time at New Albany High School, they prepare to leave with a sizeable list of arts, academic and athletic achievements, according to principal Dwight Carter.

"It's been wonderful to watch them grow and develop and mature," Carter said.

The class of 2018 includes 379 students eligible to participate in commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St. in downtown Columbus.

No tickets are required, said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway, and parking is available in garages near the center. More details are available at napls.us.

The class earned nearly $2 million in academic scholarships and eight students were National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, said Superintendent Michael Sawyers.

"We're very proud of their academic achievement," he said.

More than 95 percent of the students will pursue higher education after graduation, such as four-year and two-year colleges and technical schools, Sawyers said.

Four students chose to join the military, he said.

"I anticipate that they're going to have an incredible life ahead of them as they begin the next chapter beyond New Albany High School," Sawyers said.

The class also had 23 college-athlete signees, Gallaway said.

For Carter, the students who are graduating are the ones he began working with as a new principal at the high school four years ago.

"I always jokingly say we came in together and we're leaving together," Carter said.

Carter will be leaving along with the class of 2018. He will depart the district this summer to join Dynamix LLC -- a Columbus-based consulting agency that works with schools and districts to improve effectiveness and accomplish strategic goals, according to its website.

Kenneth Kraemer, the principal at Licking Heights High School, will take over as New Albany principal.

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@ThisWeekSarah