Another school year has come and gone, and Delaware County seniors are itching to move on to the next stage of their lives.

Another school year has come and gone, and Delaware County seniors are itching to move on to the next stage of their lives.

Around 348 Delaware Hayes High School seniors will receive diplomas at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 23, at Selby Field, 61 S. Sandusky St. on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.

The Hayes High School stadium is being renovated, so graduation was moved to Ohio Wesleyan.

However, school officials were determined to make the most of the change.

Hayes Principal Ric Stranges instituted "the last ride," during which seniors will meet before the ceremony in the gymnasium for the last time together as a class at their high school.

They'll then board buses and ride through downtown Delaware on their way to Selby Field.

Stranges said it will be timed to allow seniors to walk right off the bus and onto to the field to their seats.

"We wanted to make this a memorable, meaningful experience for our graduates. We will go through downtown and see our city and share memories of their time at Hayes," he said.

Stranges said if he could sum up the class of 2015 in two words, he would use flexible and resilient.

"This class has experienced a lot of changes, especially with the physical facilities," he said.

"For example, many of our varsity-level athletics teams have had to use many other venues around the city. Change is difficult, but they have handled it well, and I believe this kind of resilience will serve them well in the future."

The class of 2015 will be one of the smallest classes for a while, because the next few classes will increase by about 100 students every year, Stranges said.

Students chose retiring physical education teacher Sean Duffy as the guest speaker for the ceremony.

"They chose someone from the inside because they love their school," Stranges said."They could have chosen an outsider, but I believe this class really values their time at Hayes and wanted to keep it personal."

Graduating seniors have received about $1.2 million in scholarships and many sports and performing-arts awards and recognitions, he said.

"This class has left a legacy and represented us well in every venue, from sports to arts to even the ROTC," Stranges said. "They are phenomenal."

Big Walnut High School seniors also will don mortarboards this week, with 230 students set to graduate at 7:30 p.m. May 23 in the stadium at the school, 555 S. Old 3C Road.

Superintendent Steve Mazzi said the district's end-of-the-year activities, such as the middle school trip to Washington, D.C., choir concerts and other events, will culminate as the class of 2015 graduates.

Mazzi will retire at the end of the school year, so this is his last chance to send Big Walnut grads into the world.

"This class experienced the ripple effects of many cuts we had to make in 2010," he said. "We cut 40 staff members and they felt and experienced those cuts.

"They were also part of the rebuilding and solidifying the great reputation of Big Walnut as we reopened closed schools and reinstituted some of those cuts."

Mazzi said the class of 2015's musicians and athletes have received top ratings.

"I'm really excited for this class," he said. "It's the culmination of their time here in Big Walnut.

"But as one book is closing, another book is yet to be written."