The featured speakers at the South-Western City School District's high school graduation ceremonies will be the participants themselves.

The featured speakers at the South-Western City School District's high school graduation ceremonies will be the participants themselves.

"It's their day and their families' day," said Franklin Heights High School principal Tim Donahue. "The spotlight should be on them."

The ceremonies will be held Saturday, June 4, at the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds, 717 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus.

Franklin Heights High School's graduation will be at 9 a.m., followed by Grove City High School's at 12:30 p.m., Westland High School's at 4 p.m. and Central Crossing's at 7 p.m.

Grove City

Grove City High School is expected to have 417 seniors pick up diplomas, said Rachel Rendle, who serves as graduation coordinator with Heather Sayre.

The class of 2016 "is just a fun, energetic group of kids," Rendle said. "They've accomplished so much and been a great class all four years."

As of Thursday, May 26, the seniors had received a total of $17.2 million in scholarship offers, although the final amount is expected to be a little higher, she said.

"It's a crazy amount. They are an impressive group," Rendle said.

The commencement speakers will be valedictorian Udit Basu, salutatorian Zachary Dougherty and class president Xochitl Cajigal.

A special musical performance will feature Emily Bertsch, Mikey Morris, Allison Rife and Jacob Stuckert, with Matthew Baltzer as accompanist.

A video about the senior class, coordinated by Alexander Caskey and Jenna Taylor, also will be shown.

"The nice thing about the video is that Alex and Jenna made sure that every one of the seniors is featured," Rendle said. "They all get their moment in the video."

Central Crossing

Central Crossing is expected to have 400 students graduate, said Christa Russell, graduation coordinator and guidance counselor.

Tony Bolanos-Cruz and Rozaliya Momot are co-valedictorians and Taylor Manivanh is salutatorian, she said. Grade-point average determined the honors.

All three are scheduled to speak at the ceremony, but Manivanh may have to miss it due to her participation in the state track and field championships, Russell said.

Class president McKenzie Swain also will speak.

The senior class has received nearly $7.8 million in scholarship offers, Russell said.

This year, the school held an academic signing day, in which students who received academic scholarships could be recognized and announce their college choices, she said.

"We've always traditionally honored students who received athletic scholarships," Russell said. "This was a chance to recognize our students for their academic achievements."

Central Crossing's senior class will be remembered for kindness and leadership, she said.

"As teachers, you always feel sad seeing each senior class leave, but this one was special," Russell said. "They really had an impact on changing the culture at Central Crossing."


Westland High School's graduation ceremony will feature the senior class officers as speakers, graduation coordinator Twila Reynolds said.

Class president Arianny Damian will give an address while treasurer Christopher Henderson will offer a welcome to families and guests and secretary Brayam Rodas and vice president Ebenezer Bekele will handle the introductions of guests and speakers.

The ceremony also will include remarks by valedictorian Amal Abdi and salutatorians Joshua Binion and Tyler Hoffman.

A total of 362 Westland students are expected to receive diplomas.

The senior class has earned $5.4 million in scholarship offers, guidance counselor Erin Hibbitt said.

"This is my fifth year at Westland, and every class is special, but the class of 2016 has been the most courteous and respectful class I've ever seen," principal John Rathburn said. "They embrace Westland Cougar pride in and out of the classroom and set a standard of leadership for underclassmen to emulate."

Franklin Heights

At Franklin Heights High School, the 252-member senior class had the distinction of their final year coinciding with the opening of the new FHHS building.

"This is a class that is definitely leaving its mark on Franklin Heights," Donahue said. "Like a lot of kids, they were resistant to change, moving into the new building at first, but they truly set some new traditions that will resonate with the classes that follow them."

The final total of scholarship offers made to the class of 2016 is still being tallied, he said.

Franklin Heights' ceremony will include remarks by valedictorian Allison Hammer, salutatorian Oumou Fofana and Ololade Akinboyede.

Each of the three students auditioned and were selected for the keynote speaking roles, Donahue said.

ROTC student Robert Brady will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Cheyenne Adams will handle the opening remarks. The turning of the tassel will be led by Keshawn'ta Anderson-Bryant.