Ali Marshall is a four year-two-sport cheerleader, a member of NC4K (Nellie's Champions for Kids), a member of National Honor society, works with her church youth group and has a part time job at the local doughnut shop.

Ali Marshall is a four year-two-sport cheerleader, a member of NC4K (Nellie's Champions for Kids), a member of National Honor society, works with her church youth group and has a part time job at the local doughnut shop.

She's also the senior class president at Marysville High School and she's preparing to give the speech of her life.

"I'm incredibly nervous," Marshall said. "I've never given a speech before let alone in front thousands of people."

Graduation for Marysville High School is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21, in the high school stadium.

School Principal Thomas Cochran said there are 404 students who will be graduated, 35 of them valedictorians.

Requirements for valedictorian status are a grade-point average of at least 4.15, six AP (advanced-placement) classes and 25 credit hours.

Not only has the number of valedictorians doubled from last year, about 59 percent of the class has a GPA of 3.0 or above. Scholarship dollars for the class of 2016 total $4.7 million.

"Just looking at academics ... there are 238 that have a 3.0 (GPA) or above," Cochran said. "I think that speaks to their dedication to their class work."

"Our teachers have always said we're a strong willed group of people," Marshall said.

"We're just such a 'go get 'em' kind of group.

"I feel like we've been one of the most recognized for our academics and leadership among the school," Marshall said.

Marshall said one of the things that defines that characterization is the school's support of senior Devon Burke.

Burke beat Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, as a sophomore when the school rallied around the #Blue4Burke campaign.

This year, the cancer came back and again the students have thrown their support behind Burke, voting him Prom King last weekend.

"I just think we're a really supportive group that works hard for what we do," Marshall said.

Cochran said while he's only been with the district for a short time, he agrees.

"From what I've seen they seem like they're a great group of kids that care very much about succeeding both athletically, academically, and in all their extracurriculars.

"There's also been a big component of them giving back to the community through volunteer hours and service hours.

"They're doing some amazing things. They're very mature for their age."

Marshall is not the only student speaking at the ceremony. Two of the valedictorians will speak as well.

Any valedictorian that wanted to speak had to submit their speech in a contest according to Cochran's administrative assistant Vera Spencer who is helping with the planning of the ceremony.

"It's sent out to a committee of teachers to grade those speeches (anonymously) and rank them and the top two scorers are the ones that will speak at graduation," Spencer said.

For now the ceremony is planned to be outdoors, in the stadium.

If it rains, district officials said they plan to decide by noon that day whether or not to bring the ceremony inside. It will then be in the gymnasium at the high school with overflow seating in the auditorium and the ceremony live streaming on a big screen.

"It is also streamed on the internet-on Google. So if grandma's out in California she can sit down and watch graduation live," Spencer said.

If the ceremony is moved inside because of inclement weather each student will receive four tickets for family and friends.

As graduation approaches, Marshall remembers a year ago when she was first voted student council president.

"When I decided to run for president, I was excited that I would really be able to make decisions that are best for our class and for our school," Marshall said.

She said the thing she's most proud of is the community service students have performed this year.

"This year we've done a lot for the Hope Center and the food pantry," Marshall said.

A winter clothes drive was especially satisfying as Marshall watched items like coats and blankets pile up for donation.

"It was awesome to be able to see so many items go to good families and see it actually benefit our community. It's been awesome to be able to have community based projects," Marshall said.

Cochran said he sees drive in the class of 2016 and looks forward to the updates in years to come.

"They seem like they have a lot of dreams and big ideals and they're going to follow them up and work hard to get to them," he said.

Marshall plans to attend Ohio University to major in education and said she wants to teach either middle school or high school. But this graduation speech is her first venture in speaking to students.

"Mostly I'm going to be talking about all that we accomplished this year and what we can accomplish in the future," Marshall said.

"Overall we've been a pretty good class, being there for each other and having support for students.

"I think it's just been a great year and hopefully my speech can exemplify what our year has been like with each other."