Columbus Academy's class of 2018 will celebrate graduation with the school's longest-serving teacher, John Exline, who will serve as commencement speaker.
The ceremony will take place at the school beginning at 9 a.m. June 7, when it will honor 95 seniors from all over central Ohio.
Members of the class have been accepted to 60 colleges and universities in 23 states.
"Our graduating class is comprised of many outstandingly accomplished students, but collectively is marked by a profound streak of kindness," said Melissa Soderberg, Columbus Academy's head of school.
"For example, they collected enough funds to provide a beloved teacher with his bucket-list item -- tickets to an Army-Navy football game. Fittingly unselfish for the class of 2018, the surprise presentation came on a day designed for the seniors to be celebrated," she said.
According to information from Columbus Academy, Exline, the school's longest-serving teacher and coach, joined the academy's faculty in 1968, shortly after his graduation from the University of Notre Dame.
Since then, he has taught history, economics, physical education, public speaking and geography/civics.
In addition, Exline has held the positions of athletic director, middle school head, summer program director, SAT prep director/instructor, financial aid administrator and even ground maintenance tech, when he cut the school's grass during two summers in the early 1970s. He also has coached at least one sport in each of his 50 years at the school, including basketball, baseball, football and tennis.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to speak at the commencement," Exline said. "I have had a wonderful 50 years as a teacher, coach and administrator, as well as a great four years as a student."
He said his first year of teaching was Columbus Academy's first year at the Gahanna campus.
"It has been a joy participating in the growth and development of the school," Exline said. "I look forward to a few more years. It keeps me young!"
Soderberg, who has led Columbus Academy since 2013, said Exline's impact is broad in terms of the culture of the school.
"Quite a few of his students are the sons and daughters of former pupils, so he is truly shaping our generations," she said.
For the past five years, Exline has held the honorary position of Rainey S. Taylor History Chair.
He and his wife of 41 years, Ann, live in Gahanna. They have four adult children: Adam, Elizabeth, Katherine and Andrew.
Their sons graduated from Columbus Academy, and Elizabeth has been a teacher in Academy's Lower School since 2011.
Student speakers at commencement will be senior class president Georgia Tuckerman, who will welcome guests to the ceremony, and Andrew William Cary Cup recipient Lexis Hughes, who was chosen by classmates and the faculty to deliver the 2018 valedictory address.
Tuckerman received this year's Hamill Award, which is presented to the senior who has demonstrated positive leadership combined with a high degree of excellence in academics and school activities and has consistently upheld the honor of the school.