Nearly 500 students will graduate from New Albany High School and Columbus Academy in the coming days.

Many have earned significant academic accolades.

New Albany

New Albany High School has 398 students expected to graduate this year, said New Albany-Plain Local School District Superintendent Michael Sawyers.

Their commencement is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25, in the Battelle Grand Ballroom at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St., said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.

Parking in garages or lots is available at or near the convention center, he said. No tickets are required for the event.

Of the 398 seniors, 106 are considered valedictorians, earning a GPA of 4.0 or higher, said Ken Kraemer, principal of New Albany High School.

Three students were selected from the 106 valedictorians to speak during the graduation ceremony, Sawyers said.

They are Madelynn Pace-Chizmar (thank-you speech to parents), Valentina Di Lorenzo (thank-you speech to staff members) and Jonah Fox (valedictorian speech), according to Gallaway.

The class of 2019 includes 127 "lifers," meaning they have attended New Albany-Plain Local since kindergarten, Gallaway said.

That number increases every year, he said.

The seniors have a bright future in higher education, the military or the workforce, Sawyers said.

"The class of 2019 has been outstanding academically," he said.

The class includes six National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists, Gallaway said.

The graduating class also has 46 students signed to compete in college athletics and eight signed to serve in the military, Gallaway said.

Kraemer, who is in his first year as New Albany High School principal, said his graduating seniors have accomplished many things, particularly in service to the school and its culture.

"It's been a great experience; the kids have been very welcoming, open and honest," he said.

Columbus Academy

At Columbus Academy, 99 seniors are expected to graduate at 9 a.m. June 6 at the school, 4300 Cherry Bottom Road in Gahanna, said Bob Lee, director of communications and marketing for the private school.

Parking is available on any of the school's campus lots that morning, Lee said. No tickets are required for the event.

Robert L. Solomon II, assistant vice provost for Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will serve as the guest speaker at school's 106th commencement, Lee said.

Solomon was a member of the school's board of trustees from 2009 to 2015, and two of his children are alumni, Lee said.

Solomon said he was honored and humbled by the request to speak during commencement.

"We were an active part of the (Columbus Academy) family for nine years, which were among the most rewarding years of our children's education," he said. "Academy does an exceptional job of preparing our students to serve, lead, think critically and care about their world. I can think of no greater honor than to have contributed to the (Columbus Academy) mission and to have made friends for life among the parents, students, faculty, staff and administration who took that special journey along with me."

The school doesn't rank its students, so it doesn't have valedictorians, Lee said.

The graduating class includes 12 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists, he said.

Melissa Soderberg, head of school at Columbus Academy, said commencement will conclude a stellar year for the school, one in which students and faculty members achieved national and global recognition for their ideas and talents, excelled in both athletics and the arts and began facility projects that will enhance opportunities for students to realize their potential, among other accomplishments.

Columbus Academy's 2019 graduates will be missed for their multifaceted talents and contributions to the school, said Cory Izokaitis, head of upper school for Columbus Academy.

"They showed us time and time again what it meant to work hard and play hard, all while finding time to give back to their community," Izokaitis said. "We wish these young men and women well in the next chapter of their journey, and we cannot wait to hear back from them for years to come."

Most of the school's students are from New Albany, with Gahanna a close second.

According to school figures from January, 27.9% of the students come from New Albany. Other communities represented include Gahanna, 21.9%; Columbus, 7.6%; Westerville, 7.3%; Olentangy, 6.3%; Dublin, 5.4%; Bexley, 5%; Pickerington, 3%; Upper Arlington, 2.9%; and Worthington, 2.4%.

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@ThisWeekSarah