More than 1,500 seniors are expected to receive their diplomas from the four South-Western City School District high schools and Grove City Christian School.

Grove City Christian will hold its ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Worship Center at Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road.

The school is adjacent to the church.

South-Western's four high schools will hold their ceremonies Saturday, June 1, in the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fairgrounds, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus.

Westland High School's ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., followed by Central Crossing High School at noon; Franklin Heights High School at 3 p.m. and Grove City High School at 6 p.m.

A total of 420 Westland students are expected to receive their diplomas, principal James Miller said.

"It's the largest graduating class we've had at our school," he said.

As of May 21, Westland seniors had earned $1,191,080 in scholarships, Miller said.

Westland's valedictorian is Mumino Pemba, who earned a 5.052 GPA.

Pemba has earned almost 30 high school credits and 30 college credits, including all of the Columbus State Community College coursework needed to sit for the pharmacy technician exam, Miller said. She will attend Ohio State University and plans to major in health sciences and pursue a double minor in Arabic and Islamic studies.

The school's salutatorian is Wesley Estep, with a 4.85 GPA. Estep will attend the Ohio State University College of Engineering to pursue a major in mechanical engineering with a minor in environmental engineering, Miller said.

Westland students Tiera Davis and Taylor Gleich are two of the 30 high school students who graduated earlier this month from Columbus State Community College with associate degrees.

They are graduating from both high school and Columbus State in the same month with a high school diploma and an associate's degree paid for by the school district, Miller said.

As part of their last day on May 17, seniors participated in the annual senior breakfast, then attended the senior awards ceremony in the gymnasium.

"The breakfast is just for them; no one else gets to be in the lunchroom, and we serve them pancakes specially prepared for them," Miller said. "It's a final chance for them to come together as a class before graduation."

At the awards ceremony, "I was able to tell our seniors how proud I was of them and how they have risen to the high expectations we've set for them," he said.

"We have so many leaders in this class and so many students who will serving our country, attending college or going right to work right after high school," Miller said. "It's an outstanding class."

Central Crossing High School will present diplomas to 405 seniors.

The senior class has earned $4,317,105 in scholarship offers, said Kristy Halleck, who serves as senor class adviser and graduation coordinator with Christa Russell.

"One of the big things that stands out about this class is the hard work they put in," Halleck said.

"The majority of them have taken College Credit Plus or AP classes so that they are earning college credit along with their high school credits," she said. "They are getting a head start on their next step."

The valedictorian is Ean McFadden, whose weighted GPA stands at 5.18.

"He will be our first graduate to have a GPA that is so far above 5," Halleck said. "It's quite an achievement."

McFadden took the software-development program at South-Western's Accelerated Learning Center and plans to study animation and software development at Ohio University, she said.

The salutatorian is William Kattner, who took the general liberal arts program at the Accelerated Learning Center and has earned a 4.936 GPA, Halleck said.

Kattner will attend Case Western Reserve University and will major in chemistry and minor in music composition.

Central Crossing was scheduled to complete final exams May 24.

The senior breakfast will be Thursday, May 30, just before the graduation practice.

A total of 427 seniors are expected to participate in Grove City High School's graduation.

"They are an adaptive group of students who have gone through many changes in our building and with the state's graduation requirements," said Heather Sayre, who serves as senior class adviser with Erica Beebe.

"It's a senior class who are not afraid to take risks and try new things," Sayre said. "It will be interesting to see what their future holds."

Grove City's senior class has earned $16.1 million in scholarship offers, she said.

"It's just an incredible number," Sayre said.

She said the valedictorian and salutatorian would not be known until after senior exams finished May 24, after ThisWeek's press deadline.

Grove City Christian

Grove City Christian School will have 43 seniors graduating May 31, director of advancement Hannah Blandin said.

"Most of our seniors have been going to school at Grove City Christian since they were in kindergarten," she said. "They've grown up together, and it's allowed them to really build a bond with their classmates and their teachers."

Although there are only 43 seniors, "they are a very mosaic and diverse group with a wide range of interests and accomplishments," Blandin said.

That diversity is indicated in the roster of colleges, many outside Ohio, and the fields of study that the members of the class have chosen, she said.

After wrapping up classes, the seniors took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the week of May 20, Blandin said.

"It's something our school community wants to provide them as a reward for all their hard work," she said.

The class of 2019 has earned $6 million in scholarship offers, Blandin said, adding that the valedictorian and salutatorian are still to be determined.

Each year, Grove City Christian honors one of its alumni at the commencement with the World Changer Award, she said.

The award recognizes alumni who have made a difference in the world by putting their faith to practice, Blandin said.

This year's honoree is David Morrison, a member of the class of 2004 who is the youth pastor at Grove City Church of the Nazarene.

"He's making such a difference in the lives of the youth in the church," Blandin said.

"Whether it's supporting their athletic efforts, sitting around a campfire talking about life with them or going with a cancer patient when they ring the bell to mark the end of their treatment, he's there for them."

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