Upper Arlington High School, Wellington School plan in-person graduations
Upper Arlington Schools and The Wellington School will honor their respective graduating classes with in-person commencement ceremonies.
Upper Arlington High School will hold graduation for 475 seniors at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 30, at Ohio State's Jerome Schottenstein Center, 555 Borror Drive, Columbus.
Likewise, Wellington will honor 57 graduates in an outdoor ceremony at 10 a.m. June 4 at the school, 3650 Reed Road.
In both cases, guests and participants will be asked to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
UAHS Principal Andrew Theado said district officials still are determining how many people can attend the school's commencement ceremony, adding that each graduate will be given a "limited number" of tickets for guests.
Wellington also will ask attendees and participants to wear face masks while on campus and will allow each graduate to bring up to 10 guests. Additionally, a livestream of the ceremony will be available at //www.wellington.org/.
According to Theado, the UAHS class of 2021 will include more than 100 students who've been inducted into the National Honor Society and more than 140 that are part of the Cum Laude Society.
"The class of 2021 is an amazing group of young people," he said. "Despite all the surprises and challenges of the last 15 months, they have excelled in school and in supporting their community."
The UAHS commencement will scaled down, but organizers said they hope to bring some of the same pageantry students and the community have come to expect.
Rather than live music performances, the ceremony will feature recorded entertainment from the school's marching band, orchestra and choir.
Additionally, there will be a parade of graduates through the city after the ceremony, similar to activities the district held last year when the pandemic scuttled an in-person event.
"We met with focus groups of students who indicated that their first choice was a graduation ceremony at the Schott," Theado said. "Students' various academic achievements are recognized in the printed program and through the various cords and sashes they wear to the ceremony."
As for Wellington, Head of Upper School Rishi Raghunathan said the ceremony will honor seniors who, during the pandemic, "leaned into learning."
"They have been the leaders of our school and have demonstrated resilience, courage, ambition and integrity," he said. "As seniors, they have set the tone for their peers.
"They have been engaged learners in the classroom who model curiosity, integrity and responsibility. Whether applying for and being awarded a United Way Grant to build a sustainable garden on campus or learning multiple programming languages in their spare time to write code that can solve everyday problems and make someone else’s life easier, the class of 2021 is poised to make a significant impact on the world."
Wellington Head of School Jeff Terwin said the in-person ceremony is a reflection of the school's commitment to bring families, students and faculty together safely.
"Holding important milestone events like graduation in person honors that commitment to our community and celebrates the extraordinary hard work and accomplishments of our senior class as they prepare for their next great adventure in life," he said. "We’re very excited for the class of 2021 and feel honored to share this special moment with them and their families."
The speaker, as elected by his classmates, will be Rory O’Sullivan. Marionna Hannah will sing the national anthem and Isaac Brown, Wellington Music Award Winner 2021, will perform “The Debutante” by Herbert L. Clarke.