Upper Arlington School Notes: District bids class of 2021 farewell, looks toward future

Paul Imhoff
Guest columnist

It’s hard to believe that the 2020-21 school year has come to an end.

Over the past few weeks, we have celebrated important milestones for our students who are moving on to their next step, whether it’s middle school, high school, college, careers or the military. We’re so proud of each and every one of our students at every grade level.

Paul Imhoff is superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools.

We were incredibly excited to celebrate a very special group of students – the class of 2021. Their accomplishments include academics, the arts, extracurriculars and a remarkable commitment to service to the community.

I want to highlight just a few of those accomplishments.

The class of 2021 includes 14 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists and 13 commended scholars, approximately 100 National Honor Society inductees and approximately 140 members of the prestigious Cum Laude Society.

In a year when community service didn’t look like it usually does, this class has 16 recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, with a combined total of nearly 2,000 hours of service.

This class includes students who have won state and regional arts awards, athletes who have competed at the highest level and individuals who have explored their passions through extracurricular activities and competitions like speech and debate, robotics and so much more.

On May 30, we welcomed the 475 members of the Upper Arlington High School class of 2021 into the ranks of Golden Bear alumni. We celebrated their commencement at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University, and then we did what we love to do in Upper Arlington – we had a parade. The senior parade was something that started last year with the class of 2020, and it was no surprise that the class of 2021 wanted a parade, too.

We’re grateful for all of the family, friends, staff and community members who came out to celebrate with the graduates and their families that day.

We’re still hearing from the class of 2021 on their plans following graduation, but what we know right now is that these students have totaled more than $5,087,000 in college and local scholarships and will be attending more than 100 colleges and universities across the country. Five very special graduates have committed to serving our country after graduation – in the Marines, Air Force and Navy – and we also have students who are making other plans, whether it’s a gap year, career or another path. We wish all of our graduates well on their next step in life.

The end of the school year also meant that we had to say goodbye to a fixture of our community for nearly 65 years: the current Upper Arlington High School. I invite you to take a virtual tour of the old building, available at uaschools.org/UAHSFarewell.aspx.

Work will begin very soon to demolish the old building, which will be done with great care, especially in the area built on the site of the Litchford family cemetery.  

It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the building that Upper Arlington High School students and staff have called home for all this time, but we’re incredibly excited to welcome everyone into the beautiful new home of the Golden Bears in August. We invite you to take a guided video tour of the new Upper Arlington High School, available at uaschools.org/facilities.

This project, the new Windermere Elementary School and the Barrington Elementary School renovation project are on budget and on schedule to open for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

We can’t wait to welcome everyone into all of our new and renovated schools. Please save the date of Aug. 15 for a community celebration at the new high school and open houses for all of our completed projects. You can watch your mailbox for more details this summer.

Paul Imhoff is superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools. Follow him on Twitter @imhoffpual. His office provides this column to the ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.