Westerville high schools: Graduation ceremonies slated May 29 with limited seating

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

About 1,100 seniors from Westerville City Schools’ three high schools are scheduled to participate in graduation ceremonies in their respective stadiums May 29, with limited seating.

Greg Viebranz, executive director of communications and family engagement, said commencement ceremonies are scheduled at 10 a.m. at Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave.; 2 p.m. at Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road; and 6 p.m. at Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave.

The rain date will be May 30, with ceremony times remaining the same, he said.

To adhere to COVID-19 coronavirus guidelines, this will be a ticketed event, which will allow for appropriate physical distancing of attendees, Viebranz said.

For those who are unable to attend, the event will be livestreamed on the district's YouTube channel: youtube.com/wcsdohio.

The district's website and each high school page also will have links, Viebranz said.

Westerville Central 

Westerville Central Academic Varsity members are (sitting, from left) Emma Snyder, Sam Rojanasakdakul, Vivian Yu, Molly Ayres, Joshua Qian, Margaret Owsiany. (standing) Laura Wolfe, Ian Harris, Emma Corbett and Emma Funderburg.

Tom Lanier, Westerville Central principal, said the school has 449 students in the class of 2021, with 417 expecting to participate in this year’s ceremony.

“We're looking forward to celebrating with our graduates and their loved ones,” he said. “We talked so much last year about how difficult it was for the students in the class of 2020 to have the last part of their senior year interrupted, but I really feel for our students in the class of 2021 because they lost that part of their junior year and their entire senior year has been disrupted.”

Lanier said Central’s students persevered through it all with remarkable accomplishments in academics, athletics and in the arts.

“I couldn't be prouder of our students, and I know that they will take this experience and turn it into motivation to become inspired leaders in the future,” he said.  

As part of its 58th annual Academic Varsity Awards, Central’s top 10 seniors were recognized April 14 by the Kiwanis Club of Westerville. They include Molly Ayres, Emma Corbett, Emma Funderburg, Ian Harris, Margaret Owsiany, Joshua Qian, Sam Rojanasakdakul, Emma Snyder, Laura Wolfe and Vivian Yu.

Nancy Nestor-Baker, school board vice president, served as the guest speaker at each of the high schools’ ceremonies, where students received a gift from the board, as well as a framed certificate, a book and a personal letter from the Kiwanis Club.

Lanier said the class also includes three National Merit Scholarship finalists, with two of them winning scholarships, and three National Merit Commended Scholars.

He said 22 students scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, and the class had a cumulative 3.214 grade-point average.

Lanier said the class has four military enlistments and 301 seniors have reported being accepted into one of 71 colleges. 

Westerville North

Westerville North Academic Varsity members are (from left) Catherine Adams, Emily Voneman, Emma Weisgerber, Addison Moore, Camryn Ford, Isabella Mercurio, Allison Thompson, Jake Gooding, Kayla Cochran and Adam Kaiser.

Kurt Yancey, Westerville North principal, said about 340 seniors are expected to graduate. 

“I am extremely proud of the graduating class of 2021,” he said. “They have lost a lot but never lost sight of graduation, and I am so happy for them.”

Yancey said the class of 2021 is a great group of young people with a collective sense of community and leadership that sets them apart from other classes.

“They have persevered to get to where they are despite the challenges that were put in front of them,” he said. “This will serve them well as they head off to the world of work, college, or military service.   

“They will do amazing things moving forward, and I wish them the best of luck.”

The Kiwanis Club of Westerville recognized North's top 10 graduates April 21.

Honorees are Catherine Adams, Kayla Cochran, Camryn Ford, Jake Gooding, Adam Kaiser, Isabella Mercurio,  Addison Moore, Allison Thompson, Emily Voneman and Emma Weisgerber.

Yancey said the class has one National Merit Special Scholarship candidate, two National Merit Scholarship semifinalists and one National Merit Commended Scholar. 

He said 18 students scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, and the class has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.266. 

Yancey said the class has two military enlistments and 217 students have been accepted into a college.

Westerville South 

Westerville South Academic Varsity members (holding certificates, from left) are Peter Pedrozo, Cierra Clark, Aidan Okantey, Max Chambers, Emmanuel Okyere, Daniel Murray, Elise Aultman, Benjamin Anglin, Madison Foreman and Alysianna Keown. Also pictured are South principal Mike Hinze (third from left) and (far right) Merl Breen, Kiwanis Club of Westerville president.

Mike Hinze, Westerville South principal, said the school has 343 graduates.

“The Westerville South class of 2021 embraced tremendous challenges as we knew they would,” he said. “Our seniors went without many of the positive experiences we expect in high school, yet they continued to build new strengths and made us proud in so many ways. This is a very strong class that made a strong, positive impression on the school.”

This year’s Academic Varsity Award honorees recognized by the Kiwanis Club of Westerville on April 7 were Benjamin Anglin, Elise Aultman, Max Chambers, Cierra Clark, Madison Foreman, Alysianna Keown, Daniel Murray, Aidan Okantey, Emmanuel Okyere and Peter Pedrozo.

Hinze said the class includes two National Merit Scholarship finalists and 13 International Baccalaureate diploma candidates and completed (collectively) nearly 1,000 hours of community service in the community and beyond.

• 100 senior IB students candidates completed 324 IB exams and other assessments.

• 140 senior AP students completed more than 200 Advanced Placement exams.

• Two students have committed to an apprenticeship program.

• Four students have indicated plans to continue education through a career-education program

• Two students have committed to serve in the military.

• Approximately 200 students have indicated plans to attend college next year.

Hinze said the class has been offered over $5 million in college scholarships.

In athletics, he said, the class secured two division championships and is sending 14 scholar-athletes to compete at the college level.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla