For Upper Arlington Schools students, families and staff, there was so much to celebrate as the 2020-2021 school year came to a close, especially for those students marking big transitions - to middle school, to high school, or to their next chapter.
“Every year, we are so proud to celebrate the accomplishments of all of our students - and that was especially true this year,” said Superintendent Paul Imhoff, Ed.D. “Our staff has continued to challenge and support every student, every step of the way, and our students have continued to learn, grow and excel to end this school year academically strong.”
The year came to an end with fifth-grade clap-outs and celebrations, eighth grade promotion ceremonies, and the Upper Arlington High School Class of 2021 commencement ceremony and car parade on Sunday, May 30.
“It was great to be back in the Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus to honor these graduates,” Imhoff said. “And to cap the celebrations off with a car parade through the Upper Arlington High School neighborhood - that was really the icing on the cake, to see the joy on the faces of our graduates and their families.”
For the 475 new alumni from the 97th graduating class from Upper Arlington High School, this was a year for the history books. The Class of 2021 is the last graduating class from the building on 1650 Ridgeview Road, and they’ve also set a new standard of excellence for Upper Arlington Schools.
“This is an exceptional group of young people who truly reflect our vision of uniquely accomplished students prepared to serve, lead and succeed,” said Upper Arlington High School Principal Andrew Theado.
The members of the Class of 2021 are headed off for college, the military and some other destinations, too. They’ll be attending more than 100 colleges and universities across the country and have totaled more than $5,087,000 in college and local scholarships. Five graduates have committed to serving our country after graduation - in the Marines, Air Force and Navy - and some graduates are making other plans, whether it’s a gap year, career, or another path.
It is no surprise that these graduates have big plans for the future. Among the Class of 2021, there are 14 National Merit Semifinalists and 13 Commended Scholars; approximately 100 inductees to the National Honor Society; and approximately 140 members of the prestigious Cum Laude Society.
Of the Class of 2021, 40 student-athletes will be continuing their academic and athletic pursuits at the college level. The new graduates have also been recognized on the state and regional level in the arts, and in a year when community service didn’t look like it usually does, this class also had 16 recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award - with a combined total of nearly 2,000 hours of service.
“We wish these students the best and are so excited to continue to watch them grow as they go on to their next step in life,” Theado said.