More than 350 graduating seniors received their high school diplomas as members of the Ohio Connections Academy Class of 2018. As many as 220 of the students travelled to Columbus from more than 60 Ohio counties to participate in the online charter school’s traditional commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 9th in Battelle Hall at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
“While our school offers a non-traditional approach to education, we take a great deal of pride in offering our graduates a traditional commencement ceremony so they may celebrate with their families, friends and teachers,” OCA Superintendent Marie Hanna said. “Every year the faculty and staff at Ohio Connections Academy like to celebrate the hard work, determination and focus that each of these students demonstrated to reach this academic milestone. We appreciate the opportunity that we had to work with all of them individually and we are confident that each student is ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.”
The Class of 2018 is the tenth graduating class for the state’s leading provider of high-quality, tuition-free virtual education for students in grades K–12. Of this year’s OCA graduates, more than half indicated they plan to attend a two or four-year college/university including The Ohio State University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Cuyahoga Community College, Hocking College, Miami University, Sinclair Community College, Ohio University and Youngstown State University. Twenty of the graduates were members of the National Honor Society while more than 100 graduated with honors (3.5 GPA or better). Overall the Class of 2018 has received more than $1.7 million in college scholarships and awards.
Among the OCA graduates to be honored during the commencement ceremony were 2018 Co-Valedictorians Christiana Hess of Heath (Licking County) and Sarah Robinson of Massillon (Stark County). Christiana has plans to attend The Ohio State University to study bio-chemistry. Sarah plans to study chemical engineering at Akron University.
“There are so many things about Ohio Connections Academy that helped me to succeed academically starting with the ability to work at my own pace while my teachers were always available to help when I needed it,” said Sarah, who has attended OCA since the third grade. “Perhaps what I appreciate most is the flexible schedule that enabled me to take college courses and grow to be an independent learner.”