One hundred thirteen seniors will don the maroon and white Sunday, June 12 for Wellington High School commencement exercises — but there is only one valedictorian.
The top five candidates for the honor got together May 16 to talk about their accomplishments and post-graduation plans..
Andrew Rodriguez has earned the top spot in the class, finishing his high school career with a 4.50 GPA. The WHS Class of 2016 valedictorian plans to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in the fall.
“I’ve been in the National Honor Society for two years and served as president this year,” he said. “I’ve just always told myself to study and do the work. Everything is easy when you get past that. I’m leaning toward mathematics and political science as majors but am still undecided at this point. My mom is a lawyer, so thoughts about going into law are always there too. I have some big decisions to make in the near future.”
Meghan McKnight registered a 4.42 GPA and will continue her studies at the University of Cincinnati.
“I will be majoring in architecture and minoring in interior design,” she said. “I’ve had so many great experiences here in Wellington that have made me who I am. I look forward to starting this new path, but I will miss this place and the friends I’ve made a great deal. Here at the high school I’ve been a member of the band, National Honor Society, Drama Club, and basketball team.”
Mackenzie Calfo’s 4.24 GPA will help her become a fellow Bearcat with McKnight at the University of Cincinatti.
“I’m a four-year varsity letterman on the track and soccer teams — including being named Most Valuable Player two years in track and one year in soccer,” she said. “I’m a member of National Honor society, Spanish Club, and Key Club. Next year, I’ll be studying mechanical engineering. I’m going into this field to help with farming. I feel like agriculture is being neglected when it comes to advancements in engineering.”
Rachel Lynn is next up with a 4.18 GPA and will study at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
“The extracurricular stuff has really done a lot for my high school career,” she said. “I’ve been with Spanish Club, track and cross country, National Honor Society, Drama Club, and the Book Club. I plan to study psychology with an emphasis on child psychology. I also want to go in the Peace Corps.”
Madeline Evans rounded out the top of the class with a 4.10 GPA. She will stay in Northeast Ohio at Cleveland State University.
“I am going to CSU for speech language pathology,” she said. “A double major or minor is a possibility but I’m not sure about that yet. In high school, I’ve been in choir, band, a couple of plays with the Drama Club, National Honor Society, and jobs outside of school like babysitting and working at Taco Bell. A lesson learned in high school is that you can be late sometimes, but not too late. I’m excited to learn what is in store for me.”
As a group, the students advised their peers to not be afraid of honors classes, citing the work required by them to be more difficult than the subject manner. They also said to always be looking for ways to get early college credit before graduation.
“I’ve worked with all of the people in this room very extensively,” said Rodriguez. “They’ve helped me a lot. We’ve all had a communal aspect between us. It hasn’t been the sole work ethic of one person.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise At the head of the Wellington High School Class of 2016 are Madeline Evans, Rachel Lynn, Mackenzie Calfo, Meghan McKnight, and Andrew Rodriguez.