The Ohio Hi-Point Class of 2023 celebrated Wednesday evening during the Bellefontaine Main Campus’ 49th Annual Convocation Ceremony, which recognizes the 221 seniors who attend the Ohio Hi-Point Bellefontaine Campus from one of OHP’s 14 partner school districts and complete a career-technical program.
Ohio Hi-Point’s Students of the Month led the procession followed by the posting of the colors by the American Legion Post 173 of Bellefontaine. Nevin Digney, a Health Careers Academy senior from Marysville High School, along with the Marysville Chorales sang the national anthem.
Trevor Sandefur, a Diesel Technology senior from West Liberty-Salem High School, led the Pledge of Allegiance and was the host of the ceremony.
Superintendent Dr. Rick Smith welcomed the graduates and families and took a moment to recognize the teachers, families, and friends who supported the Class of 2023. He encouraged students to travel through life with others – friends and family – and celebrate milestones and learn from failures.
Ava Blair, a Cosmetology senior from Urbana High School, Brooklyn Burris, an Automotive Academy senior from Kenton High School, and Calie McDaniel, a Cosmetology senior from Triad High School were the student speakers for the evening.
“Students, you, like I, have made so many choices at Ohio Hi-Point, because ultimately that is what Hi-Point is all about: learning how to make choices for you,” said Blair. “We are prepared for the world of work and the rest of our decision-filled lives.”
“When we were 5, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. Then again at 10 and again when we were 17,” said Burris. “I watched as we came to OHP not knowing a lot but leaving knowing more than we may ever need.” Burris finished by saying, “We are ready for the big world out there – and who knows maybe one day I’ll be a race car driver. Kachow!”
McDaniel reflected on her journey to convocation and her time at Hi-Point asking the class of 2023, “what imprint will you leave? Everything we have done up until now has left an imprint on our lives. Today just happens to be the day where the path we have been traveling together for the past two years splits into 221 unique ways. So, what imprint will you leave on this world?”
Ava Blair was recognized as Ohio Hi-Point’s Top Senior Student. The Top Senior recognizes a senior who continually demonstrates strong character, grades, attendance, citizenships, and service while attending Ohio Hi-Point. Blair will continue her education at Terra State Community College majoring in Mortuary Science.
Lou Vito, president of WPKO/WBLL in Bellefontaine, announced the names of the 221 seniors as they received certificates of completion from the career technical instructors.
High School Director, Tonya Ramey, shared successes of the OHP Class of 2023. Over 100 students participated in the Work-Based Learning program, logging over 22,000 work hours and collectively earning an estimated $111,000. In addition, students received over 300 industry-recognized credentials and earned 178 College Credit Plus credits in academic courses.
Ramey also recognized the Class for choosing their “E” – employment, enrollment, or enlistment. Approximately 61 percent of the Class of 2023 is employed, helping to fill the immediate gap in the workforce. Around 36 percent is enrolled and have received over $663,000 in scholarships. Finally, three percent have enlisted in the military. Brendon Burkholder, an Exercise Science senior from Bellefontaine High School, Gerit Marshall, a Construction senior from Riverside High School, and Jillian Williams, a Cosmetology senior from Bellefontaine High School enlisted in the Marine Corp. Parker Dowty, a Diesel Technology senior from Graham High School, enlisted in the Army National Guard. Thomas Schmiedebusch, a Construction Trades senior from Indian Lake High School, and Damian Dick, an Automotive Academy senior from Bellefontaine High School, enlisted in the Army.
Ramey closed the ceremony by saying, “Thank you for sharing your final two years of high school at Ohio Hi-Point. Thank you for filling our halls, classrooms and labs with your love and laughter! I hope you know how proud we are of all of you!”
The Ceremony took place at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and had opening and closing music from the Benjamin Logan Brass Quintet led by Myles Bowers. Ohio Hi-Point’s Convocation Ceremony was broadcasted on WPKO and PeakofOhioTV.com.