Gearing up for Graduation


By Gary Budzak -

Big Walnut Intermediate recently had an assembly to cheer on the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team. In this panoramic photo, the students and staff hold up playoff towels.

The class of 2018 will graduate from Big Walnut High School at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Weather permitting, the commencement ceremony will either be held at the football stadium or in the gymnasium.

“We have two student speakers as a part of our ceremony, our choir will perform and our principal and superintendent will both speak,” said Christina McDonough, Senior Class Advisor, in an email. This is the last week of senior exams that began May 11. Gowns, honor cords, tickets and caps were distributed, and Senior Breakfast and Graduation Rehearsal is May 18. Underclassmen have exams May 21-24, with the last day of school being May 24. Friday, May 25 is a teacher workday. Also, the Great Gatsby-themed senior prom and Scholar’s Dinner were successful, and the high school had its first Academic Signing Day on May 1 to complement athletic signing day on May 8.

Principal Andy Jados said BWHS had its Senior Awards night of academic and athletic honors on May 7, had a Staff Appreciation Week, annual Student Art Show and final band and choir concert on May 9. Five seniors also attended a “Changemakers” Leadership Summit. Students taking AP courses had AP exams the week of May 7 and 14 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Columbus State Community College 2018 Summer and Fall scheduling is now open for College Credit Plus course online or on one of the CSCC campuses this Summer or Fall.

On April 23, German students celebrated Maifest; and on April 24 new inductees to National Honor Society were honored. A teen driver task force talked about safety after a mock crash on April 26 (a proposed bill in the Ohio House would lengthen temporary permit instruction from 6 months to one year; and begin supervised night driving at 10 p.m. instead of midnight). Also on April 26, some BWHS students got jobs at the Community Expo that was held in the gym. Finally, nine BWHS students competed in the National Robotics Challenge in Marion April 12-13; and students learned about college choices at a College Fair in Columbus and an event at Columbus State’s Columbus campus.

Student schedules for the 2018-2019 school year will be available in PowerSchool in August. In the works for 2019 is a trip for Spanish students to Argentina/Brazil/Uruguay.

The 2018/2019 Student Council Members are: Seniors John Elliott, Judah Lozano, Miranda Markel, Max Muhlbaier, Julia Wood; Juniors Karley Becker, Camden Edwards, Sam Metzger-Cantrell, Jackson Podraza, Lindsey Stein; Sophomores Charlie Jaeger, Lauren Ropp, Jacob Ross, Maddy Watters and Cole Wecker.

Today at the high school is the Eagles’ Last Flight for seniors; Eagle Mentor Awards; and BWLSD board meeting.

BW Middle School had an end of year dance on May 11; as well as recent Coffee House Poetry; and are collecting Chromebooks and chargers from 8th graders on May 15. The 8th grade breakfast and awards program/SOAR Reward Day is May 18; and their Washington D.C. and Ohio field trips are May 21-24. Last week was also Teacher Appreciation Week.

On Service Day April 27, all BWMS students and staff provided more than 2,100 hours of community service at more than 45 Delaware County locations for 3.5 hours.

“This is the third year we’ve done this,” said Principal Josh Frame of the Service Day. “About 560 students and 60 adults worked together on this project. We had wonderful weather and our students and staff really made a difference in the Greater Big Walnut Community. We heard great feedback from our Community Partners and even though I know we left exhausted, we know the effort and example from the day have a long-lasting impact.”

On May 8, 4th graders visited Big Walnut Intermediate School. The nearly 600 5th and 6th grade BWI students also put on a pep rally for the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets during their playoff run. The April 18 event was a reward for the being the school with the highest percentage of student body completing the Blue Jackets’ STEM-focused Hockey Scholar program.

“School safety is on everyone’s minds,” wrote BWI principal Ryan McLane to parents. “We have safety plans in place for different scenarios, constantly review and look to improve our procedures, and have different drills each month. One of the ways you can assist us in keeping our building secure is to report directly to the office after you are buzzed into the building. If you need to go to a classroom or to assist your child in cleaning out their locker, please sign-in and get a visitors badge.”

Big Walnut Elementary 3rd graders recently visited the Community Library and Whit’s Ice Cream. In addition, staff have been reading the book; Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season by Urban Meyer.

General Rosecrans Elementary also had a Staff Appreciation week May 7-11. “Thank you for PTO for all of their efforts in celebrating our amazing staff; please mark your calendars now to join us for the Volunteer lunch on Tuesday, May 22 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. We are so thankful for all of you,” said outgoing Principal Megan Rose Forman on the school’s email communications.

Harrison Street Elementary will have a Volunteer Luncheon 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 22. HSE also has had three sessions of what it calls Eagle YOUniversity, that mixed grades to learn more about two different subjects. The 2nd grade took a field trip to the Columbus Zoo, and the 4th grade went to the Ohio Historical Society. Due to security and safety concerns, there will no longer be an end-of-the-year picnic on the last day of school on May 24, with a two-hour early release.

Third graders Nate Benjamin, Gabby Connor, Joey McMillen, Rylie Satterfield, McKenzie Green, Kaylee Graham, and London Steele performed music at the recent Community Expo. Also, the school said Eagle Mentor Awards will go to Meg Wion, Chung Woodruff, and Kathleen Kildoo.

Hylen Souders Elementary students saw COSI on Wheels May 15; and will have a 4th Grade Clap Out on the last day of school, May 24. They also visited Olentangy Indian Caverns on May 9; Fun in the Jungle May 10; and will visit Sunbury Village Square to learn about the Civil War on May 18. They also had a recent Flower Sale, and collected $800 in donations for a Pennies for Patients drive to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Work will begin this summer on our secure entrance,” Souders Principal Matt Cox said in communication with parents. “The construction will limit our ability to be in the building during the summer. I will be available through the summer via email should you have any questions or concerns. We will use a classroom as our office during the summer. I will keep families updated on the progress of our construction project. When the main entrance is under construction, signage will be posted to direct parents to an alternative entrance.

“Our construction project is focused on making our building even safer,” Cox continued. “Along those lines, you may have noticed an increased presence from the Delaware County’s Sheriff’s deputies at our building. The sheriff’s office has made school safety a top priority and thus increased their patrols at the buildings. The increased presence is not a result of any specific concern or threat. Our students enjoy meeting and interacting with the deputies when they visit.”

In district news, Big Walnut Local School District will be accepting bids for Security Improvements for 5 buildings. In addition, the district Seeks Provider for Before and After School Care in Buildings, posting: “The provider must currently meet, or be willing to meet, licensure requirements established by the state and other district requirements.”

Big Walnut Intermediate recently had an assembly to cheer on the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team. In this panoramic photo, the students and staff hold up playoff towels. Walnut Intermediate recently had an assembly to cheer on the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team. In this panoramic photo, the students and staff hold up playoff towels.

By Gary Budzak

Information for this story was provided by the school district.

Information for this story was provided by the school district.