With 142 students, the Class of 2013 marks the largest group of graduates for the Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy.
On June 8, the graduating class gathered at the Akron Civic Theatre for a commencement ceremony.
All OHDELA graduates have met the Ohio Board of Education requirements for graduation (earning credits by taking high school courses and meeting Ohio Graduation Test requirements). All graduates earned a high school diploma.
OHDELA’s valedictorian was Anjelica Campbell of Warren.
Campbell participated in the National Honor Society and in the Post Secondary Education Program while attending OHDELA. After graduation, she plans to continue to perform as a professional musician and vocalist. She also is a student ambassador and this summer she will be traveling to France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Joel Penton, a 2006 graduate of Ohio State University and a former member of the Buckeyes football team, gave the commencement address. Penton was a member of three Big Ten championship teams, a member of the 2002 National Championship team and a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. In his senior year, he received the prestigious Wuerffel Trophy, also known as the “Humanitarian Heisman.”
The trophy is a national award that recognizes a college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. After graduating from OSU, he turned down an opportunity to play in the NFL to begin a career in full-time speaking. Since that time, Penton has quickly earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading youth motivational speakers.
“This is a talented group of seniors,” said Lori Davis, OHDELA graduation coordinator and ninth- and 12th-grade language arts teacher. “We had a student who has charted twice, once for six consecutive months, on the Southern Gospel charts. We also had a Merit Scholar Honorable Mention student. Our graduates included singers, dancers, athletes and scholars. This is OHDELA’s largest graduating class and the largest percentage of students who are going on to attend post-secondary institutions.”
The graduation ceremony also featured representatives from the Akron Canton Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol, who presented the colors, and the nationally recognized OHDELA Chorus, which performed two vocal selections.
“We strive to make this a day that recognizes our graduates and a day their families will remember,” Davis said.