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Class of 2019 Profiles

The Oakwood High School Class of 2019 will celebrate commencement Tuesday, May 28 at the Dayton Convention Center at 7:00 p.m. Leading up to that special occasion, we are introducing you to a few of the members of the Class of 2019.  You can read all of the Class of 2019 Profiles below.  To jump directly to s student's story, click on their name in the alphabetical list below.

Eleanor Chase
Nick Cockayne
Matthew Cunningham
Julia Guzman
Garrett Hart
Jack Henry
Dolan Johnson
Rodney Jones
Katie King
Emma Lindsay
Tommy Lunne
Jordan Neely
Michael O'Hara
Jake Sargent
Agatha Shafer
Taylor Shineman
Lainey Teeters
Claudia Van Zandt

Jake Sargent

Headshot of Jake Sargent

As a student athlete, Jake participated in football, basketball and track so it’s not surprising his favorite high school memory centers around a game.  A big game that is, the Homecoming match-up versus Eaton.  “There was a lot of hype leading up to this game due to activities and events that took place all week including our traditional bonfire.  All these things made the night that much more exciting and being able to celebrate the win with our fans and classmates on the field made the night one to remember.”

What is something people don't know about OHS? 
I don’t think people realize how hard working the faculty and students actually are.  The teachers and staff members do so much for us whether it’s in the classroom or outside the classroom and it means a lot to us.  Being a student here, it takes a lot of work staying on top of academics while being involved in extracurricular activities and many other students can relate.  Though with the support provided from our teachers and parents, we’re able to succeed in our school work and our other activities, which is why we’re known to be a top school in the state.  

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
Being a part of the Class of 2019 has been an amazing experience and a crazy ride.  Our class is unique in so many ways due to the diversity of personalities which makes our grade that much more exciting.  

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered? 
Like Mr. Waller always says, our class is “one for the ages.”  We’ve accomplished so many things during our four years of high school and have made great memories together that’ll last a lifetime.  

Describe your high school experience. 
High school has been the best four years of my life, thus far.  I’ve had the opportunity to participate in football, basketball and track where I’ve been able to spend time with some of my best friends.  Also I’ve been able to find out more about myself and become more confident in the person I am leading up to college.  Although I had my ups and downs, it was an experience I’ll cherish forever.

What are your plans for the future?
Next year, I’ll be attending the University of Dayton to play football for the Flyers and will be majoring in business.  

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
To the class of 2020, enjoy your final year together and make the most of every moment.  Before you know it, it’ll all come to an end as it is for us, so cherish the memories you make together and strive to be the best class to come out of Oakwood in your own way.  

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
To the class of 2023, these next four years of your life will be some of the best times of your life, thus far.  You all have the chance to do great things in the classroom as well as outside of it.  Make the most of every opportunity you’re given and always do your best at whatever you’re passionate about.  You may not realize it now, but the friendships you make along with the memories over your high school years will last a lifetime so stick together and help one another grow as a class and leave a mark on this school.   

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for everything they’ve done for me leading up to this point. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I’m blessed to have them in my life.  Thank you to my teachers for always helping me become the best student possible and teaching me life lessons every day.  I want to thank all my coaches over the years for pushing me to become the best athlete possible and helping me accomplish my goal of playing college football.  Thank you to all my friends who’ve been by my side over the years for always being there for me and making memories that I’ll never forget.  Lastly, thank you to the City of Oakwood for all the support over the years in all aspects and allowing me to be able to call this place home. 

Claudi Vanzandt

Headshot of Claudia Vanzandt

Today we shine the spotlight on Claudia Vanzandt, a member of the OHS National Honor Society, who has been busy the last two years building up her resume of work experience from dog sitting, to a cashier at Ashley’s Pastry Shop, to a busser and snack bar attendant at the Dayton Country Club.  And she doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.  The OHS senior will be attending the University of Dayton, majoring in psychology and criminal justice.  She hopes to study abroad at some point during her college years, before pursuing her Masters and getting a job where she can use her psychology and law enforcement knowledge. “I am excited to help others and work in a profession that I truly enjoy.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory is learning and interacting with my fellow classmates in class. I got to interact with people I would not have otherwise and it fostered many great relationships and experiences. Also, the relationships I made with my teachers were so important to me and I will never forget all the positive ways they influenced me.

What is something people don't know about OHS? 
Something people do not know about OHS is how driven and hardworking our students are. Each and every student is driven in some way and works very hard to achieve their goals. I think it is something to be very proud of.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
I would describe the OHS Class of 2019 as very diverse, in terms of our skills and hobbies. We have great athletes, artists, students and all over great people.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered? 
The OHS Class of 2019 will be remembered as a friendly group of people. All of us get along very well and are welcoming to new people.

Describe your high school experience. 
My high school experience was a culmination of overcoming obstacles, learning new things and branching out. My high school experience shaped me into who I am today and I would not have changed a thing.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
My advice for the Class of 2020 is to enjoy your last year together. I definitely think I took this year for granted and I wish I would have done more because this is your last year before you all go your separate ways and become adults!

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
My advice for the Class of 2023 is to slow down and spend time with your family. I understand the desire to be away from your parents and family but, they are people who love you no matter what and they will always be there for you. You will miss them when you leave for college, and you will regret not slowing down every once in a while and enjoying just being a kid, I know that I wish I could go back to the days of being a carefree kid.  

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my Mom.  She has been an inspiration throughout my life and has been a strong female role model for me. She raised me to be hardworking and dedicated. She taught me to be myself, unapologetically, which has helped me embrace who I am today.

Matthew Cunningham

Headshot of Matthew Cunningham

Today’s Class of 2019 spotlight features a young man who’s already experienced the “real world,” thanks to the Fairmont High School Fire Science program.  Matthew Cunningham is one of 48 OHS students participating in Career Education programs located at Centerville High School and FHS.  Matthew is a member of the first Fire Science graduating class.  He and his classmates will earn their EMT credentials by graduation.  This OHS wrestling and football team member is already preparing for his future.  And as a boy scout, he knows about being prepared.

What is your favorite OHS memory?
All the great years on the wrestling team

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
It has been “one for the ages.”

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
We will be remembered as a one of a kind group

Describe your high school experience.
Spent lots of time wrestling and camping with the Scouts

What are your plans for the future?
Work as a firefighter/EMT while working on becoming a paramedic.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020?
You only have one year left, stick it out.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023?
Enjoy high school while you can, you only have four years .

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank my scoutmaster Dr. Charles Goodwin and my parents

Agatha Shafer

Headshot of Agatha Shafer

Hoping for a future in medicine, senior Agatha Shafer is heading to Annapolis, Maryland next year to continue her education at the U.S. Naval Academy.  In addition to the rigorous demands of being a student at the Naval Academy, Agatha will be rowing crew for the midshipmen. Being a member of a class that Agatha calls “hard working and talented” has prepared her for this next challenge.    

What is your favorite OHS memory?
Going to all of the home basketball games.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
How much the teachers and parents in the community watch out for all of the students.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
A group with lots of diversity in terms of interests, such as music, art and sports.

Describe your high school experience. 
High school was a positive experience and I’m so lucky to have been able to go to Oakwood for high school.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
To be respectful to all of the teachers and pay attention to how much they do to help you.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
Take as hard of classes as you can handle and really pay attention to your grades. This will insure that you have as many open doors as possible.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank all of the amazing teachers at Oakwood. I can’t imagine a more caring or dedicated group of educators than the teachers at Oakwood.

Jack Henry

Headshot of Jack Henry


Today’s senior says he’s “been lucky to be an ‘Oakwood JACK’ for 12 years.”  Jack Henry says he feels “very prepared for the next stage of my life due to the education I’ve received.”  That next stage will take Jack to Miami University to study business.

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite high school memory was senior night of wrestling. Many of my friends and family members filled The Pit to watch us crush the opposition that night.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Something people don’t know is how dedicated the Oakwood staff is toward making our learning experience a successful and positive one.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
The class of 2019 is a very intelligent, diverse and energetic group of seniors. We have amazing talent in athletics, music, the arts and more.

Describe your high school experience. 
My high school experience has been a great one. I have worked hard to maintain high academics and also have made sure to get involved in the school. My favorite activities of high school were wrestling and being student council president.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
My advice for the class of 2020 is make the most out of your last year of high school; it flies by. Leave a positive legacy behind and focus on bonding with your fellow senior classmates.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
My advice for the class of 2023 is to stay focused on achieving high academics, getting involved in clubs, athletics, or the arts, and enjoying their high school experience with their fellow classmates.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents first and foremost for pushing me to succeed and to show kindness to others every day. I would also like to thank the amazing teachers and faculty of OHS for getting me to the end of my high school career. Finally, I would like to thank all my coaches for pushing me beyond my limits.

Katie King

Senior picture of Katie King

While many members of the Class of 2019 have called Oakwood home for a long time, senior Katie King moved here to Oakwood her junior year after attending Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass.  Katie says her time at OHS may have been short but it’s been impactful.  “I have made some lifelong friends, and have learned a lot along the way.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory has to be my Senior Prom.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
Fun, spirited and driven.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
We will be remembered by having an influence in all the different schools and communities we will be in in the future.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to study business, and play field hockey at Southern New Hampshire University.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
Make the most of your last year, it goes faster than you think.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
Get involved in different things and try new sports, you won’t regret it!

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank my family for everything they’ve done for me. I love you guys!

Garrett Hart

Senior picture of Garrett Hart

One of those members has spent a good deal of his high school years on the lacrosse field.  As a captain and four-year varsity team member at OHS, Garrett Hart has seen the program grow.  Garrett will take his game to the next level next year, playing for Furman University in South Carolina, where he plans to study Sustainability Science and Business.

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory would have to be decorating the Senior hallway with our class.  

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
A lot of people don’t know that our school has a lot of ways to get involved through clubs and different sports that other schools might not have.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
The class of 2019 is fun and certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
The class of 2019 will be remembered as a class that excelled in the classroom and out of the classroom.  There is no doubt that there will be many successful graduates from our class.

How would you describe your high school experience?
My high school experience has been up and down, I’m glad it’s over, but I wouldn’t trade the memories and things I learned.  Overall, it was a fun ride. 

What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to attend

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
My advice for the class of 2020 is to enjoy your senior year, because it goes very quickly, also don’t stress about college applications.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
My advice for the class of 2023 is just to try as many new things as possible and to get involved in the community or school clubs as soon as possible.  

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Mother and father, athletic trainers, lacrosse coaching staff, Mr. Erwin, Mr. Rado, all the guidance counselors, and all the other teachers I had.

Jordan Neely

Picture of Jordan Neely at AcaDec Championship

Being part of a national championship team is a memory anyone would treasure.  Imaging being a art of three national championship teams.  Senior Jordan Neely says her favorite high school memories center around traveling with her national champion Academic Decathlon team.  “My favorite OHS memories have been traveling with my Academic Decathlon team to three national competitions and winning three national titles for Oakwood. It is very cool when we travel to these competitions and people recognize the Oakwood name because of us. I thoroughly enjoy bringing Oakwood to national prominence at these competitions. Bringing success (not to mention trophies) is super fun because it makes my high school experience more than just taking classes, and competing alongside my classmates has been such a blast during my time at OHS.”

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Something people don’t know about OHS is how supportive everyone is. I think because people think OHS is a very competitive school they assume all of the students are competitive with each other, which is the absolute opposite of reality. Almost everyone I’ve encountered is incredibly supportive whether it comes to helping out with academics, activities or even personal things. Many students are always willing to help out their classmates with whatever they need. The teachers are also incredibly supportive of their students and go out of their way to ensure success.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
The Class of 2019 has a broad diversity of interests and talents, which is something I really like about our class. We have kids interested in robotics, music, art, writing, dance, forensic science and almost everything in between. It is incredible such a relatively small class has such an incredible diversity of talent. I am constantly wowed by my classmates who are very successful and passionate, even at a very young age. It is very cool to be in a class where everyone is different and has different interests that span so many subject areas but help to enrich our class as a whole.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
I think the OHS Class of 2019 will be remembered for having some of the most successful Oakwood alumni in its history. So many of my peers are incredibly ambitious and want to achieve lots of success in their respective fields, and I have no doubt they will be incredibly successful. We have so many go-getters and people who enjoy improving themselves every day which is very inspiring for me.

How would you describe your high school experience?
I have had a very positive high school experience that has been enriched by the special traditions at Oakwood. My friends have always been supportive and have pushed me to pursue my interests. The opportunities Oakwood offers help students pursue what they are interested in which is very cool. Overall, I think the classes and overall atmosphere in high school has been very enjoyable, although I’ve definitely had my fair share of stressful times. My friends and family have made my experience very positive and I don’t think I could have made it this far without them.

What are your plans for the future?
I will be attending Washington University in St Louis in the fall and starting in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am interested in studying environmental science or environmental engineering with a possible minor in urban studies but I have not made up my mind yet. I would like to get involved with student research during my undergraduate time and expand my involvement in the STEM fields. Hopefully, I can enter into a career in renewable energy or sustainable technology.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
My advice for the Class of 2020 is to expand your horizons during senior year and make an attempt to spend time with as many people as possible. My senior year has been the most enjoyable year of high school by far and I think that is because I made an effort to get to know more people I wasn’t previously as close with. If you continue to push yourself and branch out through the end of high school, you can connect a lot more with your class and the people around you because after you graduate it will be much harder to stay in touch with those people. I would also advise you to cherish your time here because it absolutely flies by. Enjoy being around your friends and enjoy your activities as much as possible.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023? 
I would advise to keep opening yourself up to new opportunities in high school. Just because you are interested in joining a specific activity freshman year does not mean you can’t join other ones later. I started activities in my second half of high school I had no idea about as a freshman which was very enjoyable. Always look for new opportunities and try new things as often as possible!

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to give a huge thanks to Mrs. Morris. She has been an outstanding mentor for all four of my years in high school and has helped me mature and grow into the young person I am today. Mrs. Morris has given me invaluable advice on how to handle practically every situation in life and has set me up to be successful in the future. She has impacted my life in such a positive way and I will always be grateful for her leadership. I would also like to thank Mrs. Hobby for inspiring me to pursue a career in science. Without having taken her AP Biology class junior year, I would not have considered pursuing a science degree but she made me realize I have a passion for environmental science.

Tommy Lunne

Headshot of Tommy Lunne

For today’s senior, the benefit of going to OHS is easy to understand. “We are lucky to go to a high school that prepares us well for the future,” senior Tommy Lunne said. Tommy has taken advantage of a lot of opportunities offered at OHS including sports, band, Circle of Friends, National Business Honors Academy and Ecology Club. With that list of activities, his advice to the class of 2023 isn’t surprising. “My advice for the class of 2023 is to cherish the time you have, because you can only be young once. Also get involved in as many clubs, sports, or activities you can.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory is playing baseball with my friends and winning the SWBL three years in a row, as well as beating Eaton in football in the Homecoming game.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Something people don’t know about OHS is we have a great number of clubs available for students to get involved.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019? 
The class of 2019 is a fun group, and I am lucky to have been a part of it.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
As an outgoing group that was very involved, and a group that cares for the well-being of others.

How would you describe your high school experience?
I had a good high school experience. I was a member of the baseball, basketball and football team, as well as the Marching Band. This allowed me to interact with multiple groups of people, which was nice.

What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I will be attending the University of Kentucky to study finance. With this degree, I aspire to become a financial advisor.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
For the class of 2020, my advice would be to cherish the time that you have, and don’t stress too much about college applications. Everything will be okay

Is there anyone you would like to thank? 
I would like to thank all the wonderful teachers I had throughout junior high and high school, as well as all my coaches I had. Lastly and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents for the constant love and support.

Julia Guzman

Headshot of Julia Guzman


From Ohio Model United Nations to The India Group, a group that helps provide financial support to economically marginalized families, Julia Guzman has been able to engage in activities during high school that have led to her plans for the future.  “I plan on attending Miami University next year studying international development in either public health or agriculture. I also plan on joining the peace corps.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite memory would probably be the first day as seniors when everyone came together to decorate the school but, there are so many great memories that brought us closer as a class before we all part our ways.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
A lot of people don't know how close Oakwood is as a community, and how everyone looks out for one another.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
Unique, funky and, overall, just awesome.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
The class of 2019 will be remembered as the class who wants to make a difference in the world, we are a class to look up to, and we hope to make the future proud.

How would you describe your high school experience?
My high school experience was rewarding and I feel as if it prepared me for college.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
Enjoy your last year of high school it goes by way faster than you think.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023?
Work hard, the finish line is right around the corner!

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my mother and grandma for helping through my high school experience.

Dolan Johnson

Picture of Dolan Johnson running

OHS senior Dolan Johnson’s favorite high school memories is also one of his first.  “My favorite OHS memory is my first day as freshman and they brought us all into the auditorium for orientation.  While we were in there, the seniors said ‘it goes by fast.’  I said to myself, no way it’s going to take forever, but it didn’t.  It went by fast.”  Now four years later, Dolan and his classmates are moving on to the next phase of their lives.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Something people don’t know about OHS is that everyone is accepting and cool.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
The class of 2019 is energetic, conquering and fun.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
The class of 2019 will be remembered as people who were close and caring to the community.

How would you describe your high school experience?
My high school experience  was fun and eventful, sometimes emotional but it always turned out good.

What are your plans for the future?
I will be enlisting in the Air Force for 4 years. Then going back to college to earn my degree.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
My advice is to stay positive and motivated throughout high school and rest of your life. Also, have a plan for the future and make yourself accountable for it.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023?
My advice to the class of 2023. It goes by fast so make the most of your high school career.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank my dad and mom for helping me not give up and work hard toward school and athletics. Thank my teammates for being a team and working hard together. Thank my coaches for pushing me to the best I can be as an athlete. Most of all my brother who looks up to me and wants to do what I do when he grows up.

Taylor Shineman

Senior picture of Taylor Shineman

Oakwood students and alumni often talk about the great relationships that exist between teachers and students at OHS.  OHS senior Taylor Shineman says her relationship with a teacher helped her develop more friendships along the way.  “My favorite memory from OHS is all of the times I visited Mr. Guizzo in the mornings with my friends. He always had coffee brewing and kept hot chocolate in the prep room for us, and we loved talking to him about books, school, and life in general. It was also fun to see how many other people loved to stop by and talk with him before school, and that actually helped me meet and talk with new people each year.”

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Most of us who are graduating have enough credit-hours to earn a degree in parallel parking :)

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
I'd describe our class as dynamic. Our class gets really involved in different areas of the school community, which makes it exciting to see the wide variety of accomplishments we achieve. We have a lot people who excel at academics, but we also have many exciting and competitive athletes. We have people doing awesome service around the community, and we have amazingly talented artists, musicians, and other types of performers. All around, our class does a lot to enrich and engage our school and city in diverse and colorful ways.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
I think the coolest thing about our class is it will be remembered for different things by different people, which only further demonstrates the diverse impact we've had. Some people might remember we had the most National Merit  qualifiers ever at OHS. But others will remember our SWBL championship teams and those who are going on to compete in athletics at the collegiate level. For people in the visual and performing art communities, I think they'll remember our award-winning visual artists, the a capella groups we helped pioneer, our Speech & Debate state and national qualifiers, and the engaging OHS Theater Productions we took part in. Each person can find something different to connect to and remember about our class, because we've worked hard to succeed in many areas.

How would you describe your high school experience?
My high school experience has been centered around exploration and growth. I'm a person who has a very clear comfort zone, but OHS has continually provided a balance between familiarity and newness. Each year, I've been excited to catch up with my long time friends, but I've also been surprised at the new people I meet; I've looked forward to continuing activities like lacrosse and art, but also found myself trying new things even as late as senior year, like student council. Now, I feel more confident in myself and what I bring to the table because I've been able to try new things; high school hasn't been without challenges, but in the end I've grown and improved from my many experiences at OHS.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to attend Northwestern University next fall, where I hope to double major in art and anthropology. I want to study abroad and make the most of my college experience, and beyond that I'm keeping an open mind for my future.

What is your advice for the Class of 2020? 
I know everyone says it, but it's true: senior year goes by so quickly. Every week feels like a sprint through half a dozen different tasks and milestones. As swiftly as it's flying by, though, don't forget to take a step back and appreciate every moment.

What is your advice for the Class of 2023?
Cut yourself some slack. Everyone's going to come into high school with certain expectations and hopes and misconceptions, so give yourself a chance to make mistakes and learn from them. You get four years to grow and improve, so just be open to every opportunity that presents itself.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank my family, for always supporting me at home and giving me an enduring sense of curiosity. I also want to thank all the teachers and staff at OHS, for the countless little things they do everyday to put our safety, learning and enrichment first. Lastly I want to thank my friends and classmates at school, because we've stuck it out for four years together; in the end it's the people that surround you everyday that make or break your high school experience, so I'm incredibly grateful for the friends and classmates who made OHS special.

Nick Cockayne

Picture of Nick Cockayne and his mom


While graduation may still be a few days away, OHS senior Nick Cockayne is already looking forward to when he will be able to share stories from his “old high school days.”  “My high school experience has had its up and its downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.  I’m just glad I lived it up and I have no regrets.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite memory of OHS was participating in the freshman orientation and the freshman challenge, I loved helping the younger kids and making them feel like they could talk to me about anything. Also, being on Prom Court.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Our wrestling program is amazing, and we also have the best teaching staff in the world.

How would you describe the OHS class of 2019?
We all started out not very close but after this year I feel like I could be around everyone and not feel awkward. We have a lot of genuine kids in our class and I expect everyone to be successful in the future.

How will the OHS class of 2019 be remembered?
We will be remembered as the class that no one expected to be a “fun class” I won’t ever forget the memories I’ve made with everyone here and the people I’ve met.

What are your plans for the future?
I will attend Bowling Green State University where I will find out what I really want to do with the rest of my life.

What is your advice for the class of 2020?
Do whatever makes you happy, don’t do things that could hurt your reputation, and just have a blast. Go on senior spring break, make as many memories as possible, but always remember who your real friends are. Don’t stress about getting into college, it really isn’t that hard to get into, but get into clubs and don’t stop trying until you cross that finish line.

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
Always do your homework, every grade counts and don’t mess around. Do your work, and do it well and then you can relax later in life. But, always have a good time, don’t take the hardest classes, but don’t always take the easy way out.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
My mom, I couldn’t have done any of this without her raising me the right way and always telling me to push myself. I would also like to thank my wrestling coaches Leo Deluca, Nick Berger, Paul Seim and Dave Baumgardner for pushing me past those limits and shaping me into a man.

Rodney Jones

Headshot of Rodney Jones

Playing one high school sport will keep a student busy, playing two and maintaining a challenging class schedule even more.  OHS senior Rodney Jones balanced his busy schedule as a student athlete with football and lacrosse during his four years of high school.  And whether on the field or in the classroom, he has made memories and had experiences that will last a lifetime.

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite memory at Oakwood high school would be when we came into the school after the seniors from last year had their last day and we could decorate and have fun for our first time beings seniors.

How would you describe the OHS class of 2019?
We definitely came together this year. We support each other in our activities and sports.

How will the OHS class of 2019 be remembered?
I think we have surprised our senior teachers with our participation in class discussions and our interest in relevant topics. I think we will be remembered as a class that likes to have a good time.

Describe your high school experience.
Sports have been an important part of my high school career. I have played football and lacrosse all four years. Being a part of a team has helped me build relationships, taught me a lot about being a leader, and taught me to see things through and to never give up.

What are your plans for the future?
I am going to Ohio University.  I plan on studying Criminology and Sociology.

What is your advice for the class of 2020?
Finish strong.

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
Work hard all four years.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I am grateful to my parents and my teachers for all of their help.

Michael O'Hara

Picture of Michael O'Hara with parents

Meeting new people isn’t always easy but OHS senior Michael O’Hara says it’s worth the effort.  His advice to the Class of 2023?  “Try to have a meaningful moment with as many people in your class as you can. High school is short and too much of it is spent interacting with the five to ten people you always interact with. Branch out, everyone has something interesting and unique about them.”  Great advice to make the most of the high school years.

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory has to be being in the student section throughout the year. During those few hours when all the students are rooting for the football team, we really come together and have a great time.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
People truly don't understand how close of a community OHS is. There are people with different interests, personalities and backgrounds who all come together and thrive.

How would you describe the OHS class of 2019?
The Class of 2019 is a group of driven and ambitious people who all want to achieve success even though it may be achieved through different means for everyone.

How will the OHS class of 2019 be remembered?
The Class of 2019 will be remembered as a cohesive group who liked to come together and have fun regardless of their differences.

Describe your high school experience.
My high school experience consisted of me putting myself out there to try new things and meet new people. It resulted in me having a fun and rewarding four years at OHS

What are your plans for the future?
At the moment, my future plans include getting a degree in environmental engineering and hopefully, doing something I enjoy after I get my degree.

What is your advice for the class of 2020?
My advice to the Class of 2020 is to enjoy every moment of your senior year. There are so many opportunities to have fun and make the most of this year, so take advantage of those opportunities.

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
My advice for the Class of 2023 is to try to have a meaningful moment with as many people in your class as you can. High school is short and too much of it is spent interacting with the five to ten people you always interact with. Branch out, everyone has something interesting and unique about them.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents and family for supporting me in all my endeavors for the last 18 years. I would also like to thank my influential teachers throughout the years: Mrs. Hawkey, Mr. Loomis, Mr. Rainsberger, Mrs. Hobby and Mr. Deters.

Emma Lindsay

Emma Lindsay in field of sunflowers

Getting a head start on a career is an opportunity Oakwood students have through the Career Education program.  OHS Emma Lindsay took full advantage of this opportunity by being a part of the Allied Health program at Fairmont.  “We learned in depth about several body systems and the medical field in general. We took weekly field trips to help children with disabilities improve their fine motor skills and we also shadowed at Kettering Medical Center to experience the job. We completed an STNA course and received a CNA certification, as well as a phlebotomy training course.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
Ever four years, the OHS marching band goes to Disney World to march in Magic Kingdom. Around 2 p.m. we dressed in our summer uniforms and wool marching uniforms. It was 95 degrees outside, and the wool uniforms only made it hotter. As we marched, thousands of people lined the streets to watch. We turned the corner to march down Main St. USA we started playing Sweet Caroline and I got chills as we reached the chorus and I could hear the crowd sing along.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Oakwood has a very strong STEM department. People generally know Oakwood is a good school, but there are a lot more opportunities than you may think. Independent studies can lead you anywhere.

How would you describe the OHS class of 2019?
The Class of 2019 is very diverse in our passions and skills. Some people are going into music performance or education. There's a student going into a blacksmithing apprenticeship. You can find a lot of interesting people in my class.

How will the OHS class of 2019 be remembered?
The Class of 2019 will be remembered as one of the loud classes. There are so many smiling faces and friendly people you could walk through the halls and someone would yell hello from inside a classroom.

What are your plans for the future?
Next year I'm going to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to study nursing. I'm participating in the Army ROTC program as well and I will be nursing for the Army after my graduation from college.

What is your advice for the class of 2020?
Try not to burn out on your studies and grades. Keeping your grades up is really important when it comes to college admission. Even after your 7th semester is complete, colleges may want to see your final grades. But don't stress out too much, your teachers want you to succeed and they'll help you get where you need to go.

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
Find a motive to do well in school. Willpower will only get you so far. If you put in the effort, you'll reap the rewards later.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank Mr. U, he's our band director and he's been one of my teachers for all four years of my high school career. I consider band to be my “de-stress” class and he's made that class very enjoyable and a worthwhile experience.

Lainey Teeters

Lainey Teeters sitting on steps


OHS Class of 2019 Salutatorian Lainey Teeters has been a strong student leader, serving on Student Council and as president of the US International Club.  As President of US International, Lainey organized the H2019 Benefit Concert to raise money to build a well in Uganda.  At the same time as she was organizing that event, she appeared in the school’s musical, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”  

Appropriately, Lainey describes the Class of 2019 as “a class of many talents.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
At H2019 we were able to raise more than $2500 and have enough money to build another well! Our grade has built three wells while in high school.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Fun Fact Friday is the only reason people take BC Calculus.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
A class of many talents: art, music, athletics, and academics. We are very hardworking and definitely memorable!

Describe your high school experience.
My high school experience has been very unique. It has involved a lot of studying, sports, injuries and hanging out with friends. I randomly decided to join musical my senior year and that was a great decision. I tried to do a little bit of everything to explore my interests!

What are your plans for the future?
I am attending the University of Notre Dame as a Neuroscience and Behavior major. I then hope to attend medical school.

What is your advice for the class of 2020?
Grow close to your classmates and try new things!

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
High school goes by really fast and you never know what’s going to happen, so take risks and don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank all the staff at Oakwood High School for their help through these past 12 years.

Eleanor Chase

Headshot of Eleanor Chase

The Oakwood High School Class of 2019 will celebrate commencement Tuesday, May 28 at the Dayton Convention Center at 7:00 p.m. Leading up to that special occasion, we would like to introduce you to a few of the members of the Class of 2019.

OHS Class of 2019 Valedictorian Eleanor Chase admits she did not have the “traditional high school experience”but knows it was the best path for her.  “The most notable part of my high school experience is I haven't actually been in high school for half of it.”  Eleanore took advantage of the College Credit Plus program.  In addition to knowledge from her college-level classes, she says she gained “independence and responsibility.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
Most of my best OHS memories come from being involved in theater as a member of the stage crew for the past several years. Just this last spring, I was honored to be a co-stage manager for “A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder,” which has to be my favorite of the productions I was involved in. The best moment from then was at the dinner we have in between the matinee and evening performance on Saturday. It's a tradition all the seniors get up one by one to give a short speech about their time in theater. So many of my peers had such heartfelt things to say, which brought tears and laughs to most in the room. Most importantly, those speeches reminded me of the wonderful community I found in Oakwood.

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
Oakwood High School is such a connected community of students, something I think people from other districts wouldn't expect. Our school is small which, of course, leads to people knowing each other, but our community identity goes beyond that. We actively take interest in each other's lives so even if I don't know someone well, I might know their sport or hobby, who their siblings are, or what they plan to do in the next few years. We are not perfect, but we're much more connected than people may think.

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2019?
The word that first comes to mind when I think of the Class of 2019 is ambitious. So many of us have amazing achievements already or are working diligently toward an impressive goal. The school's academic reports show intellectual ambition, but there's much more than that. Some students are amazing athletes who will play for different schools and teams, several have written their own songs and played their own shows, while others have been dedicated in their community service or have worked hard to build skills through jobs.

How will the OHS Class of 2019 be remembered?
The Class of 2019 and the classes of adjacent years will be remembered for challenging the traditional high school experience. With College Credit Plus and Career Tech programs, lots of students are leaving the Oakwood campus for a variety of exciting opportunities. Even in the high school building, taking classes from professors instead of our teachers is becoming an increasingly common experience.

Describe your high school experience.
The most notable part of my high school experience is I haven't actually been in high school for half of it. Toward the end of my sophomore year, I decided to attend Sinclair the next fall through the College Credit Plus program. Since then, I have been a very active student at the college campus, but spent little time at the high school. Participating in the CCP program has challenged me academically, as well as personally as I have learned more independence and responsibility.

What are your plans for the future?
Starting next fall, I will be at Ohio State University studying environmental science. Upon completion of a bachelor's degree, I will likely try to find a job doing research with an environmental agency, though grad school is not out of the question.

What is your advice for the class of 2020? My advice for the upcoming Senior Class is that if you're feeling overwhelmed by the big life decisions ahead, reflect on your values to find what general purpose you want your work to have. From that point, you can work back to find the path that will work best for you.

What is your advice for the class of 2023?
For the soon to be freshman, I encourage you to explore your options. The traditional high school experience may be the right path for you, but it doesn't have to be the only one. What is important for your journey is that it works for you, and the counselors will be there to help you find your way.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I am most thankful to the counselors for helping guide me through the path I chose. Mr. Woessner and Mrs. Lumpkins both led me through the logistics and challenges and Mrs. Johnson put up with me constantly calling and walking in confused. I've had several professors at Sinclair teach me important lessons and, of course, my amazingly supportive sisters and parents have gave me the emotional at-home support I needed.