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Oakwood Schools


Photo of Dr. Paul Waller, Dr. Neil Gupta, U.S. District Court Judges at Naturalization Ceremony

For the first time in school history, Oakwood Junior and Senior High School students witnessed 37 individuals from nearly 20 different countries become U.S. citizens during a Naturalization Ceremony. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio convened a special session in the auditorium, allowing students to see the Constitution in action.

Juniors and Seniors enrolled in Government, Social Studies and World Language courses attended the ceremony in the auditorium, while others joined remotely, watching a live feed of the broadcast in their classrooms. 

“Being able to see this process, having it in real time happening to these real people, was I think something that’s helped us really connect our learning to real life and to the effect that it’s going to have on the real world,” Oliver Spaulding, an Oakwood High School junior said.

The Court hosts several remote naturalization ceremonies outside the Courthouses throughout the year to connect with the community it serves. Along with celebrating new citizens, the Court hopes the time in the school will help students take an interest in the roles and functions of the federal judiciary.

“We’re doing it as part of our court’s civic outreach to bring the court to the public, if you will, and to teach young people in this case, and high school students here at Oakwood about the Constitution,” U.S. district judge Michael J. Newman said. “They got to see the Constitution in action today, which is a really wonderful thing from my point of view.”

Student participation helped make the ceremony memorable with performances by orchestra, band and Synergy.

Principal Dr. Paul Waller and Superintendent Dr. Neil Gupta look forward to working with the U.S. District Court to potentially bring this event to Oakwood on an annual basis for students and staff to experience. 

“For our students to see how excited people are to become U.S. citizens, I think that was really meaningful for our students,” Dr. Waller said.

Click below to view media coverage of the event: 

Dayton Daily News