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Oakwood City School District

Class of 2020 Spotlights

David Cai

David Cai

Today in the spotlight is David Cai, a senior who experienced many successes at OHS but it’s something quite different that he says is his favorite high school memory.

“My favorite memory was when I somehow caused a beaker to explode in AP Chemistry. My partner and I broke many things, but the beaker literally spontaneously exploded. There is no better way to explain it.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“OHS is a very closely-knit community. You feel close to everyone in the school, more so than even some high schools with their own grade.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would describe the class of 2020 as resilient. We've been through a lot as a grade but we've bounced back and everyone is staying really positive.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I think the class of 2020 will be remembered for our good attitude and our hard work. Everyone in my grade has achieved a lot in a lot of different ways, and I think it's really shown through the years.”

Describe your high school experience
“It was a fun learning experience. Engaging classes every day and a fair amount of difficulty and homework. Other than that, it felt pretty standard for a high school. The classroom experience was nice. The one-hour lunch was particularly enjoyable.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I want to work in a physics direction, research or teaching.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Keep working hard. The senior year still counts! It should feel no different from your junior year, or sophomore year or freshman year. Another year of classes.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Welcome to high school. Here, your main goal is to learn and work toward a future, not spend five hours a day ‘chilling with your friends.’  Remember that for your future job, studying is probably the best way to go, unless you got a non-conventional job direction. Know what's best for you and good luck!” 

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I want to thank all my teachers for all they've done for me.  I want to thank Mrs. Lumpkins for all the time and effort she set aside just to assist me in my personal matters.  I want to thank Mr. Callon and Mr. BH for helping us with math and physics competitions, and Callon for all he does for math club to keep it fun and engaging.”

Sydney Hardern

Sydney Hardern

Today in the spotlight is Sydney Hardern, a senior who qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament her senior year.  But speech and debate wasn’t her only extra curricular activity.  Hardern also played field hockey, was a member of the Academic Quiz team and National Honor Society, and participated in theater.  And while those activities kept her busy, it’s time with friends she counts as her best memories.

“My favorite memory from my time in high school is every year when my group of friends gets together and we throw a surprise party for one of our friends. It happens every year, but she's always surprised.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“One thing people might not know about OHS is how fun the environment is. Oakwood is a challenging school district, but a lot of the teachers are really relaxed so class can be really fun.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would describe the class of 2020 as resilient. We've been through a lot as a grade but we've bounced back and everyone is staying really positive.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I think the class of 2020 will be remembered for our good attitude and our hard work. Everyone in my grade has achieved a lot in a lot of different ways, and I think it's really shown through the years.” 

What are your plans for the future?
“I'm majoring in philosophy and after college I'd like to go to law school and become a lawyer.” 

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the class of 2021 is to not wait until the last minute to get things done. There are going to be a lot of deadlines and getting started even one day earlier than the deadline can be a really big help.” 

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“My advice for the Class of 2024 is to try something new. Oakwood has a lot of different clubs and classes and trying even just one thing that's outside of your comfort zone can really help you grow as a person.” 

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank the Class of 2020. We've lost a lot of important memories these last couple of months, but it doesn't bother me as much when I think about the memories we've all had together.”

Jonathan Duff

Jonathan Duff

Today in the spotlight is Jonathan Duff, a senior who takes representing OHS very seriously.  He spent four years on the football team, two years on the basketball team, four years on the Energy team and two years on Student Council.  He says he’s “proud” of what he accomplished during his days at OHS but knows he couldn’t have done it alone.

“I had a great high school experience. I am proud of what I accomplished. I was all league twice in football, helped energy team win three state championships and one national championship, I won the Philanthropy Award as a junior, and won two Exceptional Student Awards. However, what I am most proud of is how many sporting events I attended for my classmates, the bonds I made with my teachers and the amount of community events I worked with my teammates and friends. I couldn’t have accomplished as many things in my four years without attending OHS. I have made friends and memories through all I’ve been a part of that will last a lifetime, which is something I’m very grateful for.” 

Describe your favorite OHS memory.
“My favorite OHS memory was beating Franklin at home during my sophomore football season. They were ranked top 10 in the state and had a record of 7-1 going into our game. The game was one of the most physical games I had ever been a part of. The final score was 35-22, we won. Right after we shook hands, our student section came running on to the field and our band played loudly as we all celebrated the win together.”  

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“One thing everyone doesn’t realize about Oakwood is the teachers really care about how you are doing beyond the classroom. Since Oakwood isn’t a huge school, classes aren’t that big and it is easier to get to know your teacher personally. Many teachers lead clubs, have a homeroom or allow students to eat their lunch in their room which makes it really easy to build relationships with the staff. All of the teachers are very welcoming and love to talk to you about your life and how you are doing.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The OHS Class of 2020 is a close and resilient group of people. It certainly isn’t easy to have a pandemic take a big chunk of your senior year, but we know we can’t control that. While we may be upset about it, we still follow the rules and find alternative ways to keep in touch. As a grade, the Class of 2020 has always found ways to keep in touch, so it is nothing new. In the summer, the grade met at the high school on several occasions to play games of fugitive together. During the year even though we saw each other at school, we still frequently stayed in touch through our class group chat. Now, we have all kinds of zoom groups to keep in touch with each other via computer. It’s very unique how often the Class of 2020 has kept in touch and hung out together as a grade.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The Class of 2020 will be remembered as a group with great leadership. The Class of 2020 has served this school well over the past years and did a tremendous job taking over as the leaders of the school this year. Whether it was on a sports team, in a club, or just the school hallways, the Class of 2020 always lead by example to the younger students. That’s how the Class of 2020 will be remembered, as good people and great leaders.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Next year I will be attending Eastern Kentucky University. I will be playing football at EKU and I plan to major in business administration with a minor in sports management. 

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the Class of 2021 is to make sure you enjoy every moment of senior year. It goes by fast and you truly don’t know what could pop up and end it sooner than you expected, so make sure you do things together as a grade and enjoy it.” 

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“My advice for the Class of 2024 is to get involved now before it is too late. I never thought I’d join a club like Energy Team, but I did and I loved every minute of being a part of it. That club is out there for everyone, so try new clubs and sports out because it helps you meet new people and find something you may love.” 

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I have so many people to thank for the past four years I could go on for hours. I want to thank my whole family, especially my parents, for all of their love and support through high school. I’d also like to thank my friends for the many memories I will carry forward with me. Thank you to all of my coaches who spent countless hours helping me grow as a player and a person. Thank you to my teachers who helped me so much in the classroom and beyond, especially the ones who would let me just come hang out in their classroom at lunch and talk about sports, TV shows or whatever (since I talk a lot). Lastly, thank you to the entire Oakwood community for the bonds I’ve been able to make and memories I will always carry with me. I had a great four years here and I’m excited for the next chapter.”

Julianna Hoffman

Julianna Hoffman

Today in the spotlight is Julianna Hoffman, a senior who has spent a lot of time cheering on the Lumberjacks.  And while cheerleading was an important part of her high school experience, Hoffman says it’s the people who made the experience worthwhile.

“My high school experience was full of different adventures and excitement. Cheerleading was for sure the highlight of my high school career and I will never forget those who made my experience worthwhile. I made so many amazing connections and best friends at OHS and I hope to hold onto those connections for a very long time.”

Describe your favorite OHS memory.
“My favorite OHS memory is when we had our junior takeover, we really came together as a class and started to all bond so much and I really enjoyed that. The junior takeover was one of my favorite things because decorating the school and the senior picnic was really fun!”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“Something people don't know about OHS is how close we all get as a class, especially when you become a senior. We all got a lot closer this year and everyone is just really fun to be around and we all cherished the time we had left together.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would say respectful and exciting. The Class of 2020 is full of respectful students and we always made sure to do our part and cooperate with the school with decorating, we were all also always really excited to do the senior activities and always made the best of our time together.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I think we will be remembered by our respectfulness and kindness. We always would be very kind to others and we would always treat each other with lots of respect.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I will be attending Ohio University this fall and majoring in special education. I am so excited to see where that takes me and I hope one day to return to Oakwood because it is such a wonderful place.” 

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the Class of 2021 would be don't ever take time for granted. With the Coronavirus pandemic, we got so many amazing moments and memories taken away from us, and I feel like the time we had together was so short. Don't ever take any of your senior moments for granted because you never know when things could change. Also, enjoy yourself! Everyone on the staff at OHS is amazing and on your side, take advantage of the bonds you can create with your peers and staff members. I will never forget some of my teachers who have had such an amazing impact on my life and myself as a person.” 

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“My advice for the Class of 2024 would be, enjoy the four years. I know you've heard so many times but high school truly feels like it was over in the blink of an eye. I still can't fathom that I am a senior and how fast the time went. Please enjoy your time you have left at OHS and make connections now while you're still young so you can grow with your high school friends.” 

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I have an endless list of people I would like to thank, so many teachers who have made my time at OHS so much easier and amazing. I want to thank Mrs. Jivens for everything she has done for me, and the time she takes to help me extra in math when I need it. I also want to thank Madame Veneman for always being such an amazing role model for me and always someone I can count on. Ms. Wargacki for making class always so fun and interesting, and for being a great role model and Ms. Ostdiek for always inspiring me to be my best self. Everyone in the learning center, Mrs. Snyder for always keeping me organized, Mrs. McCauley, Ms. Bull, and Mrs. Melchor, Mrs. Leedy all helped me so much become who I am today and I can't thank you all enough! Lastly, I want to thank my mom and dad. They are my biggest supporters and always have been, thank you, mom and dad, for everything you have provided me and always having my back. There are so many more I could thank, the list goes on. Everyone at OHS will have a place in my heart!”

Matt Flannery

Matt Flannery

Today in the spotlight is Matt Flannery, a senior who competed for OHS in football, basketball and AcaDec.  And while playing for the Lumberjacks, he experienced a lot of wins, it is one that stands out the most.

“My favorite OHS memory was beating Carlisle High School in football this past year. I’ve never had so much fun dancing in the locker room with my teammates and sharing the achievement with guys that had never worked harder for something.” 

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“I think people tend to overlook how caring our teachers really are. Someone on the outside looking in will never get to see how much our teachers really care and how much they do to put us in the position to succeed.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would describe the OHS Class of 2020 as charming. Everyone in our class has something interesting to say, which is why I feel that we as a group get along so well.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I truly believe that the OHS Class of 2020 will be remembered as the friendliest class to graduate. We made a stronger relationship and left a better precedent for the Classes that will follow us.” 

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience was nothing short of amazing. I made friends that I couldn’t imagine I would anywhere else and learned many valuable thing about myself. For that, I’ll always be thankful to OHS for a great high school experience.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Next year, I will be attending the University of Kentucky and major in Business Undecided. I do not know exactly what the future has in store but I feel prepared and excited to find out!”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“I would tell the Class of 2021 they need to take every moment they can senior year to connect with every single person in their grade. The end comes sooner than you’d think and there are tons of interesting people around you if you take the time to talk to them.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
My advice for the Class of 2024 would be to never be shy to talk to others outside of your class. Some of the people that I consider to be my closest friends are not in my grade. I know that it can be intimidating to talk to others above you, or you may think your too cool to talk to freshmen, but I strongly urge you to get out there and make friends.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I’d like to thank all of my teachers that I’ve had over the years; my counselors, who do so much for us; my coaches, my friends, my classmates, and last but not least my family for all the countless things they have done for me.”

Sam Brown

Sam Brown

Today in the spotlight is Sam Brown, a senior who will be heading to the University of Cincinnati to continue his education.  But before he leaves, he has some advice for members of the Class of 2024.

“Don’t blow off your freshman and sophomore year.  I did and it's hard to come back from.”

Describe your favorite OHS memory.
“My favorite memory at OHS was senior year when we beat Carlisle in football and got to ring the victory bell. Although we went 1-9 it was my favorite memory.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“Teachers are your friends and they want to help you succeed.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The Class of 2020 is unforgettable, whether in academics or in sports we have definitely left our mark on Oakwood High School.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“Quarantine grads.”

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience was very fulfilling. I learned a lot about myself and about my classmates. If I could change anything about my high school experience, it would be playing a winter sport.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Do all the scholarships you can and go 10-0 in football please.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to give the biggest thanks to my favorite coach Paul Buford. I'm sad we can’t finish the track season together. I would also like to thank Coach Snider. I can’t forget all my favorite teachers though Mrs. Ostdiek, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Weaver, Mrs.Hoffer, Mrs. Steinbrink, Madame Veneman. All of these people helped me grow into a better student and person thank you.”

Ellen Behnke
Ellen Behnke

Today in the spotlight is Ellen Behnke, a senior who has been cheering on the Lumberjacks since seventh grade.  It was a cheer of an early morning tweet that Behnke says is one of her favorite OHS memories.

“My favorite memory of high school was definitely junior year when we had two days off of school due to ice and cold temperatures. I'll never forget that Thursday night when Oakwood Schools posted on twitter that all schools would be open on Friday only for us to wake up to yet another snow day.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“Something some people might not know about Oakwood High School is that freshmen cannot attend school dances. In place of Homecoming, Turnabout, and Prom, freshmen get to attend JA (junior assembly). JA was one of my favorite parts of high school!”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would describe the Class of 2020 as hardworking. I think it's safe to say my class as a whole is super determined to succeed in all areas whether it be in academics, athletics or extracurriculars.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The Class of 2020 will be remembered by our authenticity. We are all unique and special in our own ways.”

Describe your high school experience?
“I was involved in cheerleading throughout junior high and high school. I met so many lifelong friends through cheer and I would do anything to have another season. As far as coursework goes, though I was challenged at times, I feel I am well prepared for my future.”

What are your plans for the future?
“This fall, I will be attending Miami University majoring in social work with a focus in child life specialty.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the class of 2021 would be to try your best to reach out to people you may not talk to all the time and to get closer as a grade. I am thankful that my grade is pretty close and I think senior year is easier and more fun when your grade is more tight knit!”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“My advice for the class of 2024 is to enjoy every moment. I know everyone says it but high school truly does fly by! Activities such as games and dances are great opportunities to make memories.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank all of my teachers and principal for making my high school experience unforgettable.”

Andrew Herbenick
Andrew Herbenick

Today in the spotlight is Andrew Herbenick, a senior who took advantage of many opportunities offered at OHS.  He played lacrosse for the Jacks all four years and played basketball for two years.  He also participated in Interact Club.  Outside of school, he was also busy, working at the Dayton Country Club as a caddie, at the Oakwood Community Center as a referee for youth basketball and as a summer camp counselor.  Through it all, Herbenick says he “really enjoyed high school.”

“I created bonds with friends that are stronger than ever. I'm going to miss high school and seeing all my classmates, but Oakwood has prepared me well for the next chapter of my life.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite memory was our Senior Takeover, I just remember how excited I was to finally be nearing the start of my senior year. Our whole class was so incredibly excited and it was a really good way to start things off going into our final year of High School together.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“What people don't know is OHS is a very unique school, there's not too many places where your entire grade knows everyone. That's what's so special about OHS, our togetherness. We are so closely notched together that it's hard not to know someone and that's what provides some many opportunities to make new friends.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“I would describe the class of 2020 as loud, energetic, spirited, we also have a lot of heart and passion for our school. We are group of leaders, we strive for greatness and don't back down from a challenge.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the Class of 2021 is to live it up, enjoy your senior year because it goes by so fast. Make memories that will last forever and reach out to classmates that maybe you wouldn't typically hangout with. Most of all, take it all in, don't be in a rush to leave because you only get to have this experience once.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“For the Class of 2024 my advice to you is that you should continue to work hard in classes and continue to get good grade because those first two years of high school are crucial. Also don't be afraid to start reaching out now to other classmates, that's the one thing I wish I would have done sooner.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my parents for everything, they helped me become the person I am today. Their constant support and desire to see me be successful, motivated me to do my best in the classroom and out on the field. I owe my parents everything, they're my rock and I can't thank them enough for everything that they do for me.”

Abby Taylor
Abby Taylor

Today in the spotlight is Abby Taylor.  Taylor pursued a variety of interests while at OHS.  She made her mark on the field, playing field hockey and lacrosse for OHS.  She also took to the stage in the musical and participated in OMUN.   She says she has had “so many” memories while in high school, one activity stands out for her.

“One of my favorite OHS memories is probably any time I have spent with my lacrosse team.  They are literally the greatest group of people ever. Knowing I have lacrosse that day is one of the things that kept me motivated in school to keep my grades up.” 

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
“Something some people might not know about OHS is how close everyone is. Living in a small community is really nice and some people don’t realize how lucky we are to be able to walk everywhere and live in really close proximity to their friends.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“Being in the class of 2020 has been a wild ride. Everyone in our class is unique and has so many things to offer, which makes any event we have super fun.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The class of 2020 will be remembered as a class that shined in sports, in the classroom, and out of the classroom.”

How would you describe your high school experience?
“High school has been the best time of my life, I’ve learned so many things and met so many people who have helped shape me to be who I am. Oakwood has also helped me learn how to overcome difficulties and make the best use of my abilities.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Next year, I will be attending the University of Dayton in the criminal justice program and sociology.  I hope to continue along that path to work for a higher level forensics organization.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice to the class of 2021 is to make your senior year the best year ever. This has easily been one of the best years of my life, sitting in the senior chairs with your friends, being the first row at football games, and all of the senior activities make the year go by so fast .”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
My advice to the class of 2024 is to join as many things as possible. When you join a club or sport, you have the chance to hang out with the people that you’ll spend the next four years with. Having a positive attitude is what will help you the next four years and lead you to success inside and outside the classroom.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I want to thank all of my teachers for helping me in their classes and giving the best advice ever, all of my sports coaches for pushing me outside to be a better athlete and person, and my friends and family who have all been there for me and helped me become who I am.”

JC Stephens
JC Stephens

Today in the spotlight is JC Stephens, a four-year OHS varsity soccer player, and member of the Energy Team and the National Business Honors Society.  His favorite high school memory came from playing soccer for the Lumberjacks.

“There are so many great memories. One of my favorites has to be Oakwood High School soccer. I played all four years and we built as a team and as a family.”

What is something people don’t know about OHS?
“People might not know that Mr. Mumma played on the UD handball team.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The class of 2020 is the best class Oakwood has ever seen. The 2020 class is very nice and accepting.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“Hopefully, the 2020 class will be remembered by always being nice and respectful.”

How would you describe your high school experience?
“I loved my high school experience. I built relationships that will be in my life forever.”

What are your future plans?
“I’m going to the University of Cincinnati and I’m undecided on a major. I don’t really know what I want to do with my life but that’s okay. I just want to have a life that is fun and happy.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the class of 2021 would be to go to everything you can go to your senior year because you will miss it when it’s over!”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
Do your homework!”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“Thanks to all of the teachers who have took the time out of their life to grow a relationship with me, they know who they are. Also of course my family for putting me in a great school and being there for me.”

Allison Bowman
Allison Bowman

Today in the spotlight is Allison Bowman, a senior who has liked school so much, she plans to have a career in education. 

“I have been accepted at Ohio Northern University as a freshman this fall and I will be studying the Early Childhood Education program.”

What is your favorite high school memory?
Being able to graduate from where I started as a kindergartener! I got accepted into the Career Education Tech Program at Kettering studying Early Childhood Education program for my junior and senior year. 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The pandemic that changed everything, from not being able to complete our senior year, to being at home and getting to spend more time with our families before we all leave for college.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Study hard but don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way!”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
Your high school years will go by so fast, enjoy it!”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“Mrs. Molly Corrado.  She has always been there for me even as far back as elementary school and she has continued to be a very important role model for me.  I truly appreciate all she has done for me and the help and encouragement all along the way.  I will always remember the after school Spanish classes and how much fun they were!!  Muchas gracias!”

Rylan Quigley
Rylan Quigley

Today in the spotlight is Rylan Quigley, a senior whose high school career has been about teamwork.  He was a member of the golf team, the swimming team, the water polo team and the Energy Team.  He also shared his time with others in Circle of Friends and Student-Alumni Ambassadors.   His favorite OHS memory involves his teammates.

“I will always remember going to State for golf and swimming and having fun with teammates.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“Oakwood High School challenges their students to be the best that they can be every day.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“Hard-working, talented and kind.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I think we will be remembered as a very close class that is very inclusive.”

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience was pretty busy with sports, school, and other extracurricular activities.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I plan to play golf for Otterbein University where I will major in business.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Pay attention to scholarship opportunities and deadlines and make sure to make the most of your last year because it goes by fast.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
Get involved with sports and clubs because you don't know who you might meet or you might find something you like to do.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my parents, teachers, coaches, and teammates for pushing me to be the best I can be.”

Grace Almoney
Grace Almoney

Today in the spotlight is Grace Almoney, a senior who spread herself out over a number of activities during high school career.  She rowed crew for the Dayton Boat Club team, swam for OHS, founded Pass It Back Soccer, to help kids have the proper equipment to play the game, was an officer in Math Club, a leader in Femineering and a member of the Student-Alumni Ambassadors.  Her advice to the Class of 2024, “get involved.”

“My advice for the Class of 2024 is to get involved in different clubs and activities, even if it isn’t something you wouldn’t normally do. As a freshman, I never imagined I would join a rowing team and today I’ve realized it is one of the best things I have ever joined.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
My favorite OHS memory is the Junior Picnic and Senior Take Over. It was a great way to bring the class of 2020 closer together and it was fun to spend an evening together with most of my class.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“One thing I feel many people don’t know about OHS is how kind the support staff is. Every single day in the hallways, the janitors are more than willing to stop and have a conversation with you about anything and the cafeteria staff will always ask you about your day as you go through the line. I believe it is very important to create connections with the students at your school even if you aren’t a teacher and these individuals go out of their way to create those connections.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The OHS Class of 2020 is close knit and very lively. We will always show spirit and support our classmates whether it is at a sports game, choir concert, or even during spirit week.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The OHS Class of 2020 will be remembered as optimistic. Although our senior year was cut short, we try to see the glass half full and support each other through the stressful time of online school and social distancing.”

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience has been challenging but also rewarding. I have had many great experiences with different teachers pushing me to do my best while also having fun in class. I have also really enjoyed becoming closer to my classmates over the past few years.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I plan on attending Georgia Tech and majoring in computer science. My goal is to earn my Masters Degree and PhD in Mathematics with a final goal of becoming a math professor.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the Class of 2021 is to appreciate all the small moments in your senior year because it goes by fast and soon everyone will go their separate ways. As I reflect on my senior year, the things I remember most are the fun times I’ve had with my class as a whole.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank all my teachers for pushing me to the best of my ability. Without their support and motivation, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today.”

Reilly Allwerdt
Reilly Allwerdt

Today in the spotlight is Reilly Allwerdt, a senior who has spent a lot of time representing OHS.  He played football and lacrosse, and wrestled for the Lumberjacks. With all of those sports, you might think his favorite OHS memory came from competition, but it didn’t.

“My favorite OHS memory was prom of my junior year when all my friends got together to have a bonfire after the dance.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“It is easy to find friends and fit in if you're new.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The Class of 2020 is a fun, unique and dynamic class. Everyone in our class is involved in a variety of activities and has a multitude of interests, yet we all get along and are connected as a class. Between excelling at academics, having talented artists, and strong athletes, our class has accomplished a lot. It's been fun to see all the different things our grade has achieved in the past 4 years, and I'm sure many of us will go to do great things in the future as well. Overall, the Class of 2020 is an amazing group of people that I can't wait to see what we all do in the future.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The Class of 2020 will be remembered for how we made connections throughout the different classes.” 

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school was great because of the different connections I made and all the fun that I had with all my friends.”

What are your plans for the future?
“My plans for the future are to attend UC and join the College of Engineering.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“My advice for the class of 2021 is to always stay connected and never be afraid to connect with people outside of your friend groups.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“My advice for the class of 2024 is to have focus on grades, don't stretch yourself out thin, and to make sure you are having fun.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my brother for being there for me when others couldn't and I would like to thank Mr. Rainsberger for all the ways that he helped me whether it be scolding me for not pushing myself hard enough to even getting me ready for my wrestling meets and always being open to talk about whatever was on my mind and giving me advice on issues that I needed help on.”

Beth DeLon
Beth DeLon

Today in the spotlight is Beth DeLon, a senior who embraced performing during her high school years.  She has been the Assistant Director for Red Hotz and Lollipops, a producer in Broadcast Journalism and participated in the fall play and spring musical.  In fact, her favorite OHS memory comes from this year when she was a part of OHS’ production of Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, a show that faced challenges due to COVID-19.

“My favorite memory at OHS is performing for the first time with costumes, mics and the set for our friends and family right before the school was shut down from the virus. While it is also one of the most stressful and emotional memories I have, it is one I will cherish forever. Everyone in the cast had worked so hard on the show that, even though we were performing a week before we opened, we poured our hearts into it not knowing whether or not it would be our only chance to do so. The love and dedication that was shown that night was something that I will never forget.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“I don't think people realize how connected we all are with each other. While most people know how small of a town Oakwood is, I don't think they realize how much of an advantage that can be. By having a small class, we have all gotten to know each other over the past 4 years, some over the past 6 years with Junior high or even 12 years with Elementary. We are able to make strong connections with people that will last for a lifetime. OHS is a place of unique individuals that all come together despite their different interests.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The Class of 2020 is a fun, unique and dynamic class. Everyone in our class is involved in a variety of activities and has a multitude of interests, yet we all get along and are connected as a class. Between excelling at academics, having talented artists, and strong athletes, our class has accomplished a lot. It's been fun to see all the different things our grade has achieved in the past 4 years, and I'm sure many of us will go to do great things in the future as well. Overall, the Class of 2020 is an amazing group of people that I can't wait to see what we all do in the future.”

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience was full of new and exciting opportunities. Throughout high school, I tried to be involved as much as possible and try new things. In doing so, I made some of my closest friends and found new things that I was passionate about.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I plan to attend the University of Pittsburgh and major in nursing. I also hope to get a minor in theatre.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“It's never too late to try new things and get involved. Make your senior year one to remember, get to know new people, join a new club. Whatever you do enjoy it because this is the last year you get to be with everyone.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Don't join clubs or activities just because your friends do them. Find something that is unique to you and do it because you are passionate about it, not because your friends are. Then, share it with your friends and show them what you love to do. Obviously, you can still join things with your friends, but you should also find something that you want to do because YOU want to, not because someone else wanted to.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my parents for putting up with me through all the ups and downs of high school. I would also like to thank all of my teachers who have made all of my years at OHS ones to remember and for preparing me for the big scary world outside of the dome. Last but not least, I want to thank my friends and classmates for making my high school experience an amazing one. We've been through a lot together and I can't wait to see what we all do in the future.”

Gavin Enseleit
Gavin Enseleit

Today in the spotlight is Gavin Enseleit, a senior who said his favorite OHS memory occurred on the road, as he and friends traveled to watch Lumberjack football.  The opportunity to watch more football will be in Enseleit’s future, as he is headed to Ohio State University next year.  Though he will certainly be busy with academics, he plans to major in political science, economics and public policy analysis. 

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“OHS offers dozens of clubs and fantastic extra-curriculars no matter your interests.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“Full of life and energy.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“A class in an unprecedented time.”

Describe your high school experience?
“It was busy. Lots of clubs, sports and classes. I’ve met a lot of amazing people and developed great relationships with staff members.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Enjoy your senior year as much as possible, it flies by.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Make sure you work hard and get good grades early, it’s easier to build a GPA when starting off on a good note.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“Mr. Martin for being a great teacher and person.”

Abby Duwel

Abby Duwel

The Oakwood High School Class of 2020 will celebrate commencement Tuesday, May 26 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 2020.

Today in the spotlight is Abby Duwel, a senior who pursued a number of different interests, ranging from basketball her freshman and sophomore year to Energy Team, Student Council, the Principal/Superintendent Advisory Council and Young Life.  For Duwel, her favorite OHS memory came just before the holidays her senior year.

“Dr. Waller let the seniors into the building the night before our last day of class before the holidays. We had Christmas music playing on loud speakers, twinkle lights hanging everywhere and wrapping paper covering the walls. It was so much fun to dance around the halls in my Christmas pajamas and hang out with my class one last time before holiday break. I also believe the school has never looked as festive as it did that night.” 

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“I think a lot of people view Oakwood as a very competitive school, with students constantly pushing themselves to be their very best. While this is true, students are never only focused on their own success. Individuals strive to be their best, but are also always looking out for their peers. The community of Oakwood High School works together to create a learning environment suitable for everyone.”

How would you describe the OHS Class of 2020?
“The Class of 2020 is extremely social and full of different personalities, but we all mesh very well in our own ways. It seems cliche, but our class bonded a lot over the summer before our senior year and into our last year of high school. Our class is full of spirited, joyful people who never fail to put a smile on my face.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“I was trying to think of something a little less basic, but I think most people will think of the Coronavirus when they think of the Class of 2020. While the virus stopped our senior year in its tracks, the class tries to stay optimistic about how the rest of our year will play out. We will likely be remembered as the class that took our final AP tests online, did not experience our senior prom, and finished our last high school classes through Google Meet calls. It is definitely a nontraditional way to finish off our senior year, and it will never be forgotten.”

Describe your high school experience?
“My high school experience was full of ups and downs. I always challenged myself in school and my difficult course load created a lot of stress. That being said, I spent my high school years working hard and pushing to retain the best grades of my ability. Of course, my school work was the center of my high school years, but I have also had an amazing time outside of class with my peers. I loved football, basketball, and soccer games, and I never turned down the chance to grab lunch with friends. I filled my time with various social events and tried to stay busy with friends and family.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I plan to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2020. I will be studying business - likely risk management - with a focus in pre-law. I will be a Capstone Scholar and am excited to get involved in the new community. Since the first day I toured campus, I knew I wanted to be a Gamecock, and I cannot wait to continue my education at Carolina.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Don’t take your senior year for granted - you never know when it may be taken from you. Spend time with your class, and do not hesitate to go out with friends and try new things. While school work is extremely important, try to also find time for friends and family - because senior year is the last time you will all be together.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Don’t wait for senior year to come together! Make a GroupMe with your whole class and watch as it provides newfound entertainment. It is such a good way to communicate with your class and make plans for the whole grade. High school is a very fun four years, and there are so many opportunities to build on in Oakwood. Try not to slack off too much with your grades, because it is difficult to bring your GPA back if you allow them to fall. Overall, have fun with your four years and don’t take your final years home for granted.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my parents and siblings for providing me with an amazing support system and environment for learning. I would also like to thank all of my teachers throughout my time at Oakwood. From kindergarten to senior year, I have been exposed to amazing opportunities and have been fortunate enough to attend classes with amazing teachers and faculty. I was never left alone during my career at Oakwood. There was always someone I could turn to for help in any time of need.”

Brenden Palmatier

Brenden Palmatier

Today we shine the spotlight on Brenden Palmatier, a member of the OHS boys’ soccer team and Oakwood United Methodist Church Youth Group, president of the National Business Honor Academy Oakwood Chapter, and a proud Team Member at Tropical Smoothie.

For Palmatier, one of his favorite high school memories came with most of the other members of the Class of 2020.  He says “decorating the school for our first day as seniors” is something he’ll never forget.

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“We are a great support group of peers and teachers who are always willing to help with whatever you may need.” 

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“We will leave a legacy at Oakwood as being one of the most unified classes despite what we faced in our second semester.”

Describe your high school experience?
“I was able to get to know almost everybody in my class which at a lot of schools is hard to do. It helped me create friendships with people that I don’t think would’ve been possible anywhere else.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I will be attending University of Cincinnati for Mechanical Engineering.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Get to know as many people as possible your last year in Oakwood. You never know when you might need them in the future.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Everything counts from here on out. Stay on top of your classes and schoolwork, and participate in lots of extracurricular activities; Colleges look at that stuff.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“Thank you to all of the teachers, coaches, and administrative staff who pushed me and prepared me to take the next step in my education. The things I learned at Oakwood helped me become a better person and a better student.”

Connor Prikkel

Connor Prikkel

Today we shine the spotlight on Connor Prikkel, a senior who spent time competing for OHS during his high school years. Prikkel was a member of the award-winning Energy Team, challenged himself on the Academic Quiz team, competed with CyberPatriots and played lacrosse for the Lumberjacks.  He described his high school experience as “rad.” 

“I definitely learned a lot of lessons, and had some ups and downs, but don't regret any of it. I will really miss all the awesome teachers and friends I got to meet.”

What is your favorite OHS memory?
“My favorite OHS memory will be the cool ways teachers brought fun to class like Mr. Martin's Music Fridays or Mr. Callon's Fun Fact Fridays.”

What is something people don't know about OHS?
“Something people don't know about OHS is that the engineering room is a great place to hang out for lunch. With easy access to computers and with many other students going there, it is a great place to meet new people and chill with Mr. Hartt.”

How will the OHS Class of 2020 be remembered?
“The OHS Class of 2020 will be remembered by all the activities we did together, like decorating the school before winter break.  (My favorite!)”

What are your plans for the future?
“My plans for the future are to go to college and get my degree in computer engineering. From there, I hope to someday be creating and coding my own games and apps.”

What is your advice for the Class of 2021?
“Don't sweat too much over college! I even haven't decided where I'm going yet. Try to put yourself out there you senior year while you still can.

What is your advice for the Class of 2024?
“Remember to relax and enjoy high school while managing all your homework and other activities. Cracking a smile or even making light of scary stuff like tests and teachers will not only help you get through, but make it enjoyable.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“Thanks to all my awesome classmates. Big thanks also to the wonderful teachers I've had who've been a victim of my satire and for putting up with me- especially Mrs. Acker for all the pep talks when I needed them most.”