XENIA — Legacy Christian Academy’s first graduating class includes 37 graduates who first entered the school formerly known as Xenia Christian High School.
From the ambassadors to the knights, the Class of 2017 — which is graduating at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 25 at Patterson Park Church in Beavercreek — is making history with its new identity.
“Change is not easy. Some of you started the year with a sense of loss — a loss of identity … Over the year, we have watched you become not just accepting but enthusiastic about this new identity,” the administration, faculty and staff of Legacy Christian Academy wrote in a letter to the graduates.
According to David Bryant, guidance counselor at Legacy Christian, 35 of the graduating seniors are planning to attend two- or four-year colleges and universities in the fall with significant scholarships and financial aid. The exact amount is not yet available, Bryant said.
“This is an extremely accomplished class,” he continued, presenting a list of student achievements.
The class includes five-time state swimming champion Eric Knowles along with state qualifiers AJ Warner in wrestling and Rachel Sweeney and Ariana Nelson in cross country and track.
Thirteen members of the class participated in band, strings or concert choir. Carolyn Russo played the clarinet in the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and both Andrew Lee and Victoria Kocher were selected for the Cedarville University music showcase honors choir and orchestra.
Twelve were a part of the school musical, The Wizard of Oz, this year. Six have been four-year musical participants and one thespian, Victoria Kocher, also participated in semi-professional theater and plans to major in musical theater.
In the art department, Kiley Mach received third best in show at the Association of Christian Schools International Art Festival. Noah Cushman and Caleb Stover both went to the state level of the Ohio Governor’s Art Competition.
“Each of our seniors that have been here for four years have performed 110-plus hours of community service,” Byrant said, stating that the students have served throughout the Miami Valley, and many on international mission trips.
Class valedictorians are Austin Frueh, Kiley Mach and Rachel Sweeney. Salutatorians are Ariana Nelson, Eric Knowles and Victoria Howarah.
Frueh will continue his education at Wright State University where he will study mechanical engineering. He played basketball and baseball, and had prominent roles in the school musicals all four years of high school. Frueh served as senior class president and went on mission trips to El Salvador and Costa Rica.
Mach will continue her education at Cedarville University where she will study studio art. She won awards in numerous art competitions and visited Italy to study art. Mach played volleyball throughout high school and served as team captain.
Sweeney will continue her education at Cedarville University where she will study pharmacy. She is a three time cross country and track state qualifier and will run for Cedarville University. Sweeney also served on student senate and was chapter president of NHS.
Howarah will continue her education at Miami University where she will study mathematics and statistics with the goal of becoming an actuary. Howarah played soccer for three years, leading as team captain and achieving first team all-district. She was a student senate officer and has been on a mission trip to Costa Rica.
Knowles will continue his education at North Carolina State University where he will study engineering. During his high school career, Knowles was a five time state champion in swimming — three times in the 200-yard individual medley and twice in the 500-yard freestyle. He also qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. and will continue his swimming career in college.
Nelson will continue her education at Cedarville University where she will studying nursing. She was both a cross country and track state qualifier. She was also a student senate officer, serving as Treasurer for all four years of high school. Nelson volunteered with Joni and Friends ministry and served on a mission trip to Costa Rica.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.