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January 30, 2023

Oakwood grads to walk in Aug. 1 ceremony

Class of 2020 features 32 graduates

While most high schools in the area will conduct online graduation ceremonies due to Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings, Oakwood School has decided to postpone its celebration and conduct an in-person commencement on Aug. 1.

In the meantime, school staff on May 16 surprised the school’s 32 graduating seniors with care packages delivered directly to their homes. The care packages contained the students’ caps and gowns, along with “some goodies” including a t-shirt, cookies, high-fives from Oakwood’s kindergarten students and a yard sign congratulating them on their upcoming accomplishment, said Christina Nyquist, the school’s director of communications.

On May 22, the Oakwood community honored the high school students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding scholarship, diligence, creativity and service via a virtual awards ceremony, Nyquist added. Graduating seniors were presented with honor cords, and “evergreen recognitions” were presented for those who have been at Oakwood since kindergarten or prior.

Nolan Kornelsen was awarded the Oakwood Academic Achievement Award, and Robert Walker was awarded the Oakwood Outstanding Service Award. The Oakwood Legacy Award was presented to Valerie Doan, the graduating student “who best exemplifies the Oakwood standard of achievement in academics, intellectual maturity, self-confidence and character,” Nyquist said.

The four Oakwood National Merit Scholarship Finalists, Nolan Kornelsen, Jashan Pabla, Abhas Rajhans, and James Xu were also recognized, along with Giselle MacNaughton, the Rotary Outstanding Student of the Year.

A list of Oakwood’s graduating seniors’ future plans shows most of the graduates are planning to attend four-year colleges in the fall, some as far away as Texas State University, University of Alabama, New York University and University of Missouri. California universities and state colleges are heavily represented on the list.

Oakwood School is a private preschool through grade 12 school in south Morgan Hill.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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