West Central ‘virtual grads’ invited to 2023 commencement

Smiling student wearing graduation cap and gown

West Central School and Transition Services is inviting graduates from the past three years (2020, 2021, 2022) to join this year’s graduating class for an in-person ceremony and celebration.

Commencement took place virtually for those three classes due to the pandemic. “We recognize what an important milestone graduation is and know that a formal ceremony can be meaningful for our students and families,” Principal Rebecca Holthaus wrote in a letter sent to families of previous graduates.

The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 17 at the school. For planning purposes, Holthaus asks families to RSVP by Feb. 17 to [email protected] or by calling 614-342-5284.

Mary Anne Ledinsky, former director of schools at the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, is set to be the featured commencement speaker. The school’s library is named in honor of Ledinsky’s sister Susie, who had Down syndrome.

“When she was born in 1949, we had never even heard of Down syndrome,” Ledinsky said. Her parents rejected a doctor’s suggestion — common at the time — that Susie be placed in an institution.

“Susie really affected our family in a terrifically positive way,” Ledinsky said. “When it came time to choose a career, I chose special education.”