Return to Headlines

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Our Hudson High School staff will attest to the Class of 2019 being not only accomplished in academics, athletics, music, and the visual and performing arts, but also for being kind, caring classmates and productive, respectful school citizens. Student performances and speeches during the program were simply outstanding—but they represent only a small sample of the varied talents, interests and accomplishments of the study body walking our halls. We owe a debt of gratitude to our parents/guardians for sending us such prepared and well-mannered, caring students. And, as evidenced by the number of alumni in the crowd at Commencement, many have made it a priority to raise their families in the Hudson community. We wish the Class of 2019 nothing but the best as they pursue their aspirations/chase their dreams!


Highlights from Commencement address:

  • On the topic of Hudson Alumni, we have one graduate who is a 5th generation graduate of Hudson High School—a very rare distinction—Michael Caniglia.
  • record 187 graduates are wearing gold tassels as members of National Honor Society, representing the high ideals of Scholarship, Service, Leadership & Character
  • Ohio’s Seal of Biliteracy honor was initiated by the World Language Department at Hudson High School. Almost 3 years ago, our student leaders traveled to the statehouse in Columbus to testify—in their respective languages—proposing this type of recognition. Hudson High School is proud to recognize 69 this year—wearing “Seal of Biliteracy” medallions
  • 210 seniors, more than half the class, have earned the State of Ohio Honors Diploma, in recognition of a rigorous academic record with very high standards of scholarship
  • We have a record total of 222 seniors who will graduate “with honors” under our Cum Laude recognition system, signifying a final, cumulative grade point average of an A- or higher:

o    86 graduates wearing bronze medals, representing a GPA between 3.67 to 3.99, Hudson High School’s Cum Laude scholars

o   69 graduating with high honor, finishing with a grade point average between 4.0 and 4.33, Magna Cum Laude

o   67 seniors have the distinction of graduating with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude, a GPA above a 4.33!

  • 4 of our 9 Perfect ACT scorers at Hudson High are members of this senior class; let’s have them stand and be recognized for a 36 ACT composite:

o   Kyle Gluntz

o   Yuhan Kim

o   Alex Liesen

o   Isabel Wu

  • Another distinction earned by Hudson High-Schoolers every year since the origin of the PSAT back in 1959 is one of the most prestigious honors a student can earn, that of National Merit Scholar. The Class of 2019 includes 20, 4 of whom scored in the top one percent, earning them the distinction of National Merit Finalist:

o   Yuhan Kim

o   Kelly Ross

o   Isabel Wu

o   Wendell Wu

  • Another honor at graduation this year goes to just one senior who accelerated her high school coursework . . . to finish a 4-year program in just 3 years: congratulations, Lauren Heidler!
  • Wrapping up academic honors is News Channel 5’s recognition of the top graduating seniors from area high schools in 7 counties through the “Best of the Class” program. The Akron Beacon Journal sponsors a similar competition—the goal being to honor students who exemplify the highest academic achievement and excellence. Hudson High’s Best of the Class representatives share the same last name but are not related; would Isabel Wu and Wendell Wu


  • During their four years at HHS, senior Explorer athletes left their mark in Hudson history by contributing to:

o   27 Suburban League Championships!

o   16 District Runner-ups!

o   17 District Championships!

o   16 Regional appearances

o   23 State Qualifying Teams . . . so far!

  • Worth special mention are senior members of our State Runner-up Field Hockey squad from this past fall
  • To win a state championship is a rarity. To win 2 state championships, back-to-back, is simply remarkable. Our Explorer Boys Cross Country runners have done just that: Division 1 Cross-Country State Champs again last fall!
  • We have an exceptional golfer in the class of 2019 who qualified for state competition the last 3 years and has set the school record for 9 holes . . . would you believe a “29!” Future University of Akron recruit, Jen David
  • Explorer Swimmers dominated the headlines during the winter season with our girls swim team winning the league championship again. In fact, they’ve been league champs, Sectional Champs and District Champions 3 out of the last 4 years.  They have also placed in the top 10 at the Division 1 State meet all 4 years; 3rd in both 2018 and 2019, the highest finish in school history.  Over that span the girls team has dominated dual meet competitions with a record of 37-1.
  • Over the last 4 years, the Boys swim team has won 3 league Championships and 2 Sectional titles and have also placed in the top 3 at Districts the last 3 seasons and 6th at the Div 1 State Championships in both 2018 & 2019.  Over the 4-year span, the boys team has an impressive 33-5 dual meet record.

o   We have one senior who became the 5th Hudson swimmer to earn an Individual State Championship by winning the 100 Freestyle in his junior year: future Ohio State Buckeye Jay Johnson

  • Michael Caniglia posted a 39-12 record in his senior season, was 2nd at Sectionals, 4th at District, and a State qualifier; he also earned Academic All-state honors and is Hudson’s all-time record holder for team points
  • Hudson’s Gymnastics team qualified for the state tournament, finishing 5th in Ohio
  • Explorer pitcher Matthew Aukerman  entered the OHSAA record book by throwing a perfect game vs Cuyahoga Falls back in April. Since 1921, less than 90 perfect games have been recorded in the state of Ohio

o   15 seniors on the baseball team enjoyed a day off with 3X All-Star and 2X Cy Young Winner, Indians’ ace, Corey Kluber this spring

  • HHS student-athletes have always prioritized academics, evidenced by our Suburban League champion Softball team that recently received the  Team Academic Award from the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association for having the highest collective GPA in the state of Ohio
  • We don’t have a table tennis team, but if we did, we’d be pretty good! Why? We have a senior who is ranked in the top 12 in the nation in his division. In fact, he recently accepted a challenge from Mr. Herman, televised on HCTV, and won decisively, using his cell phone as a paddle: Roger Liu
  • The HCER Girls Rugby team are defending state champs


  • Sponsored by our National Honor Society chapter, a select group of seniors are singled out annually for their citizenship as recipients of the Marion Albee Character Award as voted upon by the Hudson High School faculty. Mrs. Albee was a greatly respected and highly regarded educator at Hudson High School—this significant recognition embodies those traits; the following graduates were honored:

o   Michael Caniglia

o   Caitlyn Dyer

o   Blake Hartline

o   Lauren Kossler

o   Jordan Manley

o   Jacob Russo

o   Hady Truesdail

o   Lesli Wilch

  • Hudson High is one of only a handful of schools in northeast Ohio to sponsor a chapter of the Drug Free Clubs of America. Led by this dynamic senior, Hudson’s DFCA enrollment exceeded 750 in just our second year of existence—the largest chapter in the nation—Katherine Roegner
  • The HHS Science Olympiad team once again qualified for the state tournament this spring and finished in 5th place in Ohio—our highest ever
  • We have 3 seniors who helped Hudson High School lead the region in American Red Cross sponsored Blood Drives with over 1100 pints donated this year, impacting 3300 lives: Olivia Bernardo, Kelly Ross and Lesli Wilch
  • If it wasn’t for this senior, Hudson High School would not have launched our FIRST Robotics Competition team—a group of young engineers,  programmers & marketers who placed 8th out of over 60 teams competing in the Dayton regional tournament earlier this spring—in this, their 1st year of existence: Alan Goodloe
  • Members of the Drama club shared their creative talents on stage, in the pit and behind the scenes in plays and musicals, the most recent being an award-winning production of Phantom of the Opera. Our student pit orchestra was nominated and recognized at last Saturday’s Dazzle Awards at Playhouse Square. Also recognized at the Dazzle Awards program is a young man who has left his mark on the stage of Hudson High School as one of the finest performers ever—Karsen Guldan as the Phantom

o   Many drama seniors participated in “Our Time to Shine,” a drama-related activity where peer mentors are paired with special needs students to perform on stage

o   Similarly, Explorer Varsity Cheerleader mentored  “Sparkle Cheer” special needs students this year cheering at football and basketball games

  • Students in our Visual Arts programs made us proud with members of this class recognized with the Ohio Governor’s Art Awards and several deserve special mention for their Gold Key and/or Gold Key Portfolio awards in regional Scholastics competition:: Angie Cuiffo, Allison Hess, Mike Piel, Easton Bolgrin and Caitlyn VanDeMotter. Several Visual Arts Seniors invested the last 2-3 weeks painting a mural as Senior Internship projects. . . beautifying our building
  • Hudson graduates have a history of putting others first! Our state-recognized Service Learning program includes almost 90 seniors logging a staggering 21,147 hours of community service this year! Leading the way were these 5 seniors:

o   5) Katherine Travis - 297 Hours

o   4) Bridget Sciartelli - 299 Hours

o   3) Jordan Manley - 309 Hours

o   2) Courtney Heller - 341 Hours

o   1) Taylor Wright - 650 Hours

  • Speaking of service, each graduating class at Hudson High School has included young men and women who contribute to Hudson’s rich legacy of commitment to the United States Armed Services and this class is no different:

o   Christian Kinzel – Ohio Army National Guard

o   Brian Kinnear – US Army ROTC

o   Brendan Morris – US Army Reserves

o   Sean McStay – US Air Force ROTC at Ohio State

o   Tyler Rediger – US Navy

o   Zack Schumaker – US Army ROTC at the University of Northern Georgia

o   Michael Zabala – US Air Force

  • Hudson High School also has a rich history of appointments to any one of the five Federal Academies. Nominations from one’s state senator or House of Representatives member is required for an appointment to a federal academy--arguably the most selective institutions of higher learning in the nation . . . we have two young men who have accepted appointments to the United States Military Academy at West Point: Alex Liesen and Evan Manley
  • I’ll wrap our senior superlatives up with this testament to the overall well-roundedness of the class of 2019; collectively, these graduates will benefit from $276,000 awarded by local organizations in the Hudson community—much of which was distributed Monday evening at Awards Night. The total scholarships and grants accepted for the Class of 2019 is just shy of 9.9 million dollars


  • After the presentation of diplomas, we shared a video montage created by Grace Hildebrand, the daughter of Jeff & Theresa Hildebrand. She was Hudson's state-runner-up Field Hockey Team Captain, the Northeast Ohio Player of the Year, an All-Ohio Recipient, Academic All-Ohio, the Akron Beacon Journal Player of Year and the team leader in scoring over last two seasons. Grace plans to study health sciences at The Ohio State University in the fall


  • In closing, Olivia Bernardo shared a message, then lead her classmates as they turned their tassels and sang the Alma Mater to close the ceremony. Olivia, the daughter of Giovanni & Paula Bernardo, is the student government publicity chairman along with being the senior class president. In addition, Olivia is the president of both the HHS business club and the archaeology club and she plays for the reigning state champion Hudson Girls Rugby team. She is a member of the Hudson High School swing marching band, the wind symphony, and she sings & dances our show choir, Vocal Impact. Olivia plans to study Math & Science Education at The Ohio State University in the fall


As an aside, we extended a special thank you and best wishes in retirement to the following teachers and support: Mrs. Nora Faul (mathematics), Mrs. Angie Hagan (main office secretary), Mrs. Jan Neff (business), Mrs. Chris Radie (English) and Mrs. Katherine Sines (district treasurer).   90 or so Service Learning seniors and quite a few more alumni and parents in the audience showed their appreciation for the beloved matriarch of our Service Learning program who is leaving Hudson this summer to pursue new opportunities in North Carolina, Lani Banner