Honoring the Class of 2020

Honoring the Class of 2020
Posted on 05/19/2020
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light the path for 2020 seniorsA senior year like no other of course means honoring the Class of 2020 in unique ways as well. A community celebration on what should have been graduation night for both Lakota East and West high schools, May 20 and 22 respectively, will light the path for our graduates. 


On Wednesday, May 20, the community is encouraged to tie a ribbon in Lakota West’s colors around a tree or lamp post in their front yards. At 8:20 p.m., or 2020 in military time, front porch lights throughout West Chester and Liberty townships will be illuminated to honor the Class of 2020. The recognition will repeat on Friday, May 22, in order to honor the Lakota East graduates.


The district recently announced plans to hold multiple graduation ceremonies so that the nearly 1,300 graduates may receive their diplomas in front of their immediate family members and classmates. The ceremonies will be held at both high schools on May 30 for Lakota East and May 31 for Lakota West. Due to limited space and guidelines set forth by the Butler County health commissioner, only immediate family members will be permitted to attend.


In addition to the in person recognition, Lakota Local Schools will debut two very special graduation videos celebrating the Class of 2020 the week of June 8. The videos will premiere on the district’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Specific dates and times will be announced shortly.


The ceremonies will have many of the components of the traditional ceremonies, including recognition of the valedictorians and salutatorians from both high schools.


East valedictorian


The Valedictorian of Lakota East High School’s Class of 2020 is
Tanya Kukreja. Tanya will graduate with a 4.8851 grade point average and plans to attend Northwestern University. As a member of the school’s Honors Program in Medical Education, Tanya will major in Biological Sciences and Political Science.


While at East, Tanya has been an active member of the Girls Varsity Tennis Team, Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, Academic Quiz Team and Mu Alpha Theta. In addition, she has served as the Vice President of the National Honor Society and Chapter President of Junior States of America.  


Outside of school, Tanya enjoys playing piano and volunteering at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Tanya has won several awards, including being named a National Merit Finalist, GE Star Award and a Cincinnatus Scholarship Maximus Scholarship recipient. 

hailey holtmanHailey Holtman is the Salutatorian of Lakota East High School’s Class of 2020. Earning a 4.8547 grade point average, she has been awarded an academic and athletic scholarship to Hillsdale College, where she will continue her softball career while majoring in Chemistry. During her time at East, Hailey has been an active participant in Student Advisory Council, LEAF club, the softball team and peer tutoring. 


Hailey’s fondest memory at East was playing in the State Championship game with her softball teammates. In her free time, she enjoys doing artwork and spending time outside hiking and walking her dogs. She also volunteers regularly at a women’s shelter in Price Hill. 




jake ortweinJake Ortwein
is the Valedictorian of the Lakota West High School Class of 2020. Jake graduates with a 4.91 overall grade point average and plans on attending Purdue University where he will major in Chemical Engineering. 


While at West, Jake has been a member of the Varsity Swim Team for four years. As a senior Jake qualified for finals at the State Championship and set the school record for the 500-yard freestyle. Outside of school, Jake also competed for the Mason Manta Rays Club swim team.





drew katesDrew Kates
is the Salutatorian of the Lakota West High School Class of 2020. Drew graduates with a 4.90 overall grade point average and will be attending Purdue University to study Computer Science. 


At West, Drew was active in the Chess Club becoming captain of the team during his senior year. Additionally, he participated in an internship with Northrop Grumman while also fulfilling his duties as a university research assistant studying Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. 




All four students received the news in person by their principals. Suzanna Davis and Elgin Card surprised their valedictorians and salutatorians at their homes.