Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Taft to speak at Cincinnati Country Day School graduation

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It's not every year that the governor speaks at your high school graduation.

But that's exactly what will happen at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when Ohio Gov. Bob Taft takes to the podium before the 74 graduates at Cincinnati Country Day School in Indian Hill.

Among the students marching to "Pomp and Circumstance" will be Patricia Taft, the governor's cousin.

"We figured he'd be in the audience anyway," said Charlie Clark, Country Day head of school. "He was a logical choice."

Taft is a former student, attending Country Day for the first through ninth grades. (He graduated from the Taft School, a co-ed boarding school in Watertown, Conn.)

Taft will pen the prose himself, because "he has some very fond memories of the school and wants to share them with the students," said Orest Holubec, Taft's spokesman.

The governor gives no more than one high school commencement speech each year, according to his staff.

Taft's last college commencement speech was to the June 2000 class at the University of Cincinnati, where he attended law school.

Taft was invited to speak this year by Clark, who wrote him a letter several months ago.

Clark received written confirmation from Taft's office last month.

High school commencement speeches are an increasing trend across the Tristate. This is the third consecutive year for a speaker at Country Day.

Country Day is a college preparatory school that serves students from 3 years old through high school. One hundred percent of the graduating class will attend a four-year college.


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