Battleground Academy Celebrates 133rd Graduating Class

Will Kelser, Head of School/Photo by Adam Sain

Battle Ground Academy held its commencement on Saturday, May 15, celebrating the graduation of 92 students. Dalia Diab, who will attend Northwestern University, and Isabelle Grace Donoghue, who will attend the University of Michigan, were the Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively.

“The Class of 2022 has had remarkable success. While the context of their high-school career meant that every year brought new surprises and uncertainty, the one constant in their time at BGA was excellence,” said BGA Head of School Will Kesler. “Whether winning the school’s first state title in volleyball, creating musical, dramatic, and visual art of the highest caliber, or helping usher back in the great traditions of our school like the Tug, the Class of 2022 has left an indelible mark on our school community.

“Whether it’s Northwestern, Yale, Dartmouth, University of Tennessee, Richmond, or any of the schools our students will attend next year, we know that these graduates will excel because of their hard work, dedication, and the foundation that has been provided to them in their time at BGA. Congratulations to all of them, and we wish them the very best in their bright futures,” he added.

Highlights of BGA’s 133rd graduating class include:

•The class collectively received more than $8.9 million in scholarship offers, with more than $2.9 million being accepted.

•Nearly three out of four (71%) students were accepted to their top college of choice, with 97% being accepted by at least one of their top three choices.

•Graduates will matriculate to 53 different colleges and universities throughout the U.S., attending universities from coast to coast in 28 different states.

•Fifteen students will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate and semi-pro level.

In addition to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, other graduates honored included:

•Kendall Grimes was awarded the Pinkerton Watch, given to the senior who is the best all-around student, in the judgment of the faculty. 

•Sean Williams was presented the Paul Guffee ‘61 Memorial Award, which, by a vote of the faculty, goes to the senior who exhibits leadership in athletics and all other phases of school life.

•Kate O’Hara received the Katie Jeter ‘03 Award for Service.

•Ainsleigh Hylton received the BGA Alumni Association Bill Ross ’72 Award as voted by the student body for helping those in need without the need for recognition.

•Graci Semptimphelter was presented the Robin Leigh Altshuler Award given to the senior who exemplifies a spirit of unconditional service to others and the community.

•Trace Alexander III received the Durwood Sies ‘40 Leadership Award.

•Dalia Diab was awarded the R.N. and Catherine Moore Art Medal.

•Campbell Slaughter received the Helen and Ralph Brown ’49 School Spirit Award.

•David Coppen was recognized with the David A. Hernandez ’49 Award for Courage. 

Established in 1889, Battle Ground Academy is a co-educational, college preparatory school for grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. More information on the school can be found at