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Jennifer Hornyak to Serve as Wheeling University Commencement Speaker

WHEELING, W.Va., April 30 – An educational professional dedicated to Catholic education in the state of West Virginia will serve as Wheeling University’s Commencement speaker.

Jennifer Hornyak, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will address the Class of 2024 during the University’s 66th Commencement exercises Saturday, May 4. She will also receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

“We are pleased to have Jennifer, an alumna of Wheeling University, serve as our Commencement speaker. Her dedication to education and the students in Catholic Schools across this state is unmatched. I know that Jennifer will offer our graduates an inspiring message,” said Dianna Vargo, Ed.D., chief operations officer at the University.

Hornyak, a graduate of the class of 2000, earned undergraduate degrees in Education and Psychology while at Wheeling University. Following graduation, she went onto earn a master’s degree in Education Technology and a certificate in School Technology Coordination at Boise State University. Hornyak also holds a certificate in Catholic School Management from Villanova University.

“As a proud graduate of Wheeling University, I am honored to be chosen to speak at this year’s Commencement. My interest to earn a degree in Education and work in the field was born out of my classroom experiences at the University, and my student work position at the Center for Educational Technologies,” Hornyak said.

The majority of Hornyak’s career has been spent with the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in the Department of Catholic Schools where she has served for nearly 23 years. She was recently appointed to the superintendent of Catholic Schools position after serving as the interim superintendent for the past 10 months. Prior to her current role, Hornyak was the Associate Superintendent and formerly the Director of Educational Technology. Additionally, she has been adjunct instructor in Wheeling’s Education program for 10 years.

During her time at the Diocese, Hornyak has worked with teachers and principals across the state of West Virginia in many areas including educational technology, professional development, analysis of assessment data and school improvement. She has a strong commitment for helping schools to continually improve and be the best places that they can be for students. 

Wheeling University’s Commencement will begin at 10:30 a.m. inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center. Natalie Stoner, an Elementary Education major from Bellaire, Ohio, will give the valedictory address. 

For those who cannot attend the ceremony, Commencement will be livestreamed. The link can be found on the University’s website the day of the event.