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Court hosts special session at school to naturalize new citizens

Tuesday, January 23, 2024



A student choir, orchestra and school marching band welcomed nearly 40 new United States citizens Thursday, Jan. 11 at Oakwood Junior & Senior High School near Dayton. 

For the first time, The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio convened a special session of court at Oakwood City Schools to conduct a naturalization ceremony. After taking the citizenship oath in the school’s auditorium, the new citizens received a standing ovation from about 230 Oakwood High School students.  

 U.S. District Judge Michael Newman said the students saw “the constitution in action.” 

"The ceremonies are typically held in the courthouse, it's rare that we go outside the courthouse, but we wanted to do it here at Oakwood Schools to begin the process of hopefully doing more ceremonies outside the courthouses," Judge Newman said. 

The Court's hope is that the event becomes a yearly tradition. 

Judge Newman, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Peter Silvain, retired Ohio Second District Court of Appeals Judge Mary Donovan and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Guy Humphrey participated in the ceremony.

A video produced by Oakwood City Schools can be viewed at

Coverage from the Dayton Daily News can be viewed at