BASCOM - When Hopewell-Loudon High School graduates walk across the stage during commencement this afternoon, the next Doogie Howser may very well be among them.
Logan Wolph, who is graduating in the top 10 percent of his class, is 15 years old. His experiences are reminiscent of the life of the fictional character Howser, a teenager who was a doctor in the show "Doogie Howser, M.D.," which ran in the 1990s.
Logan is to go to Bowling Green State University with enough credits to be a junior and said he plans to enter the medical field. He said he hasn't decided on a career path yet but may become a doctor.
Lora Wolph, his mother, said it is bittersweet having her son graduate at 15.
"It's hard enough when they're 18, but to see them grow up so fast, it's hard," she said. "At the same time, ... I'm really happy for him that he's where he needs to be."
Lora said she realized Logan was gifted long before he was in second grade. He was found to be highly gifted and became a member of Mensa, an international society for people with high IQs, at age 7. When she asked the test administrators what the family should do with Logan, she was told the family had two choices: move to a big city or homeschool him.
"We took him out of school and homeschooled him," she said.
Logan completed third and fourth grade in one year through online schooling with Ohio Virtual Academy. He then enrolled at Bridges Community Academy and completed fifth and sixth grade in one year, Lora said.
"They were also able to do an online program where they could work at their own pace," she said.
At that point, Logan was almost three years ahead of his classmates. At age 12, he returned to Hopewell-Loudon as a freshman.
Lora said it was a challenge, but Logan, who is mature for his age, fit in well. He was in the band, which gave him a group to fit in with, she said.
Logan said he was in the concert, jazz, marching and pep bands, was on the technology team and was in National Honor Society. He plays alto, baritone and tenor saxophones and the bassoon.
During his junior and senior years, Logan took post-secondary enrollment options courses through Owens Community College and University of Findlay, and Lora said he is a class or two shy of an associate's degree at age 15.
"It's pretty amazing," she said.
Lora said she is proud of her son, who has done remarkably well socially. He has a big group of friends and is enjoying his life just like any other student. He is just ahead of the game, she said.
"I think he's an exceptional kid," she said.
Logan said it is exciting to be graduating at 15, and he is happy he got to get so far ahead so early on in his life. He said at first, it felt like he stood out because he was younger than his classmates, but he got used to it over time.
"They accepted me as their peer, I guess. ... (Socially,) it was a little weird at first (to be younger than my classmates), but over time, I kind of got used to it, and I think everybody else got used to it, too," he said.
Bill Dobbins, Hopewell-Loudon's principal, described Logan as a quiet, reserved and shy student who is focused on school and doing what he needs to do to get his education.
"He's a nice kid," he said.