As Scotland Christian Academy’s class of 2012 prepared to graduate and end the final chapter of their high school education, their emotions reflected the fact that many of them were about to leave the only school they’ve ever known.
“There has never been a time that I have ever felt ignored or unloved growing up here,” said Victoria Thompson, class valedictorian. “I call it growing up because this school to me has never been anything but home.”
This year’s graduating class of 17 is the sixth for the school, which opened in 1994. Some 200 parents, friends, and family members attended Thursday’s ceremony to wish the graduates well, whatever their futures may hold.
“Some of us know exactly what we want to do with the rest of our lives, and some of us just don’t have it all figured out yet, but that’s okay,” said senior Emily Cartrette. “Now is the time to make the mistakes we’re all trying so hard to avoid.”
Thompson and class salutatorian Tara Bjork gave thanks to Scotland Christian Academy teachers and staff for their support of the class throughout their educational careers.
“Every one of you has touched our lives and changed our way of thinking,” Bjork said. “If it weren’t for you, none of us would be getting our diploma right now.”
“I thank all of my teachers for broadening my education with more than just schoolbooks,” Thompson said. “For every teacher who has experienced teaching our class of 2012, I tip my hat to you. Thank you for pushing all of us to do our best, for preparing and shaping us for our future, for giving us every opportunity to excel, and for spending time with each of us and teaching us to value ourselves as a person.”
Following a photo slide show chronicling the lives of each member of the Class of 2012, Headmaster Phillip Cline addressed the graduates, encouraging them to establish a solid foundation upon which to construct the rest of their lives.
“You’ve had some wonderful experiences here at Scotland Christian Academy,” Cline said. “You’ve made some great memories that are going to last a lifetime. There have been lots of laughs, lots of stories I could tell to embarrass you this evening. The fact is that you have only just begun to build your lives, and this building process is nowhere close to being finished. You are going to spend the rest of your time on this earth continuing to build your lives.”
He exhorted the students to put their learning to good use, and to make their faith the basis for their future accomplishments.
“The difference between the wise man and the fool is is foundation, and Jesus is the only foundation that will stand the test of time, the only foundation that will hold fast when the wind blows and the waters begin to rise,” said Cline. “I look forward to hearing your successes years down the road. I pray that you make the right decisions in life, and I pray that when you don’t make the right decisions, you make them right. Make the most of life, enjoy life, but understand what really matters.”
Graduates were presented with a diploma, a Bible, and two flowers - one to keep and a rose to present to a family member or supporter.
In her address to her classmates, Thompson asked them to carry the memory of their time together at Scotland Christian Academy with them in their future endeavors.
“I know we are all going to do amazing things in our lives: go on to college, join the Air Force, graduate, get a job, get married, have kids,” she said. “To me, it’s crazy to think that in a few more years, this will all be a blur and just another memory.
“I pray that every dream you have comes true. Never forget: what is impossible with men is possible with God.”