05/30/10 — Wayne Christian School recognizes graduates

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Wayne Christian School recognizes graduates

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 30, 2010 1:50 AM

Sean Patterson, decked out in his dark blue Wayne Christian School cap and gown, greeted dad, Bernard, and brother, Clark, moments before the Saturday morning graduation ceremony.

"It brings up emotions in that they're going on with their lives," said Bernard of his youngest child, who plans to attend Wayne Community College in the fall to study game design. "The thing that gets me is it all goes by so fast."

The father of four -- next-in-line Clark will graduate in two weeks, from Spring Creek High -- called it a "two-in-a-row" commencement season.

As proud as he admittedly was of his sons, only one thing would top it, he said.

"It will be exciting when they're all out .... and get a job," he said with a smile.

Barbara Sheldon, academic dean, said she was especially proud of this year's graduating class, the school's largest to date, with 29 candidates.

"It's very exuberant," she said. "It's a strong group, very strong friends in this group. They have been fun to watch."

Becky and Chip Craig were there to see youngest daughter, Meredith, receive her diploma.

"We have mixed feelings," Mrs. Craig said "We're really glad after how many years -- for 20 years we have had someone either in elementary or high school."

The nearly two-hour ceremony incorporated a lengthy awards presentation and allowed for each student's pre-recorded remarks to be played as he or she received his or her diploma and presented his or her parents a bouquet of red roses. Students used the occasion to acknowledge family and faculty who helped them along the way.

"I dreamed about this day a long time, and I can't believe it's finally here," said Emily Austin, who plans to attend Campbell University and study pharmacy.

Meredith Craig thanked her parents, her two older sisters and grandparents, as well as those at the school -- "these past five years have been life-changing," she said.

Taylor Johnson expressed his appreciation as well, but not without a twist of humor.

"I can honestly say this day did not get here fast enough and now that it's here, yeah, boy!"

He also acknowledged his mother, without whom, he emphasized, he "absolutely would not have made it through high school."

Among the student awards presented during the ceremony were perfect attendance and citizenship, both of which went to Angela McGary.

One of the most difficult awards to receive, said Reggie Kingsley, dean of students, was for having zero demerits for the school year. Three students accomplished that -- Angela McGary, Gina Wall and Kaitlyn Williams.

Of the graduating class, 14 students received scholarships to further their education, said Lynn Mooring, school administrator. Funding awarded to the Class of 2010 totaled $317,260.

Keith Burkhart, youth pastor of Adamsville Baptist Church, delivered the commencement address.

His advice was simple -- make the most of God you can.

He invited them to go on a journey, one where they could later reflect and, hopefully, have no regrets. To do so requires fighting the good fight and finishing the race, he said.

"It's not just good to start well and go a little bit and it's not just good to finish well," he said. "It's all of it, all of it combined. ... The most important thing is to keep the faith."

Salutatorian Luke Howell graduated as a college sophomore, thanks to dual enrollment at Wayne Community College during his final semesters in high school.

He recalled fond memories of his two years at Wayne Christian -- the devotions in the school hallway, the senior trip to Disney World. And he cautioned his classmates to shore up for what lies ahead.

"We are all going to face trials and decisions in our lives next year," he said. "But God will be there with us."

Gina Wall, co-valedictor-ian, said that while her fellow graduates would be moving in different directions, they need not forget about out one another.

"We might lose touch or forget to write, but someday we'll be together again," she said. "We'll laugh, we'll talk and we'll reminisce about all the things that we've done, and it'll be just like we are today."

"We all have a lot of different interests and will be presented with many different opportunities, and we need to use those opportunities," said Katherine Laramee, co-valedictorian. "It would be a shame if we let them pass by. ... You will either change the world for the worse or for the better, but nevertheless you will change your world."