Six graduate from GCAPublished 11:48am Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The six seniors in Grace Christian Academy’s Class of 2013 graduated this past Friday evening at the school’s Perry Memorial Gymnasium.
Members of this year’s graduating class were Ryan Ashton Anderson, Phillip Lamar Bowen Jr., Beth Ann Hodges, Jasmin Nicole Kelly, Bryceson Mitchell McQuaid and Dustin Tyler Vickers.
Valedictorian Bryceson McQuaid said each member of the small graduating class had a unique personality, which he said they should retain as they move on to college.
“No matter what you go on to do with your life, don’t be afraid to stand out, don’t be afraid to take chances and don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” McQuaid said. “Nothing has ever been achieved by trying to fit in; the world is waiting for you to take a chance and stand out.”
Salutatorian Beth Ann Hodges based her speech on two Latin words: “Excelsior,” which means “Ever upward!” and “Eucharisteo,” which means “Thanksgiving.”
Hodges said she recognized that people would have “hills and valleys” in their lives.
“Jesus tells us to be thankful both in good and bad times, because it is those bad times that strengthen us,” Hodges said. “I challenge you to always push against the opposing force that will try to hold you back and make your dreams come true.”
In his address to the graduating seniors, GCA Lower School Principal Steve Murr gave them three guidelines to remember.
Murr told the graduates to face their fears, being confident by knowing God is with them.
He urged them to forget their failures, but not before learning from them, and then “press forward.”
Finally, Murr reminded the graduates to follow their faith by connecting with a local church or campus ministry as they go off to college.
“God is stronger than your fears; God will help you overcome your failures; God will guide you along the course of life,” Murr said.
The GCA Chorus sang, “An Irish Blessing for Grace,” while the Grace String Section performed “Pomp and Circumstance” to open the ceremony and “Ode to Joy” at its close.
Dr. Daniel Carraway, a member of the GCA School Board, gave the welcome and prayer, while Catherine Holden, chair of the GCA Foundation, gave a benediction.