Grace Christian Academy graduates 13

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Grace Christian Academy hosted commencement exercises for the Class of 2017 last Friday night at the Charles H. Kirbo Center. As the tight-knit group of 13 seniors sat together, memories and wisdom were shared along with some tears of mixed emotions shed.

Kaitlyn Holcombe began the ceremony by introducing her friend and salutatorian, Harsimran “Harse” Singh. The friends shared a sweet hug before Singh began her address. Singh discussed how parents raised us as tiny children to guide us to where we are today. She reminded her fellow classmates of how the world has rapidly transformed before their eyes and how they have overcome the difficulties that came along with those transformations.

Singh challenged her class to promote the well being for all as they go forward in the world, because they are never aware of the difficulties someone else may be facing. “Never presume to know one’s heart,” Singh said. “Each arrives at their own destination at their own time.”

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Singh said she was blessed with great teachers, faculty and students. Following Singh’s address, Sarah Castoro introduced Star Student and valedictorian, Mikayla Buckhaulter.

Buckhaulter began her speech with a quote by J.R.R Tolkien.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve,” she said.

Buckhaulter had attended GCA since she was in k-3 and joked with the audience that early on her class had built the reputation of “that” class. She believed her class did not fit a typical mold; she said they were all just fighting against the current to keep their head above the water.

Buckhaulter took a moment to thank the teachers; she said she owes her academic success to teachers who were willing to teach kids like them; kids that were “that” class.

Buckhaulter was the Star Student for the district and reciepient of the John A. “Toby” and Majorie “Katy” Dowdy Star Student Scholarship.

“I’m really honored to have the opportunity to represent my class and the rest of the county,” Buckhaulter said. “We are a hard working bunch.” 

In addition to the Salutatory address and Valedictory address Mayor Edward Reynolds gave a graduation address. He gave the students five life lessons they can learn from sports: 1) start with a firm foundation- plant your feet firmly with the support and guidance from others 2) set your eyes on the goal 3) say your prayers as you set your goals 4) preparation- luck is no substitution 5) never stop running.

Reynolds ended the speech by saying, “Take your best shot. If you miss, get your ball back and try again.”