Fourteen First Presbyterian Christian Academy seniors graduated Saturday in an intimate ceremony honoring each student’s hard work. Family and friends gathered at First Baptist Church Hinesville to see the seniors step into the next phase of their lives.
The ceremony started with a special dedication video of the seniors that featured baby photos, pictures from class trips and other activities.
Senior Parris Willis talked about transferring to FPCA for his last two years of high school. He was amazed at how nice and helpful the students and staff were and learned what God means to him in his life.
Salutatorian and senior class president Carah Cochrane presented the senior class gift to the school. The students will give a bench to be located in front of the school where teachers can sit during parent-pickup time.
Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, the keynote speaker, gave advice on how to have a successful life. He discussed the importance of giving back to one’s community and country, cherishing family, forming good relationships and leadership.
Valedictorian Kyle Hill told his fellow graduates to have courage and remember their time at FPCA.
“You are going to need to work hard to not let fear rule your lives,” he said. “It takes courage to use a scalpel, to wear BDUs, to teach children or to run for presidency. Many times we’ve said to ourselves, ‘I’m ready to leave high school,’ but we will look back on those times and realize those where the best days of our lives.”
Cochrane spoke about embracing the future.
“As we walk across this stage and receive our diplomas, the future begins,” she said. “Today we start our own paths. … These past four years have prepared us for our new paths. Going forward, ... I hope we keep our foundation in God, in good times and bad.”
Shannon Hickey, interim head of school, highlighted each seniors’ academic success, extracurricular activities, award recognitions and career plans. Some were given medals for community service and academic subjects.
FPCA school board Chairman Jerry Kicklighter and Hickey handed the diplomas to the seniors. Kicklighter addressed the seniors and encouraged them to turn to God when they face challenges.
Hickey presented the Class of 2016 to the audience, which applauded in response.