First Preparatory Christian Academy held a formal graduation ceremony last Saturday for their 12 seniors. The ceremony was held at First Presbyterian Church.
Like many schools across the nation the ceremony was pushed back from May due to the ongoing pandemic and restriction guidelines. Only immediate family and friends were allowed to attend the ceremony but the students said it was well worth the wait.
“Today was a great morning. I really did enjoy it,” senior David Hinze said. The new graduate said he plans to attend Georgia Southern and become a Physical Therapist. He said his FPCA teachers truly inspired him to do better.
“The teachers made it fun and enjoyable to learn,” Hinze said.
“It was good, a little late but better to have it than not have it,” senior Caitlyn Rykard said. Rykard, one of Liberty Life Magazine’s Top Shining Senior this year said she also plans to attend GSU and study nursing.
She said learning was a bit crazy this year and at times disappointing since most senior social gatherings were cancelled.
“But I mean it could have been worse,” she said.
FPCA Educator Lee Christensen agreed that this school year presented many challenges but being able to provide the seniors with a graduation ceremony was something he looked forward to.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “A lot of these young people have not had the opportunity to take part in some of the senior traditions that a lot of seniors do. I am really excited that they are here and able to put on a cap and gown and walk on stage and get a diploma in front of their friends and family.”
Christensen said they managed to teach using distance learning and the Google classrooms, but he misses the hands-on approach.
“I really miss being in the classroom with my students.”
Two by two the seniors walked down the aisle to take their place on the front pews while the traditional Pomp and Circumstance bellowed through the church’s sound system. The song offering a sense of tradition and comfort for those in attendance.
Valedictorian and Top Shining Senior, Gia Sabalboro said the high school year, especially this year, “May not have been an easy as we wished.”
But she said she will remember the late nights shared while working on assignments and, “Laughing at jokes that only our class would know.”
Sabalboro added that, “Our graduation today marks a milestone in our lives.”
Top Shining Senior and FPCA Salutatorian Kaylin Christiansen wished her outgoing class of 2020 good luck and said, “It’s been real and I’ll see you in ten years.”
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