HENDERSON — Crossroads Christian School bade farewell to 16 graduates in a commencement ceremony on Saturday at Clearview Church.
“Family is the best word to describe the Class of 2023,” said co-valedictorian Paige Cooke after thanking those important to her. “Our family may have varied personalities and interests, but there is one thing for certain when it comes to us: We never leave each other behind.”
She recalled some of the class’s inside jokes.
“Each and every one of you are going to do amazing things,” Cooke concluded. “And I want you all to know that there will always be Paige Cooke standing there and cheering you all on as you chase your dreams.”
Cooke also received a $500 Kiwanis Scholarship presented by Ron Rubin, former resident of the nonprofit. Cooke is going to Meredith College to study computer science.
“I’m a retired geek,” Rubin told her during the presentation.
“Years of prayer and sacrifice” led to the 16 graduates receiving their diplomas, described Head of School Jonathan Capps — not to mention a lot of “begging, pleading, screaming, frustration, sleepless nights.”
That one earned laughs from the audience.
“I will miss every one of you,” said Capps. “But I will not miss the complaining and arguing every time I ask you to do an assignment.”
That one drew laughs, too.
Graduate Zachary Bartholomew presented a gift to the faculty: a “Wall of Honor” that will, fittingly, honor current or former faculty that have made a “unique” impact on their students. Seniors will vote each year going forward on their selection.
But to start things off, the Class of 2023 nominated current faculty members Jennifer Brauer, Lisa Williams and Beth Pegram, as well as former teachers Kim Burton and Karen Doherty.
“I was not expecting that. It was a blessing and an honor,” said Williams.
She noted that she was glad to be one of the first faces on the wall.
“They are due the honor they receive,” said Bartholomew.
There were two valedictorians this year. The other was Shane Anthony. The two tied for the academic honor.
“I’m not sure what’s more impressive,” said Anthony in his address, “the fact that I’m co-valedictorian, or the fact that I managed to get up early enough to make it here.”
He joked that an AI wrote his speech for him. Then he got a bit more serious.
Basketball first drew Anthony to CCS, he said, and he’ll stay on the court when he goes to University of North Carolina Wilmington.
He left some advice for the class: “Stay grounded and let God guide you” throughout the next chapter of their lives, one that is “new, exciting, uncomfortable, challenging and chaotic.”
He also quoted “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The President’s Award for Educational Excellence is given to students who achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher throughout high school. This year’s recipients were Shane Anthony, Paige Cooke, Lauren Gooch, Tamara O’Donnell, Gracie Patterson, Rebecca Short, Pamela Stevenson and Landyn Wiggins.
The Senior Achievement Award is given to those who display academic achievement in core subject areas. Gracie Patterson and Paige Cooke received this award.
The Senior Athlete Award is given to one male and one female student for their commitment to CCS athletics: Gracie Patterson and Samuel Boyd.
Senior Character Awards
The following awards are given to students who display certain character traits. Recipients are voted on by students and faculty.
The Faithfulness Award is given to the student who shows willingness to do their best in every assignment, said Principal Jenny O’Steen. Shane Anthony, Paige Cooke, Gracie Patterson, Rebecca Short, and Pamela Stevenson received this award.
The Philippians Award is granted to those who display selflessness and genuine concern towards classmates. This year’s recipients were Zachary Bartholomew, Paige Cooke, Tamara O’Donnell, and Pamela Stevenson.
The Leadership Award is given to seniors who “exemplifies positive participation” in school activities, as described by O’Steen. This year’s recipients were Shane Anthony, Paige Cooke and D’Markus Tucker.
The Timothy Award is given to a senior who displays a “steady increase” in Christian character and work ethic, described O’Steen. Zachary Bartholomew was this year’s recipient.
The David Award is awarded to those who continually seek to “do that which pleases God,” said O’Steen. Pamela Stevenson and D’Markus Tucker took this award home.
The Luke Award for Senior Excellence is the most distinguished award a CCS Senior can achieve, O’Steen said. Academic excellence, faith, citizenship and school involvement and leadership are the requisite traits. Five recipients displayed those traits: Shane Anthony, Paige Cooke, Gracie Patterson, Rebecca Short, and Pamela Stevenson.
Shane Anthony, Annabelle Amess, Jackson Barker, Zachary Bartholomew, Samuel Boyd, Paige Cooke, Will Edwards, Lauren Gooch, John Henderson, Jr., Tamara O’Donnell, Gracie Patterson, Rebecca Short, Pamela Stevenson, D’Markus Tucker, Landyn Wiggins, Jeremiah Williams.
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