KCS grads move onto the next chapter

Kingwood Christian School graduate Zakari Grater hugs his mother during the school's graduation May 24. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Kingwood Christian School’s graduation speaker urged the school’s seniors to lead faith-based lives as they make the transition from high school to the next step in their lives.

Rev. Robert Angles, executive director of the Teen Challenge USA rehabilitation program, warned the students they are about to enter a world largely opposed to Christian beliefs.

“You are about to embark on the next phase of your lives,” Angles said to the 32-member KCS class of 2011. “You are about to go out into a world that is, in large, in oppostition to Jesus Christ.

“How many of you have made the Lord part of your plan? That is very important.” Angles asked of the graduates’ plans after high school. “Jesus is absolutely the way, the truth and the life.”

During the graduation ceremony at Kingwood Church in Alabaster, Angles praised the school and thanked the parents in attendance for seeking a Christian-based education for their children.

“I truly believe that this school was birthed in faith,” he said. “I believe many of you (parents) took a leap of faith to bring your child here to a Christian school.”

The ceremony, which filled the church’s sanctuary, also featured messages from the school’s salutatorians and valedictorians.

School Administrator Rev. Benny Cunningham also dedicated part of the ceremony to the memory of KCS administrative assistant Rosemary Atchison, who passed away in February.

“We could always depend on her for anything. She was a blessing,” Cunningham said. “She meant a lot to me, and she meant a lot to us.”

Salutatorian Jessica Holt urged her classmates to use the talents they developed at KCS to benefit those they meet in the future.

“It amazes me how different each of us are, and how each of us use our individual talents,” Holt said. “What will you do with your light?”

Salutatorian Autumn Jackson asked her fellow graduates to begin changing the world through their actions immediately.

“We have to change the world now,” Jackson said. “For so many problems, there is not one simple answer, or maybe there is. It’s up to you, seniors.”

Valedictorian Haleigh Purvis said graduation is the time seniors should begin shifting their goals from helping themselves to helping others.

“It’s time for our motivation to change,” Purvis said. “Now, we need to make changes and get motivated by what we can do for others.

“My biggest dream is that when we turn our tassels, we will flip a switch,” Purvis added.

Valedictorian Millie Opper urged the KCS class of 2011 to strive to be “world changers,” and to be the most successful class in the school’s history.

“As this chapter comes to an end, an even better one is beginning. A chapter with purpose,” Opper said. “Those who help others are world changers. Little somethings here and there are what change the world.

“We can’t use our potential for ourselves,” Opper added. “Let us be difference makers for others.”