CCS celebrates 13 graduates

COLUMBIANA- Cornerstone Christian School Principal Margaret Pickett discussed each individual student’s time at CCS and their plans for the future as they walked across the stage. On Friday, May 26, 13 CCS students received their diplomas at Bethel Baptist Church.

Coordinator Laurie Porter said this is one of the smallest graduating classes in CCS history, which only served to make the students closer to each other.

“The students are more like brothers and sisters in a lot of ways,” Porter said.

In order to acknowledge their families, each graduate presented a slideshow featuring childhood photos and walked into the audience to deliver a rose to their parents.

“It makes it very personal and it’s very family centered,” Porter said. “Most graduations have too many kids to do that.”

Students also took the opportunity to say goodbye to Coach Tim Smith and secretary Debbie Collins, who are leaving the school after several years.

Guest speaker Mitch Hamilton of Water Break Ministries reflected on what the graduates should look for in life during his speech. Hamilton said his most important advice to the CCS class of 2017 is to, “Seek God first.”

During his address, salutatorian David Sipin challenged his classmates to “never settle and never give up.”

“Every single one of us has worked hard to get here. We have all had moments where we doubted it could happen,” Sipin said. “Nevertheless, we kept going, and we graduated.”

Sipin also urged his classmates to appreciate every minute of their lives.

“You only have so much time on this planet. Tonight has made me realize you have got less time than you think, because time flies,” Sipin said.

Valedictorian Aubrey Schreiber began her address by thanking everyone who helped her class throughout school.

“We would not be the young women and men we are today without you all, and I believe I speak for each of us when I say we are forever grateful,” Schreiber said.

Though the CCS graduates may be headed in different directions, Schreiber said they will take their school experiences with them.

“Although we may grow apart through the next stages of our life, we need to remember that we all started here at Cornerstone,” Schreiber said. “We need to remember these days, learn from these days and revisit these days.”

She also encouraged her fellow graduates to continue to support their alma mater in the future.

“As life continues, we should make it a priority to pay back the people who have shaped us into who we are now and who we will become in the next course of our lives,” Schreiber said. “Come back to your home at Cornerstone.”