Hope Christian School celebrates 2023 graduation

Published 9:48 am Monday, May 22, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Hope Christian School celebrated its class of 2023 in the 33rd annual graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 18.

The ceremony was held at Church of the Highlands Riverchase with many excited graduates in attendance.

Pastor Dan Atchison opened the ceremony with a prayer for the graduation ceremony and the students in their upcoming endeavors.

“Lord, what a privilege it is to stand in Your house,” Atchison. “You didn’t have to save us, but You did. Thank you for Who you are. You hold the highest place in our lives. My prayer tonight is that in this milestone moment when these students step across this stage, that Your Hand of protection would be upon them.”

Rev. Atchison and his wife Connie Atchison partook in the Presentation of Leadership to students present. The recipients were:

-Courtney Shirah

-Skylin Boyd

-Lydia Holsomback

-Zachary Fogelgren

The Testimony and Influence Awards were presented to:

-Jackson Shows

-Kayla Martin

-Victoria Miller

-Samaria Batten

“Every year, the senior class has a theme,” Atchison said. “This year’s theme has been ‘anchor.’”

Atchison then shared the Scripture Hebrews 6:19: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.”

Atchison also shared Psalm 112:7: “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast trusting in the Lord.”

He commented further on why this theme of “anchor” was important to the graduating class of 2023.

“An anchor is something that provides steadfastness,” Atchison said. “When you think of anchor, you usually picture the heavy object that is tied to a ship by a chain or a rope. It keeps that boat secure because it is attached to the body. In Scripture, the term anchor is used metaphorically to represent God, our faith and Jesus Christ. That keeps us steadfast. It gives us hope during life’s challenges.”

The Dedication to Service award was presented to:

-Kimber Quinn

-Charles Hawthorne

-Emma Story

-Joshua Kelly

Class Secretary Kayla Martin as present to share her testimony with those in attendance and speak on what Hope Christian School has meant to her.

“We have all waited for this day to come,” Martin said. “And we are finally here. We may not all come from the same background or have the same story, but we do have one thing in common. In less than an hour, 122 of us will officially be high school graduates.”

Martin shared her story of living with illness and health issues which ultimately lead her to homeschooling.

“My school career has been far from easy and has not turned out anything like I thought it would,” Martin said. “Due to various health issues, I have faced many challenges and struggles throughout the years. Everything I have been through has taught me to rely on God and has played a huge part in turning me into the person I am today.”

Salutatorians at Hope Christian School were:

-Camden Gregory Harper

-William Edward Foster

-John David Baize

-Stephen Thomas Caudle

Valedictorians were as listed below:

-Jensen Ezekiel Fallin

-Angelica Joy Vercher

-Jessica Elizabeth Fleischmann

-Jonathan Lance Kelly