Briarwood Christian School honors class of 2024 during graduation ceremony

Published 3:13 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Students excitedly tossed their caps in the air in triumph and celebration of the completion of an important milestone in their lives after the graduation ceremony for the Briarwood Christian School class of 2024.

Briarwood Christian School honored its latest graduating class of lions on Sunday, May 19 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Briarwood Christian serves 1,850 students and is No. 2 in the ranking for private K-12 schools in the Birmingham area.

Senior Lauren Luker was named as the salutatorian for the Briarwood class of 2024 and delivered a speech to her fellow students during commencement.

“Class of 2024, I am so humbled by this opportunity to speak to you all today,” Luker said. “When we started senior year, May 19 seemed like an eternity away but these past 10 months have flown by and we didn’t waste a second of it. Our classes exceled in so many areas, from athletics to the arts to academics and I couldn’t be prouder of the legacy we’ve left at Briarwood.”

Luker is a member of the Church of the Highlands and leads a bible study for her cross country teammates outside of church. She ended her academic career at Briarwood with a 4.72 GPA and was named an AP Scholar with honor for earning 3.25 on at least four AP exams.

During her address, Luker honored her grandmother who was the salutatorian of her class in 1955 as well as her family who have been significant supporters.

“Each of you have been an integral part of the achievements and legacy of the class of 2024 and today marks the last day we will all be together,” she said. “During our time at Briarwood, we have exemplified resilience, integrity and humility. And I’m confident our class will be quick to accomplish outstanding things beyond high school, both in this world and eternally.”

Emerson Maughan was named the valedictorian for the Briarwood Christian School class of 2024 and shared his thoughts with the class of 2024 with a traditional valedictory speech.

“Today marks the culmination of hard work, determination and dedication,” he said. “As we stand on the threshold of this new chapter in our lives, it is important to reflect on the moments that brought us to this special occasion.”

Maughan attends Asbury United Methodist Church and is a member the 12-Year Club at Briarwood. He finished his high school career with a 4.74 GPA and was recently named an AP Scholar.

“Let us strive to make a difference in our world using our knowledge and talents to create a positive change and leave a lasting impact,” Maughan said. “Congratulations class of 2024. As we bid farewell to high school and embark on the next chapter of our lives, may we carry with us the lessons learned, memories held dear and the friendships cherished.”

Briarwood Christian School Superintendent Gus Martin served as the commencement speaker during this year’s graduation  and discussed how the class of 2024 were bettered by the difficulties they faced during their time in school.

“Your freshman, your sophomore and your junior years were tough, they were disrupted” he said. “But because of this adversity, you will be stronger, you will absolutely be stronger, you will be more courageous and you will have more grit. I trust that you’ve been well prepared for the journey ahead. I encourage you to rise to the challenges of life with courage and through His strength. Make the most of every experience and make sure that you live with honor, faithfulness and integrity.”

Commencement ended with the students parading out of the auditorium to the front of Briarwood Presbyterian Church where they threw their caps in celebration of the end of high school and the beginning of the next chapter in their lives.