Members of the James Valley High School Class of 2013 file into the auditorium for graduation exercises Sunday afternoon at JVCS. In the next photo, James Valley Christian School graduates form a line in front of the school to greet friends and relatives who attended the graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon. PHOTOS BY SHANNON MARVEL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — James Valley Christian School’s Class of 2013 received their diplomas at last Sunday’s graduation ceremony.
The ceremony began with a prayer, followed by a speech by graduating senior Tara Nihart, who began by addressing each of her fellow classmates, recapping memorable moments with each one in an endearing and charming fashion. The unique character of each classmate, as described by Nihart, was telling of how closely bonded the Class of 2013 had become over the years. Nihart then asked her classmates, “What are we doing with the gifts we’ve been given?”
Nihart urged her fellow classmates to “always be strong and give back to God” and “remember to thank God.”
Senior Donnie Decker was the following student to address his classmates as well as someone else very special to him. Decker began by saying it was no coincidence that graduation fell on mother’s day and expressed his heartfelt appreciation for his mother and all other mothers amongst the crowd. “I for one, would not be standing before you today without the loving influence of my mother,” Decker said. “Thank you, all mothers out there.”
Regressing back to his fellow classmates, Decker said, “This is our day and it’s about time.”
Decker then spoke of the ever-graying line between “wise” and “unwise” decisions, and provided comical examples from the actions of his fellow classmates. Once Decker was done retelling the humorous tales of all his friends he brought his speech back to a serious note saying, “The next choices we make will determine whether our wisdom lies in ourselves or in Christ.”
“The last twelve months have assured me the days are evil,” Decker said. “We must walk as children of Light.”
The following speech, given by special speaker Darwin Hofer, began with Hofer playfully asking out of all people why the class of 2013 chose him to speak at their graduation. “I am honored to be up here before you today,” Hofer said.
Hofer went into how long this day as been anticipated by the graduating class and said, “On your first day you couldn’t wait to start school and every day since you couldn’t wait to finish.”
Hofer then asked the class what subject in school was most important and said the correct response is “history.”
“Everyone in the place is making history today with what they say and do,” Hofer said. “This class is officially the first class to have started and finished in this building. You have made history.”
Hofer then went on to remind the students how important it is to keep their Christian faith a priority everyday of their lives.
“Do not get comfortable on earth because this is not our true home,” Hofer said. “God will provide you with more blessing as you’re more able to handle responsibility.”
He warned the students that “peaking at the right time,” as some coaches try to get their athletes to do, that “we don’t know when our time is up.”
Hofer said, “Live a peak Christian life all the time.”
Following Hofer’s speech was a slideshow of each graduating student as a young child with a description of his or her future plans and endeavors. Then the graduates received their diplomas and were met shortly after by their proud parents and family members. The JVC class of 2013 will undoubtedly feel the sting of nostalgia as they remember being with one another but each seemed confident and excited to see what the future holds.
For the complete article see the 05-15-2013 issue.
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