Saturday marked the 40th anniversary and the first in-person graduation since the pandemic for Santa Clarita Christian School.
The graduation ceremony began with the procession of students, a hymn by the high school choir and an opening prayer by Mark Wilson, an administrator for SCCS.
“Ultimately, the aim was never to make it to 40 years of existence but to reach the heart of every child, for eternity,” said Wilson. “The aim was never to simply survive as an academic institution, but to thrive as a ministry of discipleship. The aim was not just to exist, but to excel.”
After prayer and hymn, a graduate address to teachers was given by Ava Kalinske, a graduating student, and an appreciation address to parents by Dominic Puglisi, another graduating student.
“We learned, sometimes the very hard way, how to fill in the gaps between high school and college-level learning and we’re now ready for college,” said Kalinske. “Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank all the teachers for their Christ-centered teaching. Our class is on the brink of radical change, and your teaching has prepared us for that change.”
“Even though we may complain a lot, we do truly love our school. We know how hard it is to afford a private Christian education,” said Puglisi. “So thank you for giving us the sacrifices you needed to make for us to do good.”
This was followed by a video presentation made by each student that was directed toward parents, teachers and friends. Many in the audience could be seen getting emotional from the heartfelt statements made by those they were there to see graduate.
Pastor David Caldwell, of the Santa Clarita Baptist Church, delivered the “Challenge to Graduates” in which he told students a biblical parable about how to achieve “human flourishing” through service to others.
“An attitude and heart position… center focused on meeting the needs of others, rather than using people to manipulate them to fulfill your own selfish desires to bend them to your truth, to manipulate them to your way, to use them for your own glory. Jesus says it is not that way among you, there’s a better way for human flourishing,” said Caldwell.
The challenge was followed by the presentation of diplomas, a prayer, and the official presentation of the class of 2022.
Seth Eberlein, a graduating student, said he was happy the event was back in person.
“It feels really good to be back,” said Eberlein. “It’s much better to be in school than learning over a computer.”