DEMOTTE, Ind. — On an unseasonably cold Friday, May 28, the Covenant Christian High School staff sent 28 graduates on into their futures in a ceremony held inside this year, (thankfully), the school’s gymnasium.
The class had chosen as their Class Verse, Isaiah 40:31. “Buy those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”
This verse has taken on extra meaning in light of struggles with the pandemic and the many changes that it has brought onto education and gatherings.
Before the ceremony, a cherished tradition of showing two pictures per graduate returned. Each graduating senior was shown as a child or infant and then as they look now, much to the delight of the audience. This continued until the strains of the Processional were played on piano by Bethany Vrieland.
After a welcome by CCHS Principal Rick DeFries and an opening prayer by DeMotte Christian Schools Superintendent Devon Brinks, DMCS Board Member Tawnya Roodzant first presented Years of Service Pins to six staff members. Lois De Vries, Sharon Nanninga and Todd Nanninga received 20-year pins, Andrew Dunham received a 15-year pin and Stepanie Rodriguez and Paula Van Kley were each the recipients of five-year pins.
Valedictorian Branton Tolkamp then took to the dais to speak to the Class of 2021. He was followed by CCHS Teacher Zac Menard who gave the Commencement Address. A video by Allese DeYoung, Morgan Schaafsma and Josie Vander Molen led up to the formal presentation of diplomas. As Andrew Dunham read each name, Roodzant and DeFries individually congratulated each senior.
DeFries formally presented the CLass of 2021 graduates to the crowd and the Rev. Roberto Rossi gave a closing prayer before Vrieland played the Recessional. Rossi is the father of graduate Matteo John Rossi.
The graduates of Covenant Christian are Isaac William Alblas, Kaleb Louis Aukema, Sydnie Grace Bakker, Caleb Birkett, Ashlyn Rae DeBoer, Allese Katherine DeYoung, Amy Grace Eades, Alison Gruessing, Desiree Lea Holmes and Maxwell Elliot Idzik, as well as Carly Anne James, Reid Josef Klarer, Emily Ann Kozak, Jon Robert Lapsley, Rhett Tanner Laud, Trevor Scott Misch and Reuben Oseguera. Addionally, there was Joseph C. Patton, Jake Herbert Peterson, Jackson Thomas Pless, Jonathon L. Post, Nicholas J. Post, Douglas James King Richmond, Matteo John Rossi, Morgan Lynn Schaafsma, Branton David Tolkamp, Jocelyn Christine Vander Molen and Jackson H. Wondaal.