GHCA graduates 20

Gloria Austin, Special to The County
14 years ago

Collaboration, collectiveness and culmination was the underlying tone of the 2010 Greater Houlton Christian Academy graduation on Friday at the Community Fine Arts Center.
After a welcome from Head of Schools John Bishop, an invocation by Mark Jago, former Head of School at GHCA and current Head of School Emeritus. After a scripture reading by Chad Duff, Gail Scovill, chair of GHCA Scholarship Fund presented scholarships to the graduating class. The presentation of awards by Bishop and Tom Zimmerman, assistant Head of School, led into the transfer of leadership from Emily Little to junior president Hannah Emery.

Robyn Mortland, valedictorian, Emily Little, salutatorian and Madeline Burns, first honor essayist took their turns to address the audience.
Mortland, speaking to parents, said, “You have been our greatest source of support and encouragement. You have been there to nurture, discipline, love, encourage and support each one of us in our every endeavor throughout our entire lives.”
As the graduates get ready to pursue their future endeavors, Mortland added, “We will certainly miss our families, but you have properly prepared and equipped us with what we need to know in order to make it on our own.”

Focus then changed from family to administration and staff, as each honor student spoke.
Little said, “You have invested so much time and energy into our lives. You taught us by your words and your actions, giving us advice that not only applied to our education, but also to our lives.”
Each student recalled interesting facets about each teacher.
Then the speakers turned to their classmates.

“It is painful to imagine life without spontaneity, entertainment, pleasure and joy our friends bring to us,” Burns said. “We’ve developed some close ties in our class. We have been with each other through thick and thin … good times and bad times. As a class, we have endured drama (and plenty of it), heartache, excitement, disappointment, good grades, bad grades, and all that life as a student entails. But through it all, our friendships have helped us to carry on and maintain our sanity. Thank you for being incredible friends.”
Little noted some of the graduates had been together since the very beginning of their educational endeavors, while it has also been a pleasure to welcome new students through the years.

“Whether we’ve been together for 14 years or just one or two, we have built relationships and have grown to appreciate our uniqueness,” she said. “God has placed us in each other’s lives for a reason. We all have impacted each other in some way. We are celebrating a bittersweet milestone.  “Like a close family, we’ve been through a lot together,” she added. “And although we have not seen eye to eye all the time, we have grown closer.”
And, in conclusion, Mortland said, “We are preparing to start a new chapter in our lives … the unknown can be frightening, but one thing we’ve learned at GHCA is that God provides.”
Mackenzie Burns presented the special music “I Will Remember You,” before guest speaker and former GHCA teacher John Stormer addressed the class.
To start his speech, Stormer spoke to each member of the class of 2010 individually with inside jokes that brought laughter and tears, as well as encouraging remarks.
He said, “Do not think what you have done is insignificant or not important. You finished. You are to be honored and congratulated.”

Stormer gave his students one more class.
“One more lesson, one more test to give you,” he said. “The test, is your life from here on out. The questions are choices and your answers, the decisions that you make. The grade is the consequences of those decisions you’ve made.”
He warned the students to not take the test lightly.
“There are no make ups, retakes, curves, bonuses or exemptions,” he said. “The good news is this is an open book test and you can use your notes.”
Stormer implored the students to use the Book (the Bible) to find peace, joy and satisifaction in the consequences.
“And, if you get stuck, you can always pray and ask for help,” he added.
Stormer told the students the only thing keeping them from acing the test would be themselves.
“If you don’t study God’s word than you won’t know what the right decisions are to the choice you have to make,” he said. “Read it, study it, know it, follow it  and ask for help and you will do very well.”
The lesson Stormer spoke of was to understand time goes quickly.

“You do not own time, it has been lent to you,” he said. “You are all stewards of God’s time and some day you will give an account for how you spent it.”
Secondly, Stormer had all the graduates stand and then asked all but four to sit down.
“This concerns me,” he said. “This number statistically represents how many of you will be living for the Lord by the time you reach the age of 25 in our country today.”
Stormer urged the students to be the expection and be motivated to live for the Lord.
Twenty graduates accepted their diplomas from Head of School Bishop, along with Zimmerman, and Peter Holmes, chairman of the board of directors.