Christian ‘role models’: Horizon sends off 2016 graduates

HORIZON GRADUATES look out at the audience at Saturday’s commencement ceremony, which celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2016.

Photo by Patrick Mulvihill
HORIZON GRADUATES look out at the audience at Saturday’s commencement ceremony, which celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2016.

Horizon Christian School sent off its Class of 2016 with a call to action: share your faith and wisdom with the world.

The graduating class may have been small — 16 students — but applause rang out loud and strong for each senior at Saturday’s commencement ceremony, held at Mark Boyden Memorial Gymnasium. Broad smiles lit up the graduates’ faces as they received their hard-earned diplomas.


Kally Wenz receives her diploma amid applause.

The sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” and “Blue Ride Saga,” performed by the Horizon Christian Band, set a traditional tone, while modern touches like a nostalgic senior slide show by graduating student Brittney Renner gave the event a fresh spark of energy.

The afternoon’s unifying biblical verse came from Hebrews 10:20, “And let us consider how we may spur one another to Love and Good Deeds.”

Jamesdavid Ryan, a graduating senior, urged his fellow classmates in a speech to act as “role models (for) Christ,” and to stay mindful of one’s importance to others.

“The smallest action can have the largest impacts,” Ryan said. “As you go forward I encourage you to be fully aware of your impact on others.”

Pastor Mark Hoeffner delivered the keynote speech, which he prefaced with a quick joke — he hoped aloud that it wouldn’t be “too painful” for the seniors to hear one more speech before getting their diplomas. The speech delved into what it means to reflect God’s influence and responsibly share one’s gifts with the world.


Zackery Walker leads the assembled graduates in the turning of tassels while Horizon Supt. Ken Block, left, smiles.

“You guys stand here on your summit,” Hoeffner said. “I want you to look around at one another and just realize that this is a group you’ll never forget. These are your peers. These are the people you journey with.

“It is the hope and the prayer and the mission of this institution that you will leverage your accomplishments … for something so much greater than yourself, that you’ll steward all that God has afforded to you for His kingdom’s purposes.”

Zackery Walker led his peers in the turning of tassels and traditional cap throw, which brought in a huge round of applause from the gathered crowd.

Then, Horizon teacher Oscar Stenberg delivered an uplifting closing prayer.

“I think that these young men and women that are graduating today (show) the phenomenal input You have had into their lives. We pray for each one of them … continue to give them wisdom from above,” Stenberg said.

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