Turlock Christian Schools took care to recognize all 24 of its graduating students on Friday. The class boasted two Salutatorians – Adam Nicholas Bennett and Katherine Alexandra Temnyk – and two Valedictorians – Savannah Marie Swanson and Michael Christian Uytingco.
Bennett began the invocation with a prayer, after which Karen Winter, the Superintendent, gave congratulatory remarks. At one point, Winter asked students to take a selfie to better remember the event.
As a testament to the intimacy of the small group, Swanson detailed the various different historical figures her classmates took after – from Jane Austen and Ronald Reagan to Annie Oakley and Albert Einstein. Swanson went on to recite from Jeremiah 29:11 in her valedictory address, the first of the two addresses for the respective valedictorians:
“For I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
In the awards ceremony, Swanson (A California Scholastic Federation Member) received the Highest Academic Award. Anna Elizabeth Larson received the Memorial Award and Tiffany Brooke Franco received the Teacher’s Award.
Temnyk, who is a California Scholastic Federation Member and received a Presidential Academic Excellence Award (given to students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher and at least 85 percentile in Reading or Math on standardized testing) was also given the Most Outstanding Student award.
Finally, Bennett, who is an Associated Student Body Member, California Scholastic Federation Member, Silver Cord Recipient (an award given to students with 500-plus community service hours) and Presidential Academic Excellence Award recipient, also received the Principal’s Award, the Faithful Servant Award, the Chancellors Award and the Rotary Club of Turlock Scholarship.
“The good you do today, will often be forgotten,” Swanson quoted, citing Mother Teresa. “Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Congratulations are undoubtedly due to the 18 other students in the graduating class: Sierra Nicole Alvernaz, Sarah Nicole Amaral, Ryan Michael Cederlind, Daphne Eissabake, Samantia Elisa Fabila, Alina Marie Garcia Swart, Randal Thomas Hackathorn, Pichpheaktra Hort, Qi (Anne) Ma, Monique Nicole McMeechan, Carlos Daniel Ordaz Jr., Malik Isiah Jesus Portillo, Seth Johannes Retemeyer, Carlota Roldan Vazquez, Carlee Nicole Towns, Benjamin Taylor VanVliet, Joshua Jordan Wright and Justin Hunter Wright.
“We believe wholeheartedly that each and every one of you is prepared to step out in faith and prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead of you – not on your own, but because it’s what God called you to do,” said Principal Kyle Fast. “In the words of my mother-in-law when I’ve outstayed my welcome: ‘I don’t know where you’re going to go, but you can’t stay here.’”