GRANDVIEW - Hundreds turned out to honor the Sunnyside Christian High School Class of 2006 Friday night, at the Church of the Nazarene in Grandview, encouraging them to find the path God has chosen for them.
The graduation ceremony started with the screening of a class video featuring the 25 graduating students going through daily life during the school year.
When the video was finished, the graduates entered the church and Pastor Jelmer Groenewold performed the invocation.
Salutatorian Jamie Durbin then welcomed the audience. She thanked the heavenly father and the parents for what they've done for the students over the years, from bandaging skinned knees to punishing them by taking the car keys away.
She thanked the teachers at SCHS. "You've equipped us with the knowledge to succeed," she told the teachers. "We appreciate all you have done."
Durbin finished by thanking her fellow classmates. "Our memories will be the tie that keeps us together in the years to come," she said.
Chelsey Jones, Jessica Schrotenboer and Kimber Tucker then sang the song "Legacy."
The class speaker, Valedictorian Ben Dekker, reminded the class of 2006 what a special night it was as it was time their high school years came to a close and how it was now time to do what God has planned for them.
Dekker thanked the parents of the class of 2006 for investing in the Christian education.
He thanked the teachers. Dekker said he was planning on becoming a Christian teacher and related the story of how when he told another Christian teacher of his plans, the teacher joked he must not want to make a lot of money.
"You don't go into Christian teaching to get rich," he said. He then thanked his teachers for giving up financial gain to give him and his fellow students a Christian education.
Among the many successes the SCHS Class of 2006 had over the years, Dekker said there had been no greater success than their spiritual lives. He finished by telling his classmates, "Don't be satisfied with the success we've had in high school. Continue to strive for success and find the path God has for you."
Before the diplomas were handed out, SCHS Principal Dean Wagenaar presented the class of 2006 with awards and scholarships the class had received.
John Bosma received a Washington State University Achievement award for $2,500, a College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources Sciences Award for $1,000, a $1,000 Henry Polinder scholarship from the Northwest Dairy Association, and he was also awarded a Yakima Valley Dairy Scholarship Foundation Scholarship for $1,000 and a Farm Credit Services Branch scholarship for $100. Bosma will attend Washington State University.
Megan De Groot was awarded the Future Educators Scholarship for $500 from SCHS. De Groot earned a Dordt College Presidential Scholarship for $4,200 renewable for four years, totaling $16,800, and also a Dordt College Piano Music Scholarship totaling $8,000 over four years. De Groot also received a Sam Walton Community Scholarship for $1,000 and other various grants totaling $7,800. She will be attending Dordt College in Iowa.
Ben Dekker earned the Calvin College Trustees Scholarship for $10,000 renewable for four years for a total of $40,000. From Dordt College he was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award for $9,000 renewable up to four years for $36,000. He also received a Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Award for Academic Excellence in the amount of $1,000. Dekker will attend Calvin College.
Chad Den Boer was awarded a 2006 Yakima Public Service Recognition Scholarship for $750. He will attend Spokane Community College.
Jaime Durbin received a Seattle Pacific University Trustees Scholarship Award of $8,500 renewable for four years totaling $34,000. From Whitworth College Durbin was awarded a Mind and Heart Scholarship for $12,000 renewable for four years, totaling $48,000. From Gonzaga University Durbin has been awarded a Trustees Scholarship for $10,000 renewable for four years, totaling $40,000. She also earned a $1,000 Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Award for Academic Excellence and a Miss Sunnyside Court Scholarship for $775. She will attend Seattle Pacific University.
Juliana Erickson was awarded a Chapter X PEO Scholarship for $1,000 and a Nouvella Club Scholarship for $500. Erickson will attend the University of Washington.
Kevin Floyd earned a Pacific Lutheran University Academic Merit Scholarship for $4,000 a year renewable for four years, totaling $16,000, and a Q Club Scholarship for $3,000. Floyd will attend Pacific Lutheran University.
Paul Groenewold earned a Trinity Christian College Academic Excellence Scholarship for $1,500. Trinity also awarded Groenewold a grant for $4,000, a church grant for $1,000 and a Leadership Scholarship for $1,000. Whitworth College awarded him a Whitworth Heritage Scholarship Award of $10,260 and an additional college grant of $4,000. He received a $10,000 grant from Calvin College and the Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department Mike Pilot Scholarship for $250. He plans on attending Trinity Christian College in Illinois.
Matt Haak earned a Calvin College Knollcrest Scholarship for $1,000 renewable for four years, totaling $4,000. He will attend Calvin College.
Emily Hernandez will attend and play basketball for Wenatchee Valley Community College through a basketball scholarship.
Joey Higginbotham was awarded a $500 4-H Scholarship. He will attend Walla Walla Community College to study diesel technology.
Chelsey Jones earned a Seattle Pacific University Dean's Scholarship for $4,000. Olivet Nazarene University has awarded Jones an ONU Scholarship of $6,500 and a Nazarene Scholarship for $1,000. From Northwest Nazarene University Jones has received an academic award for $3,250, the NNU Leadership Scholarship for $1,000, a music scholarship for $500 and a church award and Trustees Matching Scholarship for $2,000. Jones also received $750 from the Grandview Jr. Miss program.
Courtney Rice received a softball scholarship from Yakima Valley Community College.
Katie Schneider received a Washington State University Achievement Award for $5,000. She was also awarded a Washington State University Science Opportunity Scholarship for $2,000. She will attend Washington State University.
Jessica Schrotenboer earned a Dordt College Presidential Scholarship for $3,200 renewable for four years, totaling $12,800, an institutional grant for $500, a Distance grant for $500, and she was also awarded a Whitworth College Scholarship for $6,000 renewable for four years, totaling $24,000. Calvin College has awarded Schotenboer an Honor's Scholarship for $2,500 renewable for four years, totaling $10,000 and a denominational grant for $1,250. She received an additional grant for $2,800. She will attend Dordt College.
Evan Swager was awarded various Dordt College grants totaling $7,000. He was also awarded the SCHS William Visser Memorial Scholarship for $500. Swager will attend Dordt College.
Kimber Tucker was awarded a $450 U.S. Savings Bond from the Washington State Horsemen Zone One Scholarship Class. Tucker also earned a Yakima Valley Community College Foundation Scholarship. Tucker plans on attending Yakima Valley Community College to pursue a degree in nurse anesthesia.
As Wagenaar prepared to dismiss the class of 2006, he offered these parting words of advice. "May you walk humbly in God's presence and obediently follow the path He has chosen for you in the future," he said. "God Bless you."