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Sunnyside Christian graduates 17 seniors

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Sunnyside Christian High School graduate and golf stand-out Renae Visser watches a video presentation, featuring musical artist Francesca Battestelli.

GRANDVIEW - The Sunnyside Christian High School class of 2011 consisted of 17 seniors.

Valedictorian Brent Tyhuis and salatutorian Analisa Van Oostrum both spoke at the commencement ceremony held at the Grandview Church of Nazarene last Friday.

"It looks to me like you guys did a pretty good job," Tyhuis said, addressing the parents of the graduates.

He said there are many memories attached to the class of 2011's time at Sunnyside Christian High School, and he thanked each of the educators for providing those moments the class can reflect on in the future.

To the class, Tyhuis said, "We will move on to the bigger expanse of our lives."

He said he believes the graduates are ready and cited the class verse, which was I Corinthians 2:9.

Tyhuis said any path the graduates have taken was planned ahead of them. God's will, too, he said, will be done in the future.

"God will be in control and will never leave our side," he said.

Van Oostrum told her classmates, "Challenge yourselves to be the unique individuals God has made us to be."

As a tribute to the class, she presented a music video, featuring musical artist Francesca Battistelli. The song "Free to Be Me" delivers a message about God allowing His people to be who He wants them to be in spite of the problems life throws their way.

The commencement speaker was Janelle Aupperlee, who addressed the class saying the class of 2011 has been provided a blueprint for life.

She talked to the students about their plans and the unimagined blessing that result from including God's plans with their own.

Continuing with the message in the class verse, Aupperlee said God knows what happens when His people include Him in their plans.

She said she had plans following her own high school graduation and teaching was not in those plans, but God's plans led her to teach in spite of her own idealized path.

"No matter our plan, God's will comes to completion, but our own initiative contributes to the overall outcome," said Aupperlee.

"Showing initiative shows love," she said.

The plans of humans can fail, but God's plans, said Aupperlee, are essential for success.

"Stretch yourselves and follow, let God take you where you never dreamed," said Aupperlee.

Sunnyside Christian High School Principal Dean Wagenaar named each of the students receiving scholarships.

The following were students named as recipients of scholarships:

Steven Bosma - Whitworth University Legacy Scholarship renewable for four years, $9,000 and the Stadleman Fruit Scholarship presented by the Washington Apple Education Foundation renewable for one year, $1,000.

Steven Broersma - Mary Monroe Davis Scholarship renewable for four years, $7,500; Dordt College Presidential Scholarship renewable for four years, $7,000; Dordt College Men's Basketball Activity Scholarship renewable for four years, $6,000; and Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars Scholarship for $750.

Ryan Burton - Whitworth University Legacy Scholarship renewable for four years, $9,000; and the Arthur K. Shultz Memorial Scholarship, $1,500 with an additional $500 matching scholarship from Whitworth University.

Janelle De Groot - Whitworth University Scholarships totaling $11,000.

Kevin DeJong - Mary Monroe Davis Scholarship renewable for four years, $7,500; Sunnyside Community Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship, $1,000; Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, $750; and Pacific Lutheran University Dean's Academic Scholarship renewable for four years, $16,000, with a matching scholarship of $1,000.

Devi Knotts - Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship at Montana State University renewable for four years, $7,500; Leadership Achievement and Service Award at the University of Montana renewable for four years, $6,000; Wyandotte Indian Nation Scholarship renewable for four years, $3,000; Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars, $750; and P.E.O. Chapter L Scholarship, $500.

Brent Tyhuis - Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, $750 with a matching scholarship from Pacific Lutheran University; Sunnyside Noon Rotary Scholarhip, $1,000; Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Award for Academic Excellence, $1,500; and Pacific Lutheran University Scholarship renewable for four years, $18,000.

Ryker Van Belle - Northwest Renewable Energy Institute Wind Turbine Technician Program Scholarship, $1,000.

Analisa Van Oostrum - George Fox Univeristy Presidential Academic Scholarship renewable for four years, $10,000; George Fox University Health and Human Performance Department Scholarship renewable for four years, $4,000; Soroptimist International of the Lower Valley Scholarship, $625; Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, $750; and Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Award for Academic Excellence, $1,500.

Renae Visser - Dordt College Women's Golf Activity Scholarship renewable for four years, $6,000.

The evening was capped off by Wagenaar presenting each graduate to those in attendance and sharing a list of memories they cherish from their years of high school. The graduates were presented diplomas before being presented to the family and friends present to wish them blessings for the future.

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