GRANDVIEW – Turning the podium so it faced the Sunnyside Christian High School class of 2014 instead of the audience, Dana Clark had what she called “…one last heart to heart between my kids and me.”
Clark was the featured faculty speaker during Sunnyside Christian’s 31st commencement exercises last Friday at Grandview Church of the Nazarene.
Addressing the 27 graduates – the second largest class in school history – Clark urged the seniors to be sensitive to how others perceive them, “especially in speech and conduct.”
During her graduation speech, Clark shared with the graduates lessons they had taught her. “It’s okay to be sad here. It means it was something wonderful,” she said of one student’s perspective on parting ways with the class of 2014.
Clark laughed and also thanked the class for helping her learn how to send texts.
In what at first appeared to be a light-hearted way to end her speech, Clark had the students pick up from under their chairs copies of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go! she had purchased for each one in advance.
She read the book aloud from start to finish, with SCHS grads following along in their books and the audience as well, thanks to a power point presentation.
However, in a pointed finale, she personalized the ending of the Dr. Seuss classic with each graduate’s name.
As the author states in the book, Clark told each one by name, “Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!”
Valedictorian Danika Wagenaar reminded her classmates that they need God’s help in taking each of their respective mountains.
“The armor of God is there for you,” she said, adding each of them will face the temptation to go their own way without God. “There’s a battle between good and evil. Satan makes it easy to become the god of us.”
SCHS graduates also received a very practical boost to begin their journey, as the commencement exercises closed with presentation of scholarships.
Combined, the 27 graduates of Sunnyside Christian High School garnered scholarships topping more than $400,000.
During commencement exercises last Friday evening, Sunnyside Christian High School announced the following scholarships and awards for its class of 2014:
Josh Anderson: YVCC Foundation scholarship,
Brant Bosma: Dordt College baseball and honors scholarships,
Brittany Broersma: Dordt College volleyball, track, alumni and challenge scholarships,
C.J. Dalrymple: Sunnyside First Baptist Church’s Arthur K. Shultz Memorial Scholarship,
Jenna den Hoed: Dordt College renewable honors scholarship,
Mary Filicetti: YVCC Foundation scholarship,
Zachary Halma: Whitworth Presidential and Boerman scholarships, plus top 10 percent of state’s high school graduating class and a state Honors award,
Collin Householder: WSU Destination scholarship,
Lisa Leyendekker: George Fox University Duke’s scholarship,
Brandon Moore: Dordt College Honors scholarship,
Drew Scheenstra: WSU scholarship and WSU Engineering department scholarship,
Taylor Stoutjesdyk: Mabuhay “Pay it Forward” scholarship, plus top 10 percent of state’s high school graduating class and a state Honors award,
Hannah Tate: Heritage University scholarship,
Stormee Van Belle: Full athletic scholarship to Merrimack College,
Nate Van de Graaf: WSU Destination and Washington Cattlefeeders Association scholarships,
Billy Van Wingerden: Dordt College Presidential scholarship and Yakima Federal Savings and Loan award for academic excellence. Also the Air Force Math/Science Academic Achievement award, plus top 10 percent of state’s high school graduating class and a state Honors award,
Danika Wagenaar: Dordt College Presidential and JJF Leadership Activity scholarships, plus local PEO and Sunnyside Noon Rotary scholarships. Also, Yakima Federal Savings and Loan award for academic excellence and Air Force Math/Science Academic Achievement award. In addition, top 10 percent of state’s high school graduating class and a state Honors award,
Emily Werkhoven: Dordt College Honors scholarship and Van Klaveren Achievement grant,
Micalyn Williams: University of Dallas, Eastern Washington University and Willamette University presidential scholarships, plus EWU grant. Also Sunnyside Dollars for Scholars scholarship and top 10 percent of state’s high school graduating class and a state Honors award,
Maisie Wolters: Dordt College Chanarambie Encouragement scholarship.