WCA had the joy of celebrating our Inaugural High School Commencement this past May. Below is the key note speech presented by Kathy Foldesy, our Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Upper School Teacher.
Mr. Nicholas and the Board of Trustees, Headmaster Whiteman, honored Graduates and distinguished guests, it is truly my delight to address you today at the inaugural graduation of students from Westside Christian Academy Upper School. It has been an honor and a privilege to partner with the families of our students for 19 of the school’s 22 years. I speak from my heart with deep gratitude to the Lord for His faithfulness.
Imagine with me freshly fallen snowflakes flowing effortlessly down from a cobalt blue sky. It’s a crisp morning but not cold. The sun’s rays reflect off the crystals so that the glitter of light dances across the inviting blanket of an untouched expanse. This untrodden terrain lay before the inaugural class of 2019 in late 2015. The path that they would forge would greatly parallel the steps of WCA forefathers who, like these students, courageously stepped onto unsurveyed territory. For both groups, obedience to the call of God upon their lives took courage to be the first.
Marcus Tullius Cicero aptly instructs us that, “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born, is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors in the records of history.” Where did their history begin? To be sure, the firm foundations of faith in Jesus Christ were laid in the homes of each of our graduates. A Christ-centered household is one that enjoys God’s favor and lovingkindness. Katie, Coleman, Joanna, Kayla and Brady are overtly thankful to their parents. Home is where they took their first steps into the arms of their parents. Their parents were the first to demonstrate Christ’s love to them; their parents were the first to tell them the truth about Christ’s work on the cross and the forgiveness of sins; their parents were the first to pray for their hearts to come to a saving faith in Him. Hand in hand these students attended church with their parents where excellent Bible teaching allowed them to form a right view of the world. We are so thankful to celebrate the truth of God’s Word through the goodness nurtured in Christ-centered households, which was the start of something beautiful. Their parents were also the first to commit to enrolling their children in a brand new high school. Together, they stepped into God’s provision. Our graduates and their parents progressed ahead with confidence but also with understanding of the risks involved. They blazed a trail, a trail on which parents partnering with teachers, have impressed God’s commands on their hearts so that they would talk about them when [they] [sat] at home and when they walk[ed] along the road, and when they [lay] down and [arose] (Deuteronomy 6:7). The class of 2019 is now paved into the records of WCA’s history.
Here, students are being taught that the truth, goodness and beauty of every present moment rests on humility. From his ponderous reflection in Confessions, Augustine resolved, “But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in Him but in myself and His other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.” The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is good news. Each one of us can live forgiven from the selfishness of sin. Confess your sins to a holy and living God. Receive the atonement that Christ provided by dying on the cross. Surrender to Him, so that He becomes the Lord of your life, and you will live every moment as a child of God, saved by grace and bound for an eternity with your heavenly Father. THIS is the biblical truth that WCA integrates with academic excellence. Our students are becoming leaders committed to impacting the world for Jesus Christ.
This evening, the Class of 2019 will join the ranks of those who have gone before, recorded as the beloved adventurers in WCA’s history. Brady, Kayla, Joanna, Coleman and Katie. The inaugural graduating class. They sit before you; they are educated; they understand how to see the world through the eyes of Scripture; they have a Christian worldview. They can articulate winsomely from history or accurately calculate trigonometric functions. They are a diverse group of learners – some preferring to read, quietly, solitarily, others prefer to debate raucously with proclamation and passion. Right here, right now we are celebrating! We delight in this moment. Take a deep breath – take it in. Class of 2019, you are our joy. Truly, you have worked zealously. Each one of you has finished with honors (impressive). You are cohesively the class of 2019 yet each distinctive with your own unique giftedness. You are so dearly loved. You are diligence epitomized…faithfulness unwavering. You are young men and women of integrity who desire to give glory to God. We celebrate this moment of abundant life in this place.
To experience the zest of life recall days of old, relish in the immediate moments before you, and see the potential that the future holds. You are at the precipice of your future. The untouched expanse before you is bright, sparkling with optimism. God has set eternity in the hearts of men; he wants you to look forward with hope to the future. The Scriptures tell us that people who lack vision will perish. Logic would conclude that people who embody vision flourish. Therefore, seek God and allow Him to direct your steps. Know the Truth; hold tight to the good path He has marked out for you. The unmarked path of newly fallen snow glistens before you. Go and make your way into the beautiful.