The five Sandy Creek Christian Academy students who wrapped up their senior year of high school back in May finally received their diplomas.
And unlike a lot of Hoosier high schoolers graduating this year, they had the chance to do so in a “normal” graduation ceremony in front of their parents, siblings and other family and friends.
Saturday afternoon’s ceremony at The Tabernacle in downtown Seymour marked the end of a chapter in the lives of the five.
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Although there has been a lot of uncertainty this year about everything including graduation because of the coronavirus pandemic, most were glad to finally close one chapter in their life and open a new door.
“I honestly thought today would never come,” Alexander Bokelman said. “Being delayed I kind of thought that even more so it’s kind of like a dream come true even just graduating.”
He didn’t attend Sandy Creek until halfway through his freshman year.
“It changed my whole perception of school,” Bokelman said “I didn’t like school at all but now I’m going to miss it. Honestly.”
His future includes a career as a policeman.
“I’ve wanted to do that since kindergarten,” Bokelman said.
Classmate Abigail Cavanaugh also has her future mapped out.
“Right now I am almost enrolled in my classes at Ivy Tech,” she said. “I’m getting my pre-requisites this year and next year I am going to be doing an online course to become a vet tech, which is like a nurse to a veterinarian.”
Salutatorian Ethan Byrne said the delays created by the pandemic have created a lot of confusion for everybody.
“I feel like true survivors,” he said. “We all made it through one way or another. God helps see us through it no matter what the circumstances. So here we are.”
Bryne said he’s undecided about his future but has some ideas including mechanical engineering or maybe something in law enforcement like Bokelman.
“The big one I have been considering is becoming a musician and going on the road as a Christian music producer,” he said. “Other than that I am going to explore my options and try to be open-minded about the whole thing.”
Classmate Shawna Schlatterer said she was just happy to have as many people as she wanted attend her graduation.
Her plans for the future involve becoming a forensic physiologist and going to work for the FBI.
“I’ve already finished a semester of college,” she said.
Schlatterer started kindergarten at Sandy Creek and was the only of her class to spend all 12 years there.
“I’m probably going to miss my homeroom teacher (Misty Arrowood) the most,” she said. “I am going to miss all her stories.”
Valedictorian Isabelle Miller said she enjoyed her time at Sandy Creek and graduating was really bittersweet.
“Because this is a smaller school, we are all like family so leaving is really sad,” she said. “I’m am really excited for all of our futures.”
Miller said graduating as valedictorian has been a dream of hers since kindergarten.
“So that’s a dream of mine come true and with the delay and everything, it really did stink because we never got that proper goodbye we wanted,” she said. “But I am really thankful they were able to postpone it to today so we do get that goodbye and closure.”
Miller’s future includes studying business and forensic science probably at the University of Washington.