Senior recalls fond memories at Sandy Creek Christian Academy

Isaiah Hernandez spent four years as a member of the varsity basketball team at Sandy Creek Christian Academy.

That’s why one of his favorite memories of attending the school on the far east side of Seymour involves the hardcourt — and one game in particular.

“We had a rough start, but our team pulled it together at the end and came back from a 15-point deficit and won the game,” Hernandez said. “Our fans were going crazy, and it was so loud in the gym. Everyone was going crazy, and then I hit a buzzer-beater to top it off. The crowd went wild. It was the best experience as a team.”

The senior, who will graduate with his eight classmates at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Tabernacle in downtown Seymour, said he played basketball because he loved playing the game and learning new ways to play from his coaches or teammates.

“I always had a great time on the court with my team,” he said.

Hernandez said he is very excited to be graduating from Sandy Creek, a school he has attended for eight years.

“I didn’t think I would have as many achievements as I have,” the class salutatorian said. “School was just very hard for me. I couldn’t understand math and English. School was a struggle for me when I was a fourth-grader, but somehow, I pulled it together and started learning and absorbing everything.”

Hernandez attended Seymour-Redding Elementary School before transferring to Sandy Creek after fourth grade.

His favorite teachers during his years at Sandy Creek were Misty Arrowood and Kenny Noble. Arrowood teaches precalculus, while Noble teaches English.

Math wound up being his favorite subject.

“Even though it was hardest for me,” said Hernandez, who spends his spare time working as a waiter and dishwasher at his parents’ restaurant in downtown Seymour, Mi Casa.

Hernandez, who was born and raised in Seymour, said attending Sandy Creek has been special because of the one-on-one interaction with teachers and classmates.

“You all feel like brothers and sisters,” he said. “You get to know each one’s personal story, and you’re there for one another when you are having a bad day or you just simply need a friend. Everyone is unique and genuinely kind to one another. Everyone is real. No one has a fake story around here. We just want the real stuff around here, and that’s just what we get.”

Hernandez’s offered some parting advice for the younger students at Sandy Creek.

“Focus and try hard at everything,” he said. “Have a positive attitude about everything. Just try your best at everything, and once you give your best, that’s all you can do.”

That advice is what has led to his success in school, Hernandez said.

As for the future, Hernandez plans to attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California.

“I plan to study theology and supernatural God,” he said. “Healing, praying over someone and just being there.”

Hernandez said he has always felt in his heart that his calling was to be a disciple to others — especially to younger children — just helping them learn their identity and who they are in Christ.

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Name: Isaiah Hernandez

Age: 18

Hometown: Seymour

Residence: Seymour

School: Sandy Creek Christian Academy

School activity: Basketball

Future plans: Attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California

Family: Parents, Martin and Connie Hernandez; brothers, Joshua Hernandez, 19, and Jacob Hernandez, 17

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What: Sandy Creek Christian Academy graduation

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Tabernacle, 301 Indianapolis Ave., Seymour

Who: 9 members of the Class of 2021

Valedictorian: Toshi Sasaki

Salutatorian: Isaiah Hernandez