Nine Sandy Creek graduates embark on significant futures

“The number nine means completion, but not a final ending. We have chapters still yet to be written,” said valedictorian Alaina Mains in front of the 2023 graduating class of Sandy Creek Christian Academy.

Nine played a big importance throughout the graduation ceremony at the Seymour school as nine graduates received their diplomas Saturday afternoon.

Keynote speaker Jon Mains, who also is the father of the valedictorian, said they had the same thoughts revolving around the number nine.

He said nine is a unique and interesting number that also describes the graduating class. He then proceeded to mention many interesting facts about the number nine.

From cats having nine lives and nine supreme court judges to Beethoven’s nine symphonies and how pronunciation of nine means new in many languages, the number has proven a significance throughout history.

“So as you count and reach the number nine, you know you are about to make a new start,” he said.

When thinking about the number nine in a biblical meaning, Mains said it is mentioned 49 times in the Bible.

“This shows us how important that number is in the holy scriptures,” he said. “Biblically, the number nine is a symbol of completeness or fruitfulness.”

Mains said while the number nine is interesting with its many facts and meanings, it also holds a great significance.

“Just like these nine graduates, you are significant,” he said. “Graduates, you are significant to not only your teachers, classmates, family and friends but also to God.”

Mains defined significant as someone who is sufficiently great or important and noteworthy of attention. He said as the graduates leave to follow their own paths, they will be significant in their academics, ministry, jobs and families.

“You have already made quite the accomplishment, and now, greatness awaits you,” he said. “Class of 2023, you are significant.”

Valedictorian Mains addressed her classmates in her speech saying how proud she was that they were the first class in the history of Sandy Creek to take a senior trip to New York City.

When thinking of the graduating Class of 2023, a special quote came to mind for her.

“The greatest value in life is not what you get but what you become,” she said.

Alaina said high school has been about achieving good grades, sports, leadership activities and thinking about next steps. However, she said it’s important to remember that true value isn’t determined by these things even though they are important.

“Our true value is the person we have become through all of the hard work and experiences this far in our lives,” she said.

Alaina highlighted important lessons the graduating class has learned from teachers, such as Misty Arrowood, Cristy Null and Samantha Remington.

“In order to grow in our value, we must take what has been invested in us to become a person who makes meaningful contributions to the world with God on our side,” she said.

Using accomplishments from Michael Phelps, Ben Carson and David from the Bible, she said determination, discipline and desire are the skills needed to grow.

“Discipline, determination and desire to do the will of God will propel us into becoming the most valuable versions of ourselves,” she said.

In the closing of her speech, she shared a few humorous stories and thanked teachers, parents and mentors for their unwavering support and guidance.

“I am excited to see not only the great things we will accomplish but also the people we will become,” she said.

The graduating class then joined the rest of the high school student choir in worship as they sang “Still Everything.”

Before the graduation ceremony commenced, Aaron Arrowood gave his principal address honoring the students for their accomplishments.

“You deserve double honor for graduating well and pressing on through hard times and serving your God. That is the most important thing,” he said.

Once the granting of the diplomas started Misty Arrowood introduced each graduate and their plans after graduation.

Salutatorian Bryce Blevins will be attending Hanover College in the fall and has currently accepted up to $40,000 in scholarships. His plan is to major in computer science with a minor in business management. He hopes to one day become a software engineer.

Annie Boyd will attend Indiana Bible College to major in worship studies.

Lilly Deaton plans to work her way to become a certified nursing assistant as she continues her work as an RCA at Autumn Trace assisted living.

Thomas Caldwell will attend Ivy Tech Community College to major in computer science and has found a calling in children’s ministry.

Accepted by five colleges, Karah Lingenfelter will attend Indiana University in Bloomington to major in interior design. She hopes one day to become a design consultant. She also has an offer to become a member of the girls golf team at Earlham College in Richmond.

Accepted by three colleges, Alaina Mains hopes to one day become an OB/GYN.

Attending Indiana Bible College in the fall, Marc Vilsaint plans to put his faith in the hands of God in this next journey of his life.

Aaliyah McCory plans to serve in young child development as she accepted a position as a staff member for Little Angels Daycare in Seymour.

Accepted by five colleges, Isabella Ochoa will attend Indiana Bible College to major in biblical studies with a minor in worship studies.

As the ceremony came to a close, the nine graduates flipped their tassels and tossed their hats as their significant journey has only just begun.