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Graduates talk about Faith

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
May 29, 2011 at 12:29 a.m.

Garen Tijeria joins with his family as the entire Class of 2011 engages in a group prayer during the graduation ceremony at Faith Academy on Sunday.

As Taylor Swift's "Long Live" played softly through Family Family Church's sanctuary Sunday, 22 Faith Academy graduates walked slowly to their seats.

The class of 2011 strolled to the front of the room with hundreds of eyes upon them, while photos of the seniors projected on two oversized screens at the front of the room.

Faith Academy Superintendent Chris Royael stood behind the lectern and offered advice to the class about the next four years.

Using an allegory for inspiration, Royael explained that African gazelles wake up every day knowing they have to run faster than the fastest lion on the land to survive. The lions however, wake up every day knowing they have to run faster than the slowest gazelles to eat. Either way, Royael said, everyone is required to run.

"When the sun comes up, you better be running. My question to you is, 'What are you going to be running after?'" Royael asked.

Emily Graff, Faith Academy's valedictorian, congratulated fellow graduates and thanked them for a successful school year.

"I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to go through high school with," Graff said, who plans to attend Texas A&M University in the fall.

Graff and three of her classmates were asked to reflect on how Faith Academy's Christian-principled education helped prepare them for college. Here's what they said.

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