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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.

How has your faith-based education prepared you for college?

"I'm going to a Christian college, so it will cross over. Having a faith-based education will prepare me for the world." - Amanda Driggers, Faith Academy senior, College: Howard Payne University

"I think it has helped me to know the truth, so when I get out in the world I can continue to discern what's true." - Emily Graff, Faith Academy senior, College: Texas A&M University

"If I know God and the ways of the world. It will help me stand strong." - Shea Gonzalez, Faith Academy senior, College: Victoria College

"My faith-based education has definitely set my foundation and it will help me in college make right decisions and steer me down the right path." - Demi Gonzalez, Faith Academy senior, College: Victoria College

Class Size: 22.

Students graduating with honors: 12

Class Colors: Blue and Gray

Valedictorian: Emily Ann Graff

Salutatorian: Haley Katherine Thomas

Senior Class Song: "Wherever I Go" performed by Dustin Cabrera; Zachary Cornwell Stephanie Ledwig and Haley Thomas

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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