You May Now Share a Kiss
“The things you marry and the relationships you marry will determine who you become and equip you to make a difference in the world,” said commencement speakers Kevin and Sharon Yoder at Bethany Christian Schools’ 58th commencement on May 27, 2012.
Using metaphors from funerals and weddings alike, the Yoders, pastors at Olive Mennonite Church and parents of graduating senior Alena Yoder, noted the gifts of sensitivity and compassion the class has exhibited, especially in their relationship with teacher Renae Yoder who has been on leave most of this school year while undergoing treatment for cancer. They encouraged class members to “marry a future that takes you into the lives of other hurting people around you. It may be easy to turn and walk away from the pain you see in others’ lives, but the future of this world relies on you to carry compassion and care into the world.
“Your current relationships with family, teachers, and friends have already made you who you are today. They are part of your faith community. As you go to new places, join a faith community that cares about who you are becoming in Christ.”
Student speakers, Ben Hochstetler and Paige Wheeler, noted that their class is loud, but that “the quite ones never make history. Ten years from now, who knows what legends we will be making. Whatever they are, they’re sure to be influenced by some part of who have been at Bethany.”
Four graduates received special recognition for receiving Leadership Development Awards for demonstrating significant leadership in a school, church, and community settings: Emma Caskey, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Malaina Weldy, and Jeff Yoder.
Eight students finished with grade point averages of 4.0 or higher and served as co-valedictorians for the class of 2012: Gina Gautsche, Jared Miller, Pooja Patel, Peter Schrock, Maria Thomas, Malaina Weldy, Paige Wheeler, Jeff Yoder. The class has 43 members.
The class selected two gifts that would benefit the entire Bethany community with the nearly $3,000 left in its class fund: 3 Bun coffeemakers for use at fish fry and other school events and an additional spotlight that can be used for athletics and theater.