By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A “fabulous” class of Patriots will be honored Friday night at a graduation ceremony in Yukon.
Members of Southwest Covenant Christian School’s Class of 2020 will participate in a “live” and in-person program.
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 5 inside the sanctuary of Covenant Community Church, 2250 S Yukon Parkway.
“We have 25 graduates and oodles of valedictorians and salutatorians,” SWCS Director of Development Patti Betts said. “It’s just a fabulous class.
“These kids are well rounded and have received awards in all areas. They are just one of the most incredible and outstanding classes we’ve had.”
Class valedictorians are: Harley Gossen, Blake Mosshart, Chloe Nason, Ian Parker, Hannah Warner, and Luke Arnould.
Class salutatorians are: Kindle Chamberlain, Drake Rought, Ethan Mostek, Macie Noland, Andrew Ward, Andrew Hickman, and Savannah Bobo.
Members of Southwest Covenant’s Class of 2020 were awarded scholarships totaling $1,775,862, accepting awards totaling $1,356,626.
It has been a challenging school year with tragedy, heartbreak and challenges “no one could have predicted”, Southwest Covenant Headmaster Steve Lessman told members of the Class of 2020.
“Yet, your unwavering faith led the way for our school,” Lessman wrote in a letter to graduating seniors.
These Patriots have left a “legacy of service, commitment and love” while making SWCS a better school and setting an “incredible example” for younger students, the headmaster added.
Friday night’s ceremony will feature each graduating SWCS senior standing up to make a brief address thanking their parents.
Names of all 25 Class of 2020 members will be read aloud and scholarship recipients will be announced.
Class president and valedictory speeches will be featured.
Another highlight of the program will be when SWCS Class of 2020 President Luke Arnould reads the class Bible verse, Hebrews 12:1. Arnould then will pass the Bible to the 2021 class president.
Headmaster Lessman will address the new graduates and provide an uplifting send-off.
The graduation ceremony will conclude with secondary and elementary teachers lining sides of the main aisle as the new Patriot grads walk out.
In the foyer, the students will scream in celebration as they toss their graduation caps into the air.
Gov. Stitt’s COVID-19 multi-stage reopening plan has allowed Southwest Covenant to present Friday night’s graduation ceremony, which originally was set May 21.
Seating capacity is about 600 inside the Covenant Community Church sanctuary, providing ample space for the audience to practice that all-important social distancing.
“There will be plenty of room to accommodate everyone,” Betts said.
Preceding Friday’s graduation ceremony will be an annual mother-senior luncheon, which will be this Thursday in the elementary school building.
“We have made that a tradition the last number of years,” Betts said. “Typically, our kids would be coming back from their Boston (Mass.) senior trip. Obviously, they’re not this year.
“The mothers and seniors will have a lunch there at the school the day before graduation. It’s just a special time.”
Professional photographer Mitzi Aylor will be there taking pictures and Lessman will talk and pray over the graduating Patriots.
“Then we give the seniors an opportunity to section off to pray over their moms – just thanking them for the last 12 or 13 years for supporting their education and their spiritual oversight as a mom,” Betts said. “It’s a sweet time.”
After the luncheon, Class of 2020 members will practice for Friday’s graduation.
Despite changes caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, SWCS leadership, staff and parents have forged ahead with graduation activities.
“Everything is altered a little bit, but we’re still glad to follow through with this,” Betts said.
Honored this week will be members of the SWCS Class of 2020: Luke Arnould, Faith Bobo, Kolton Bollinger, Kindle Chamberlain, Hannah Danley, Cole Gatlin, Cassidy Gossen, Harley Gossen, Will Haas, Reaghan Henderson, Andrew Hickman, Jacob Hunt, Jacob King, Bryce Koelsch, Kylie Moseley, Blake Mosshart, Ethan Mostek, Chloe Nason, Macie Noland, Ian Parker, Draake Rought, Carlee Stecker, Andrew Ward, Hannah Warner, and Ben Webb.