Largest Patriot class to graduate Friday night in Yukon

Southwest Covenant’s 26-member Class of 2021 called 'well-rounded' group

Members of Southwest Covenant Schools’ Class of 2021 will graduate during a ceremony set 7 p.m. Friday, May 21 inside the Covenant Community Church sanctuary, 2250 S Yukon Parkway. This is the Yukon private Christian school’s largest graduating class. (Photo by Mitzi Aylor)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Southwest Covenant’s Class of 2021, 26 members strong, will soon complete their high school careers.

These proud Patriots will graduate during a 7 p.m. ceremony Friday, May 21 inside the Covenant Community Church sanctuary, 2250 S Yukon Parkway.

This year’s graduating class is the largest in the private Christian school’s history, which stretches back to the early ‘80s.

“We will eventually expand to 40, which will be our max,” said Patti Betts, the school’s director of development. “Our eighth-grade class this year will be our first class of 40.”

The May 21st graduation program will feature thank-you messages from the graduating seniors to their parents.

“That is always sweet,” Betts said.

Members of Southwest Covenant’s Class of 2021 are: Kyler Beshears, Ayden Carmack, Kirk Cole, Jayden Cooper, Alexandra Davis, Jacob Ellison, Amara Foret, Alexus Gormley, Tucker Holloway, Lexie Inge, Tyler Kelly, Deaken Koonce, Emilee Liberton, Elizabeth Mitchell, Justin Price, Grayson Reuter, Blake Riddell, Emma Riggs, Avery Roark, Kassidy Rubes, Sydney Shields, Austin Snipes, Allie Ward, Clare Warner, Jaelie Warner, and Laurel Wilbanks.

Betts envisions great things ahead for the Class of 2021.

“They are a really great, well-rounded class,” she said. “They’re smart and they’re talented in the arts. They’re go-getters.”

Many members of the senior class have received prestigious college scholarships to further their education.

Valedictorians are: Ayden Carmack, Emma Riggs, Kassidy Rubes, Allison Ward, Clare Warner, and Laurel Wilbanks.

Salutatorians are: Justin Price, Alexa Inge, Alex Davis, Tyler Kelly, and Elizabeth Mitchell.


SWCS Headmaster Steve Lessman

SWCS Headmaster Steve Lessman will address this latest group of Patriot graduates during the May 21st ceremony with an inspirational message for a positive future after high school.

In his send-off letter to this year’s Patriot graduates, Lessman wrote:

“The class of 2021 has made a significant impact at Southwest Covenant. You have honored the Lord with your efforts, talent, and service. It has been a blessing to watch you grow. There are so many fond memories of your fine arts performances, athletic accomplishments, service projects, and the ordinary days in the hallway and classroom. Thank you for the incredible commitment and joy you have demonstrated. Although your time at our school concludes, your achievements have only begun.

“Many have invested in you academically and spiritually in preparation of this day. The road has been challenging. You have faced unprecedented challenges as well as rigorous academic standards on this journey. Yet, your class has continually blessed others along the way. On behalf of the Southwest Covenant faculty, we are proud of you and love you. You make us all proud to be Patriots. Without a doubt, the Class of 2021 will significantly influence the world for Christ.

“God bless the Class of 2021.”

Secondary Principal Kevin Cobbs also will speak at the upcoming graduation ceremony.

Another highlight of the school’s upcoming graduation ceremony will be Class President Tyler Kelly’s reading of the Class of 2021’s Bible verse, Job 23:10.

Kelly will then handle over the Bible to next year’s class president, Jesse Judkins.

The juniors, who are going to be seniors next year, will choose a Bible verse to represent their class.

As is tradition, the SWCS Class of 2022 will mark a Bible where their class Bible verse is – and that will remain all year long in the hallway at the high school.

A reception will follow the May 21st graduation in the school’s gymnasium.

“Traditionally, what our students have always done is, they go to one of the senior parents’ homes and all of them stay the night together,” Betts said. “We’ve always done that. It’s kind of like a ‘Project Graduation’ in a way, we’re just smaller.

“They stay up all night and just hang out. It’s a fun tradition.”


Last year’s senior class was unable to participate in the school’s annual senior trip to Boston, Mass. due to COVID-19.

Fortunately, Southwest Covenant’s Class of 2021 are getting to take their trip. Principal Cobb coordinates the event, which has become a treasured send-off celebration for students.

After finishing up their finals, the seniors left for their trip on Thursday.

“They will be on their senior trip from the 13th to the 19th, then we will do our annual mother-senior luncheon on the 20th followed by graduation rehearsal,” Betts reported.

Southwest Covenant was founded in 1982 as an independent, Bible-based educational ministry.

The school’s stated purpose is to provide a discipleship training ministry to equip students for a lifetime of service to the Lord.

Southwest Covenant’s Christ-centered instruction models the love and acceptance of Christ and promotes an uncompromising Christian worldview.

The school’s standards of academic excellence uniquely prepare students to impact their community, country and world to the glory of Almighty God.