By Conrad Dudderar
An annual “farewell” religious service for Yukon High School seniors will soon be back – where it belongs.
Members of Yukon’s Class of 2022 are invited to the YHS Baccalaureate on Sunday, May 15 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave. The program starts at 3 p.m.
Graduating seniors should arrive in their caps and gowns at 2:30 p.m.
“It will be back live and in person,” YHS Baccalaureate committee member Marci (Gamble) Moore said. “It’s exciting to return to the fine arts auditorium this year.
“This is the first time since May 2019 that we’ll be in the building together with the students.”
For those unable to attend in person, the May 15th service will be livestreamed on the Yukon Fine Arts Center’s Facebook page.
A livestream broadcast was the only viewing option for the 2020 and 2021 YHS Baccalaureate programs due to COVID-19.
When she was YHS senior class president in 1995, Moore was instrumental in reviving Yukon’s pre-commencement religious service along with her mother Wanda Gamble.
“From the start, we wanted this to be a student-led event,” Moore said. “It’s been the same program for the last 27 years.
“The class officers do all the work – finding the speaker and selecting students to give testimonies and perform music.”
YHS Class of 2022 officers are President Abigail Joseph, Vice President Arjumand Shafiq, Treasurer Isabella Wheeler, and Secretary Yvette Perilla.
Guest speaker for the May 15th YHS Baccalaureate will be Steve Lessman, headmaster of Southwest Covenant Schools in Yukon.
Former youth pastor at Covenant Community Church, Lessman spent 21 years in church ministry and earned a master’s degree from Grace Theological Seminary.
During his time as a youth pastor, Lessman invested significant time at Yukon Public Schools through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bible clubs and as YHS football team chaplain.
In the ‘90s, Lessman was part of a small group that re-instituted the Baccalaureate program for YHS seniors.
Special music for the 2022 YHS Baccalaureate will be provided by Makenzi Geis, accompanied by Blake Kalman; along with Jackson Wolf and Peyton Williams.
Testimonies will be offered by Kinley DeLeon and Jasen Brus.
The program will include a video featuring inspiring messages shared by YHS faculty to this year’s graduates.
Family members of the YHS Class of 2022 are encouraged to attend the May 15th service and recognize their graduating seniors.
“Baccalaureate is a great program and I’m glad that Yukon gets to have this each year,” Moore said.
The YHS Baccalaureate is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance.
Since 2004, the Baccalaureate committee has worked closely with Pastor Tom Arnould of Good News Church.
Pastor Arnould referred to the “high caliber” of each year’s senior class officers.
Previously, Pastor Tom Tickner was the Yukon Ministerial Alliance’s representative on the Baccalaureate committee.
Organizers offered special thanks to Yukon Fine Arts Center director Wes McAtee for his support in hosting the 2022 YHS Baccalaureate service.