SWCS leader to address Yukon seniors

Headmaster Lessman speaks at Sunday’s YHS Baccalaureate

Steve Lessman

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Yukon Christian school leader will address members of Yukon High School’s graduating class this Sunday afternoon as they prepare to embark on “life’s next journey.”

Southwest Covenant Headmaster Steve Lessman is the featured speaker for the annual YHS Baccalaureate set 3 p.m. May 15 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave.

“We’re excited to have Headmaster Lessman speaking this year as we return with the students ‘in person’ for Baccalaureate,” YHS Baccalaureate committee member Marci (Gamble) Moore said.

“We encourage all members of Yukon’s Class of 2022 to attend and hear his inspiring message as they get ready to graduate.”

Baccalaureate is a “farewell” religious service for graduating seniors, typically on the Sunday before commencement day.

The stated purpose of a baccalaureate is “to encourage and strengthen students in their faith and hope for their future after graduation.”

Lessman has provided leadership for Southwest Covenant Schools through a time of tremendous growth since becoming headmaster in 2013. He previously spent 21 years in church ministry.

Lessman – along with Moore, her mother Wanda Gamble and Pastor Tom Tickner – were part of a small group that revived Yukon’s Baccalaureate service for YHS seniors in 1995.

At the time, Lessman was a youth pastor at Yukon’s Covenant Community Church and chaplain of the YHS football team.

Marci Gamble was president of the YHS Class of ’95.

This Sunday’s Baccalaureate speaker is author of the children’s book “American Character: D-Day.” Lessman shared his 2011 published book at schools across Oklahoma, providing opportunities to honor veterans.

This farewell religious service for YHS seniors will feature testimonies by Kinley DeLeon and Jasen Brus.

Special music will be performed by Makenzi Geis, accompanied by Blake Kalman; along with Jackson Wolf and Peyton Williams.



The YHS Baccalaureate is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, represented by Pastor Tom Arnould of Good News Church.

The program is being planned and presented by YHS senior class officers – President Abigail Joseph, Vice President Arjumand Shafiq, Treasurer Isabella Wheeler, and Secretary Yvette Perilla.

Since 2004, Pastor Arnould has helped organize this annual service as the Yukon Ministerial Alliance’s liaison to the class officers.

Baccalaureate has been a “blessing” to many thousands of Yukon graduates for more than a quarter century, he noted.

“It is a time in which students of faith can join with other classmates for a time of prayer, worship and encouragement prior to their graduation,” Arnould said.

This Sunday marks the first time since May 2019 that YHS seniors and their families will attend the Baccalaureate program. For the past two years, the service has only been live-streamed during to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, people may attend in person at the Yukon Fine Arts Center or view a livestream on the Yukon Fine Arts Center’s Facebook page.

All YHS seniors are encouraged to attend. They should be at the Yukon Fine Arts Center dressed in their caps and gowns by 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

YHS’s annual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 will be 7 p.m. Friday, May 20 at Miller Stadium, 1777 S Parkway.

Many new graduates will attend the overnight Project Graduation celebration that follows at Redlands Community College in El Reno.