Congratulations to the Class of 2023!
Ruth Ann Celones
A blessed day to the attending families, WCFS staff, and graduates of the Class of 2023.
My name is Ruth Ann Celones, a distance student in Dubai, and though I wish I could be with you all in person, I am thrilled to be sharing this moment with you all.
Transferring to WCFS in my junior year was an unexpected change, and though I did not expect to get much out of this change, I have learned a myriad of life and academic lessons that I will take to heart and because of the family and Christ-focused homeschool model, I was able to make amazing memories and strengthen my bond with my family.
Furthermore, thanks to WCFS, I was able to pursue opportunities that I would never have been able to, had it not been for the school’s flexible educational model. I was able to represent the Philippines at various conferences and organizations and help out my family when it was most needed. Above all, I am joyous that I will be leaving high school with a better understanding of the world, my identity in Christ, and most importantly, my God.
That being said, I would like to thank the following people: Mr. Joel and Mr. Gary, your courses in Biblical Foundations of Self Government, Origins, and Foundations in Research were among my favorite subjects I have taken, and I thank you both for imparting me your wisdom and learnings through these avenues. To Ms. Ruth Shell, thank you for being the kindest bridge between me and the rest of the staff. To my siblings—Naomi, Hannah, and Daniel—thank you for all the chaotic and memorable study sessions; I love you all, and I wish you all the best. To my parents, I can never thank you two enough for your tenacious sacrifices and love; as I pursue college, I pray that I continue to make you two proud. Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the Lord for being my pillar of rest and strength; He has proven to me this school year that if we believe He will do great things, He will indeed do greater things.
This August, I will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a full-ride scholarship at Oral Roberts University as I major in International Relations. This is by God’s grace alone, and I am excited to see where He parts the seas for me next.
Thank you so much for listening! Again, congratulations, Class of 2023, and I wish you all a Numbers 6:24-26 future ahead of you. Remember, God will part the seas for you. You only need to be still and walk wherever He takes you. God bless!
Winston Churchill, the English Prime Minister, once said that “success is not final, [but also] failure is not fatal: [for] it is the courage to continue that counts.” I could not express to you all who have gathered so kindly here today how true this has proved to be in my eighteen years of life. My name is Joshua Cox, and this is my testimony of how I would not be standing here today were it not for my Savior, Jesus, my dad and mom, and the many helping hands that I have been blessed with through Wellspring Christian Family Schools.
There were many times when I achieved success throughout my schooling, sometimes in large ways, sometimes in small ways that I decided to settle for. And yet, true to the quote, my parents faithfully pushed me onward, determined that I would not just settle for doing well enough, but rather press on to give my absolute best, all for the glory of God. My dad taught me hard work, discipline, how not to shy away from duty or truth no matter the opposition or mockery that is thrown in your face, and how to seek Christ above all. My mom taught me to be honest, to not shirk away from the mundane, to take on the largest mountain by simply stepping one step at a time, and to seek Christ above all. Thus, throughout my schooling, my parents provided a steady shelter on the rock of Christ which I could fall back to, and so now, publicly, I would like to thank you both for all that you have done for me.
Thank you, also, to my siblings, the special band of brothers and sisters that have made life bearable, and made memories lasting. Josiah, you have always been someone I look up to, and I will never forget all the deep talks, adventures, and hard times we pulled through; you will always be my big brother, and I love you. Patience, you have been able to urge me onward in my daily tasks, hold conversations about anything from Aristotle to the Nephilim, and I will always look up to you with great respect for all the things you have accomplished for God’s glory so early in your life. Prudence, thank you for always being an awesome older sibling, giving me advice, asking me for mine, and sharing some unforgettable memories throughout my life and schooling. Lydia and Micah, thank you for being my awesome little siblings, though you are not that little anymore, and taking interest in the things that interested me. Lexie and Jackson, you both are full of life, spunk, and always amaze me with how sweet you are to me. Gabe, thanks for always being my little buddy, and I hope you know you always will be. Caleb, if you ever watch or read this speech when you are older, know that you are intensely cute, preciously sweet, and we all love you so much.
Thank you to my awesome cousins who have laughed when my humor would have made a laughing hyena cry, and who have contributed to some of my fondest memories of this chapter in my life. Thank you to my amazing grandparents on both sides; you have taught me many things about life, dedication, service, and Christ’s love, and I will forever hold you all in the dearest place of my heart, though I may fail to remind you often.
Finally, I want to thank Mr. Gary Cox, though I have already done so in your capacity as my grandfather, I now do so in your capacity as my superintendent. You have always been extremely encouraging and helpful throughout my schooling, and I have particularly enjoyed being in your Research and Dogmatic Creationism classes. A large thank you to Mr. Joel Fischer, who has also helped me enormously, especially in my role as Student Council President. To all the other WCFS staff, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for you have all helped this day be possible for me. All of you whom I have mentioned have, in some way or another, been a part of the effort to remind me to keep pushing, that success is not final here on earth and to never give up. But now I move to the most important help that I could ever have.
Failure was never fatal for me, but only because of the sole love and mercy shown me by my Savior Jesus Christ, my Father in Heaven, and His Holy Spirit. When I was experiencing the best of times, happy and ready to tackle anything, there was Jesus, standing ever beside me. When I was in the lowest times, disheartened, discouraged, wondering how I could ever keep on, there was Jesus, in every single moment of every single day. If I could leave you all with but one impression of my life thus far, it would only be there was Jesus. And He will be with me for the rest of my days, ever always. Of this I am confident.
If there is one thing that I learned or could pass to any who are still students right now, it is to never give up; persevere not even, but especially when it is too difficult to. One of the most encouraging verses that I have found regarding this is Romans 5:3-5. It says that “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” This has helped me onward, no matter pain nor cost.
In the future, God is still directing me on what His will for me is, but I trust that it will be the absolute best for my sake and most importantly for His glory. As of right now, it appears that I will try to work hard this summer and take a few online classes in the fall, though with whom is yet to be determined. I have a strong interest in writing, specifically Creative Writing, and will try to cultivate that gift that God has given me and try to become published. But until then, I will keep working and trusting. This first chapter of my life may be over, a life so far that has been such a blessing—one that I have loved so very much—but there will be more chapters according to His will, and I am confident that He who began writing my story will complete it through the grace and mercy that He has already so deeply lavished upon me.
And in the end, when all is said and done,
when the fighting’s fought, the race is run.
A man could not much more possess,
than his Savior, his home, his heavenly rest.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my family, and my fellow graduates!
Today, we gather in the spirit of joy and gratitude as we finally celebrate our graduation from high school. As we stand in this new chapter in our lives, it is important to reflect on our journey that has brought us here, and to consider the profound impact our Christian faith has had on this milestone achievement.
First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the grace and guidance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without His steadfast love and unending mercy, I would not have had the strength to overcome the challenges I faced during my time doing school. In moments of doubt and uncertainty, it was my faith that sustained me, reminding me that I was never alone and that with God, all things are possible.
During my many years of education, I have been blessed with knowledge and wisdom, bestowed upon me by my dedicated teacher. Also known as my mom, she gave academic lessons as well as shared valuable life lessons rooted in Christian principles. I may have not been the easiest child to teach, as before I did soccer, I would use the couch as a hurdle/trampoline, and if I was my mom I would've put me in public school. But besides that, She was able to teach me the importance of integrity, compassion, and humility – qualities that should guide my actions and interactions as I move forward in my life.
As we leave our comfort zones, we are called to be the salt and light of the world, to make a positive impact in our communities. Our education has equipped us with the tools to excel in our chosen fields, but it is our faith that gives us a higher purpose. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ, to be His hands and feet in a world that is in desperate need of love, compassion, and hope.
In a society that often values personal success and material gain above all else, let us remember the words of Jesus Christ: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36, ESV). As we pursue our dreams and aspirations, let us not lose sight of what truly matters – our relationship with God and our commitment to serving others.
Throughout my homeschooling journey, I have been incredibly blessed to have had numerous chances to travel the world and fully embrace diverse cultures. These invaluable experiences would have been out of reach had I followed a traditional school path. Furthermore, I am deeply grateful to have been born into a missionary family that has dedicated themselves to spreading the Gospel all over the world to countless cities and villages, and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to accompany them on these meaningful missions.
Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to my families and friends, who have supported me throughout this difficult journey. From my mom Judith’s unwavering love, encouragement, and prayers. To my siblings Tirza, Hanna, Aser, and Queen, thank you for being there when no one else was. (Even though they can be annoying at times 😊). And to my pastors and coaches who have been a great help in my success. Let us not forget to thank them for their sacrifices and dedication in our lives, on this momentous day together.
In conclusion, as we celebrate our graduation, let us remember that our education and achievements are gifts from God.
Congratulations, my fellow graduates! May God bless you abundantly as you go forth to impact the world with your faith, knowledge, and passion. Thank you.
Hello, my name is Seth Schott. I am extremely excited to be here today. Today is not a day of remembering how I got here but of how other people in my life helped me get here. On my own could I go through school? Maybe. But in the end would I be rested? In the end would I have built stronger relationships with those around me? In the end would I have a stronger desire to pursue after God? No, I would not have any of these things if it were not for my parents, my brothers, my sister and my teachers.
I want to first start out by thanking my parents. Dad, I am very grateful for you showing and teaching me very practical but important things that can be useful in everyday life. Also thank you for encouraging me in my walk with the Lord and being there when I have questions. I would not be at the place where I am at now if it were not for you. I want to keep hearing from you and never want that to stop no matter how old I get. Thank you, Dad and Mom, for staying up late or stopping what you are doing to talk with me and explain life in practical ways.
Mom, you are the one who feels my pain and knows how to help me when I am down and discouraged. If it weren’t for you, I am not sure if I would have ever started school. You taught me many important lessons throughout the school days on why I should enjoy school. The most quoted Bible verse in my years in school was 1 Thessalonians 5:16, be joyful always and be grateful in all circumstances including school. Learning to enjoy school was not easy but realizing that school is not what every person in the world gets as an opportunity to learn made me want to take school more seriously and make the most of my time.
I am thankful to all of my brothers that we could all agree on things about School that we liked and some things we don’t like. We all have debates on why the other person should like this subject and try to convince them that it’s better. Overall, any one of us could be frustrated about something but the rest of us could help the one to get over it. I am very grateful to have each one of my brothers and older sister, Sarah, Ben, Austin, Joshua, Colton, and Ethan. Sarah, I am very grateful to have you in my life. You have taught me many good things that I will always remember. Ben, it’s been nice to have another brother to do things with and one thing I have learned from watching you is to pitch in whenever someone needs help. Austin, I am very thankful to you for having an impact on my life and being a leader as oldest brother. I enjoy talking with you and listening to your ideas about planting corn and always knowing the weather and about the best hunting spots. Joshua, you are the guy with the green thumb. I don’t know how you get everything to grow but you do. You are also generous and fun to talk with. Colton, you have the biggest smile around town. You are very kind and considerate and a very hard worker. You care for even the little problems. Ethan, you are lively and energetic. You can laugh about something that is not even funny and we all start dying of laughter. You have a very contagious laugh. You also stand up for what is right and won’t let little things stop you. I want to thank my whole family for being there to help me when times were rough and laughing when things were good. Thank you!
I also want to thank Pastor Cox for the wisdom he has put into my life and for helping me understand that I don’t know everything and that it is okay to ask because someone older might know. I want to thank Mr. Fischer for the years of reviewing and checking work and teaching me how to write good essays.
The Lord has helped me throughout my years of school and I pray that He continues to do so. I am most thankful to the Lord for how He has enabled me to finish my years of school. The Lord has taught me many things through other people, including our journey in Cambodia. One thing the Lord has taught me is I can be thankful even when I have nothing, as long as I realize that I have Jesus. I don’t need anything but Jesus.
As for now I feel that the Lord is calling me to Bible School. I am looking into God’s Bible School and College in Ohio. I am not sure what I want to major in but with the voice of Jesus and wisdom of my parents I trust the Lord will work it out.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone else here for coming and joining in the excitement.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Congratulations also to Nolan Ahearn who graduated in absentia.