Creswell Christian School’s Class of 2018 will be the school’s final graduating class before the school closes its doors. From left, top: seniors Isaiah Greenough, Amber Macauley and Kirin Pannu, and eighth-grader Elisabeth Goins. Lower: kindergartners Ethan Cheney, Nicholas Pierron, Jacob Stillion, Tynlee Chisholm and Micah Cooper. GINI DAVIS/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
The celebration was bittersweet and there was no shortage of smiles or tears as three Creswell Christian School seniors, one eighth grader and five kindergartners were honored as the Class of 2018 – the final graduating class from CCS, which closes at the end of the school year upon the retirement of its principal, Becky Lake.
During the CCS Graduation and Spring Concert, held May 24 at Hillside Church, seniors Amber Macauley, Kirin Pannu and Isaiah Greenough received their high school diplomas; and eighth-grader Elisabeth Goins and kindergartners Ethan Cheney, Tynlee Chisholm, Micah Cooper, Nicholas Pierron and Jacob Stillion received promotion certificates.
”You’d be hard-pressed to find three more outstanding and amazing young man and women,” said Lake of her senior graduates, clearly emotional as she presided over her final public event at CCS.
”I’ve been at CCS all my life and I can’t imagine going anywhere else,” said Greenough, who is planning a summer mission trip.
”The only reason I made it this far was because of God,” Macauley, the student body president, who will attend Bible college in the fall. ”I’m so grateful for the faith Miss Debby (Hisey) and Mrs. Lake had over 40 years ago (in opening the school).
”This school gives an education you can’t find anywhere else,” added Pannu, who will attend Northwest Christian College.
During the concert, led by music directors, Arlene Macauley and Traci Cornelius, all students sang ”Deep Cries Out,” and led the audience in the U.S. and Christian flag salutes, with Austin Glenn and Braden Billings as flag bearers.
Kindergartners, first graders and second graders sang the charming ”Herman the Worm”; middle and high school students sang ”Stars”; and third, fourth and fifth graders sang ”Nifty Fifty” and ”Off We Go.”
The entire student body closed the concert with a poignantly appropriate rendition of ”So Long, Farewell,” from ”The Sound of Music.” After the groups of children and staff exited, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they returned with a special surprise: each filed past Lake, handing her a flower, as the song played again.
Retired CCS teacher Tim Murphy gave the closing prayer.
”Every year we say, ‘that was the best program ever’; the kids come alive when they are performing, and they give all of themselves every time – but tonight is a bittersweet moment for sure,” Lake said.
”As we celebrate our graduates and sing our songs, we know in the back of our minds that tonight’s program is our final performance at Creswell Christian School,” Lake continued. ”We will shed a few tears, but we will move on and thank God for all the beautiful memories that we will hold onto for years to come.”