Our purpose at Grace Academy is to “Educate for Life. Impact for Eternity.” There is no better evidence that it is accomplishing it’s stated purpose than what was seen at the Heritage Celebration on November 8. Many school families were there to see highlighted student performances, a volunteer of the year, our science department, and the building project.

The band played America the Beautiful to start the evening on a high note and reminding everyone of the progress of this program over the last several years. After the dessert that was catered by Kim Young and served by well trained students, Academix performed. Next, Stephan Predoi reprised his performance of George Washington and the Cherry Tree that he prepared for last year’s Speech Meet. Numerous people mentioned to me that he was perfect on Friday night. Also, three high school girls, Carli Anderson, Mary Campbell, and Olivia Ericksen, sang Mighty to Save and the high school choir performed the traditional hymn I Love Thee.

It is a fun moment each year when recognize an Volunteer of the Year. This year we recognized someone who has supported the Scrip program from when we first started selling it and continues to this day even though they haven’t had a student in the school since their daughter graduated in 2007. Lawrence and Vicki Retherford have a small business and they use Scrip to buy things for it and each year they designate someone as the recipient of their Scrip purchases, a kind and thoughtful thing to do.

The program put an emphasis on our science department because the new building will provide a new up-to-date science lab. Our high school science teacher, Bekah Mellema reminded us of the importance of giving students a variety of lab experiences to improve their future sucess, especially if pursue a science career. To emphasize this, we showed a multi-media presentation from our alumna, Natalie Spencer. She is currently earning her master’s degree from Purdue University and has been hired by NASA to work at the Johnson Space Center after graduation. Natalie both praised our science and math program, but also encouraged us to dream big and build the lab. Following Natalie’s presentation, her father, George Spencer, spoke on the value of an education that emphasizes a biblical worldview.

The choir closed the evening with Chris Tomlin’s rewrite of the well-known hymn, Amazing Grace. The crowd was the largest ever at a Heritage Celebration, and the safest, since in attendance was Ty Trenary, Snohomish County Sheriff, Rick Smith, Marysville Police Chief, Richard Hawkins, Stanwood Police Chief, and Sean Spellecy, our safety consultant from New Dawn Security.

I am thankful for all the staff and volunteer hours that contributed to the event to make it such a rousing success.