Story Submitted: Nancy Taylor
New Testament Christian School (NTCS) celebrated the end of the school year with two significant events: awards presentations and graduation. On Friday, May 31, faculty, parents and students gathered in honor of their accomplishments during the year.
The evening began with awards for the six kindergarten students: Amunette Campbell, Caleb Fultz, Elijah Riegsecker, Elisha Riegsecker, Josiah Riegsecker and Corban Stancil. All of these students received certificates to honor them for their accomplishments.
The first certificates presented were for successfully memorizing the pledges to the American Flag, the Christian Flag and the Holy Bible. Campbell, Fultz, Stancil and Josiah Riegsecker each received a certificate for excellence in letters and sounds, numbers skills, handwriting, science, history and Bible. Also, Elisha and Elijah Riegsecker each received certificates for excellence for most improved. All six of these kindergarten students received a trophy in honor of their graduation from kindergarten.
Once the kindergarten students received their awards, it was time to honor all of the other students. In the first/second grade class, three students received awards for memorizing the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. These students were Noah Fultz, Adelyn Kinsey and Axel McIntire. Adelyn Kinsey and Axel McIntire were also rewarded for their accomplishments in arithmetic and in phonics. Noah Fultz received the "Most Outstanding Student for Second Grade" award for his performance in arithmetic, phonics, language and spelling.
Wanda Hughey presented the awards to the third/fourth grade class. Hughey began with achievement certificates for her deserving students: Sawyer Agner received the award for "Most Voracious Writer;" James Kinsey was awarded the certificate for "Most Improved in Bible;" Eden Perrera was recognized as the "Most Expressive Reader;" Cheyanne Reed was the "Most Improved Oral Speaker;" and Abigail Riegsecker received the award certificate for "Most Eager to Learn."
Third grade's "Most Outstanding Student" was Eden Perrera for her work in arithmetic, language, spelling, reading, science/health, history and bible. For Fourth Grade, Abigail Riegsecker was named the "Most Outstanding Student" because of her work in arithmetic, language, spelling, reading, science/health, history and Bible.
At this point in the evening, the attention shifted to the students in the combined class for fifth and sixth grades. Kaylee McClune received the awards for the highest averages in both history and Bible classes. The "Most Outstanding Student Award" went to Halle Lehman for her performance in language, math and science classes.
In addition, Fultz honored the students with certificates to recognize their achievements and special skills: Cannon Brooker – "Citizenship Award for Your Cooperation in Class and Compassion toward Others;" Kirsten Carver – "Excellence in Writing for Overall Best Performance on Essay Writing;" Halle Lehman – "Mathematician Extraordinaire for Your Excellence in Math Class;" Kadyn Lewis – "Star Competitor for Your Enthusiasm in Class Trivia;" Kaylee McClune "Citizenship Award for Your Cooperation and Dedication toward Excellence on History and Science Tests;" Lilly Premorel – "Achievement in Bible for Your Effort and Diligence toward Academic Improvement;" and Hayden Tompkins – "Star Student-Teacher for Your Help in Teaching the Class in such an Entertaining Way."
The awards for the upper grades students are: Highest Average in English 1 – Dalton Cochran; Highest Average in Bible 800 – Bryan Harris; Highest Average in Language Arts - Olivia McIntire; Highest Average in Career Electives – Kristen McClune; Highest Average in Bible 700 – Amelia Riegsecker; and Highest Average in World History – Erin Taylor
Because this was a class encompassing such a large number of grade levels, there were several "Most Outstanding Student Award" recipients: Leanna Kinsey was presented the "Most Outstanding Student Award" for her accomplishments in world history, and Christian Faith; Lilliana Rodriguez received an "Outstanding Student" award for her work in science 1, language, math and spanish; and Isaac Starling's work in science 1, language, history and Bible earned him an "Outstanding Student" award.
After these subject- and grade-specific awards were given, it was time for the year's honor roll recipients to be recognized. The "B" Honor Roll students were named first: Axel McIntire, Sawyer Agner, James Kinsey, Cheyanne Reed, Cannon Brooker, Emilee Spicer, Kaylee McClune, Hayden Tompkins, Jonathan Kinsey, Shawn Medders, Amelia Riegsecker and Jermerial Ross.
"A" Honor Roll students were called forward next: Eden Perrera, Halle Lehman, Dalton Cochran, Bryan Harris, Olivia McIntire, Kristen McClune and Erin Taylor.
In addition, if a student maintained an "A" average in all classes throughout the school year, they received a special award. Six students earned this distinction: Adelyn Kinsey, Noah Fultz, Abigail Riegsecker, Isaac Starling, Leanna Kinsey and Lilianna Rodrigues.
Justin Riegsecker, Principal and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, presented certificates to students who had attained perfect attendance. These students were: Caleb Fultz, Noah Fultz, Abigail Riegsecker and Olivia McIntire.
The two graduating seniors, Leanna Kinsey and Erin Taylor, were also recognized with special awards.
The final student awards presented for the evening (considered by NTCS to be the greatest honor) were the "Most Christ-like" awards. One is presented to a student in first through sixth grade, and the other goes to a student in the upper grades. These award recipients are chosen by the students and the teachers. The first "Most Christ-like" award went to fourth grader, Abigail Riegsecker. Leanna Kinsey, a senior, received the second award.
Following the student awards, Principal Riegsecker honored each teacher for their years of service to the school. Ms. Tina Agner has worked with the school as the K4/K5 Teacher for nine years. In describing Agner, Riegsecker said, "She has the sweetest voice, a personality that is perfect for working with kindergarten children."
Additionally, Mrs. Melissa Maurice has taught at the school for a combined seven years (three years recently, including this year; and four previously). "She gave her job everything she had," said Riegsecker.
Mrs. Wanda Hughey came to the school two years ago, just as the faculty, administration and students were reeling from the sudden death of a beloved teacher. Hughey was, according to Principal Riegsecker, "a blessing sent from God to us." He further stated, "She knows how to bring the best out in children and how to encourage them to love learning."
Mrs. Vanessa Fultz was actually the very first graduate of NTCS. "She has a heart to see her students succeed. She put her heart into her work," Riegsecker said. She has been teaching at the school for two years.
The final recognition for teachers was given to Debbie Starling who is retiring after 30 years of teaching at NTCS. Starling was the first teacher at the school when it opened its doors 30 years ago. She even served as principal for a period of time. "She was always doing more than anyone should have ever been asked [to do]…No matter what she was asked to do, she made it work," said Riegsecker.
At this time, Riegsecker asked the school's volunteers to stand: Justin and Nicole Kinsey, Rebecca Riegsecker, Ralph Gray and Bonnie Benton. Of these individuals, Principal Riegsecker said, "Thank you for all your help. Your support made this year possible." Riegsecker also thanked Shannon Kinsey and acknowledged her significant role as the school’s administrative assistant.
On Sunday, June 2, five kindergarteners and two high school seniors were honored during the NTCS graduation ceremony that took place during the morning church service at New Testament Christian Center.
The service opened with the church's time of praise and worship which was followed by the offertory time. It was then time for the graduation ceremony. The congregation was asked to stand as Elaine Doyle, pianist, played as the five kindergarteners and two high school seniors entered the sanctuary. The graduates were led into the sanctuary by the honor guard and the members of the high school class.
The honor guard led the congregation in the pledges before everyone was asked to be seated. School Principal and Associate Pastor, Justin Riegsecker made just a few opening remarks before asking the kindergarteners to come forward and take their places for receiving their diplomas. Kindergarten teacher Tina Agner assisted Riegsecker with the presentation of the diplomas. The six kindergarteners were: Amunette Renee' Campbell, Caleb Jesse Fultz, Elijah Elmer Riegsecker, Elisha James Riegsecker, Josiah David Riegsecker, and Corban Ralph Stancil.
Once this portion of the ceremony concluded, each senior was featured in a PowerPoint presentation and given the opportunity to make personal comments. Riegsecker then delivered a challenging sermon encouraging the two graduates (and the entire congregation) to be who God created them to be, standing strong in what they believe without being tempted to conform to popular opinions or expectations.
As he ended his message, Riegsecker asked the two seniors to come forward and take their places as Debbie Starling came forward to assist him. Leanna Grace Kinsey and Erin Anita Taylor were presented their diplomas and a rose, along with a bible (a gift from the church).
After a time of prayer, Riegsecker took the opportunity to once again to recognize Debbie Starling for her 30 years of service to the school. The service was concluded with prayer before the recessional was played as the graduates exited the sanctuary. A covered dish lunch followed the service.