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Grace Academy celebrates Class of 2010

MARYSVILLE — Members of the Grace Academy Class of 2010 pledged to keep their faith first and foremost in their adult lives during their June 4 graduation ceremony.

Grace Academy Administrator Tim Lugg admitted that it was as special a night for him as for the other families in attendance, since his son Nathaniel was among the graduates. The elder Lugg expressed confidence that all the graduates on stage were on the right path, even as he noted the diversity of their chosen career fields, including education, journalism, business, medicine and fine arts.

“What we hear from parents of students who go on to higher education is that this school has prepared them to study and express their thoughts,” Tim Lugg said. “Whatever career they choose, Grace Academy has prepared them to succeed.”

Lugg praised the students’ families and the school’s faculty for helping mold them into young men and women. As much as the graduated have valued academics, he complimented them on their commitment to their Christian faith.

Valedictorian Jacob Herrington echoed these themes in his own remarks, in which he described life as a choice between living solely for oneself versus living to serve God.

“We’re on a pilgrimage toward Heaven,” Herrington said. “It’s a hard, sweat-filled journey. Do not take God for granted.”

Nathaniel Lugg, a fellow 13-year student of Grace Academy, likewise described his class’ graduation as but one of many hurdles facing them in the future, and exhorted his classmates to maintain high standards.

“Society teaches us to love blindly, but [the Apostle] Paul tells us differently,” Nathaniel Lugg said. “Do not love that which you do not know. Discern what is excellent, and love only that. Act upon that excellent love.”

Jonathan Sarr, secondary vice principal for Grace Academy, explained that, of the Class of 2010’s 23 graduates, 19 have made the honor roll and lettered in a varsity sport, 14 received the President’s Award for a GPA of 3.5 or higher, eight made a 4.0 GPA in their senior year and nine rank among the top 10 percent of Washington students. He urged them to continue leading “godly relationships,” that “unify in the spirit of prayer,” rather than behaving divisively and focusing on “mindless worldly entertainment.”

Snohomish County Council member John Koster has seen four of his own children graduate from Grace Academy, and in his commencement address, he laughed as he realized that the youngest of those children was now 30.

Koster told the graduating students that they live in a changing world, whose values he warned them would often be hostile toward their own. He apologized for what he deemed the selfishness of his own generation, which he accused of trading faith for materialism, and encouraged them to be strong, courageous leaders as adults.

“A lot of people don’t know what’s real,” Koster said. “You know what truth is, because you’ve been taught the truth. I’m so excited about the impact you’ll have on this world.”

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