‘Step out of your comfort zone,’ graduate tells younger students

Carrie Kassales, hugs her son, valedictorian Roland James Kassales, following a commencement of four students from Pear Park Baptist School on Friday evening.

No seniors graduated from Pear Park Baptist School last year and only one senior graduated the year before.

So having four seniors graduate from the school Friday night made for an especially joyous ceremony.

“We’ve had opportunities that other kids have not had,” Valedictorian Roland Kassales said in a speech at the chapel. “Now we’re taking a big step and meeting people we’ve never met before.”

The school’s three other graduates are Rachel David, Matthew McElhiney and David Mullennex.

Kindergarten graduate Rickie Martinez also walked with the graduates, complete in her baby blue graduation gown and cap.

Each high school graduate thanked parents, family and teachers in a speech.

They sang a song titled “We Love You,” which also thanked their families and teachers for teaching them about God. All of the graduates spoke about continuing along Christian paths, and a couple students spoke of taking college courses to learn more about the Bible.

McElhiney spoke to the younger students about being leaders at the school.

“Step out of your comfort zone; that’s what we’re doing,” he said of himself and fellow graduates.

“That’s not easy, but if you trust in the Lord you can do anything.”


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