Quest, Christian school honor graduates

Photos, scrapbooks and well-wisher cards adorned four tables, one for each graduate of Christian Community School on Saturday.

The table for valedictorian Matt Cooper, 18, stood out with his electric guitar.

“Classic rock, metal, mostly Metallica songs,” Cooper said when asked about his tastes in music. He now aims to make noise in college.

Educated in the infant-through-12th-grade program since age 2, Cooper’s 4.0 grade-point average was good enough for top honors as the private school recognized its four graduates in commencement on Saturday morning.

“With smaller classes, you have better friendships, better relationships with teachers,” Cooper said. “You’re not lost in the crowd.”

Cooper and his graduating classmates, Katie Allen, Scott Butler and Lew Griffith, received accolades in the sanctuary of Clifton Christian Church, 615 Interstate 70 Business Loop.

Cooper has accepted a scholarship to study in Mesa State College’s new engineering program, but he said he is unsure about what he wants to do with his life.

That’s not the case with 18-year-old Lainey deBoer, who walked Saturday with valedictorian honors from the nontraditional Quest Academy, which is a self-directed learning program.

Along with Christian Community School, Quest Academy operates on the campus of Clifton Christian Church.

“I’m interested in criminalistics, C.S.I. work,” deBoer said.

Quest’s four graduates held commencement at Clifton Christian Church three hours after ceremonies for Christian Community School.

DeBoer was joined Saturday by fellow seniors Matt Erman, Tanya Taylor and Kory Zehner.

DeBoer was top of her class, earning a 4.0 grade-point average, despite giving birth to a child in February and working roughly 20 hours a week greeting customers at Texas Roadhouse.

“I just stayed up late studying and drank a lot of Dr. Pepper,” she said with a laugh.

DeBoer said she left Grand Junction High School last year and enrolled in the Quest program after she became pregnant.

“In the fifth grade, I told myself I was going to be valedictorian,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be the best.”


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