Eagle River Christian School graduates 3

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 16:49
  • Eagle River Christian School co-valedictorian Jacob Jent poses for a photo during the school’s graduation on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River Christian School held its high school graduation on Saturday, May 12, 2018. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River Christian School senior Celeste Wheeler reacts as classmate Maria-Dee Polzin looks on during the school’s high school graduation on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

At King’s Way Ministry on Eagle River Loop Road, the smallest area graduation ceremony was held for a trio of teens thankful for the opportunity to receive a different educational experience than their peers.

“There are pros and cons, but I think we get the better education,” said co-valedictorian Jacob Jent.

Jent’s co-valedictorian Celeste Wheeler agreed.

“There’s more attention for us,” she said.

In addition to the small class sizes at Eagle River Christian School, Wheeler said she liked the school’s open focus on religion.

“We have so many people here who know the Good Book,” said Wheeler, who wants to attend UAA to study medicine.

[For more photos from local high school graduations, see the Star’s 2018 Graduation Photo Gallery]

On May 12, Jent and Wheeler were joined onstage by the third member of the class, Mariah-Dee Polzin for graduation ceremonies at the church, and each was singled out by principal Michelle Caldwell during her remarks to the several dozen family and friends who attended the event.

Caldwell praised Jent for his humor, Polzin for her giving nature and Wheeler for her power. She also gave each a symbolic gift — to Jent, sandals, to Polzin slippers, to Wheeler, Crocs.

“She wanted to wear Crocs to graduation but I wouldn’t let her,” Caldwell said as Wheeler grinned.

Caldwell briefly referenced Dr. Seuss, but said she’s hopeful students also adhere to another book in their future lives.

“Before Dr. Seuss there’s a great book called the Bible,” she said.

Jent had the crowd laughing with a short, sweet speech.

“Every single one of you I look at as my family,” he said to the assembled audience.

In closing, Jent looked to the stars.

“Have a great summer and may the force be with you,” he said.

Before the trio of graduates received their diplomas, they were sent off by teachers Tabitha Chartraw and Cindy Cohen, whose playful comic stylings came with a simple wish.

“Let God’s love motivate you to help others,” Chartraw told the group.

In saying goodbye to her three seniors for the final time, Caldwell wished the same:

“Congratulations Eagles, may you always soar.”

Eagle River Christian School

Class of 2018

*Jacob Jent

Mariah-Dee Polzin

*Celeste Wheeler

*co-valedictorians

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