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Highland Christian School class of 2012 looks forward to 'bright future'

The Highland Christian School graduating class of 2012. Front row from left, Samantha Schweizer, Toni Forbis, Alesha Baughman, Faith Macklin, Hannah Gould and Miaodi Shi. Middle row from left, Andrew McKenzie, Jaclyn Barnes, Clayton Binder, Esther Brown and Jacob Bardwell. Back row from left, Ted Taft, Sami Abdallah, Yan Liu, Nels Knutson and Ryan Anaya. - Photo courtesy of Highland Christian School.
The Highland Christian School graduating class of 2012. Front row from left, Samantha Schweizer, Toni Forbis, Alesha Baughman, Faith Macklin, Hannah Gould and Miaodi Shi. Middle row from left, Andrew McKenzie, Jaclyn Barnes, Clayton Binder, Esther Brown and Jacob Bardwell. Back row from left, Ted Taft, Sami Abdallah, Yan Liu, Nels Knutson and Ryan Anaya.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Highland Christian School.

ARLINGTON — Highland Christian School's graduating class of 2012 have credited their successes to their mentors and their shared faith, as they prepare to embark upon adulthood.

Valedictorian Samantha Schweizer thanked the students' parents and teachers alike for supporting them throughout their schooling, even as she acknowledged that she and her peers hadn't always made it easy on them.

"We have fought and bickered, laughed and cried, dated and broken up, and through it all, we have grown up together," Schweizer told her fellow graduates on June 8. "Looking at you all now, there is not one of you who has not made an impression on my life."

Schweizer quoted the class' verse — "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity" — before she urged her classmates to "go forth in Christ" and trust in both their religion and in the quality of education that they've received at Highland.

Salutatorian Esther Brown recalled class landmarks such as all-night study sessions and completing pages of their yearbook, and cited them as examples of how God has given them the strength to overcome life's obstacles, even when they might be of their own making.

"We are all unique and special in our own ways, but the one thing that we all have in common is our determination," Brown said "In the last four years, I have come to realize that when our class sets our minds to do something, we will do it."

Pastor Steve Brown, the class advisor for Highland's class of 2012, noted that the students' diverse post-graduate plans include a nursing degree for Ted Taft, a structural engineering degree at Washington State University for Clayton Binder, mechanical engineering for Sami Abdallah, training as a dental hygienist for Brown and majoring in history at Whitworth University for Schweizer.

"This is a class with a bright future," Brown said. "Go forth with God's blessing and grace."

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