In a mini-prelude to Columbia County graduation season, six students received their diplomas Saturday during a ceremony at Evans Christian Academy.
After a quick thank-you to faculty, family and friends from valedictorian Leah-Ray Haislip, ECA Principal and history teacher Kathryn Nave congratulated the graduates of the private Grovetown school and urged them “to do better than we did.”
Comparing the students to a garden, Nave drew parallels to the need for nurturing and care for the new graduates to grow as adults.
“Enjoy the blooms and get rid of the weeds,” Nave said.
“You have to take care of yourself,” she said. “You have to take care of your garden. ... Surround yourself with good things – good things that pull you up.”
And, she added to laughter, “get rid of blood-sucking leaches.”
In an ECA tradition, as each student received his or her diploma, a family member took the stage to say a few words about the graduate. Pamela Oliphant read a poem in honor of her daughter, Christina Oliphant, while Bobby Young and other family members spoke a few words for graduate Austin Young.
“I truly am blessed today,” Bobby Young said. “I get to see my son graduate.”
Other 2013 ECA graduates are Jamie Harrell, Dorian Robinson and Lauren Wunder.