RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Mile High Academy students, teachers, staff, and community celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2022 with a week filled with special events. Being the first normal graduation in two years, the excitement quickly mounted as students helped set up chairs, gave high-fives during the annual senior walk, and shared contagious smiles as the school year drew to a close.

The first graduation ceremony of the week started with the Kindergartners on May 17. Marching down the aisle among their smiling families and friends, the class of 20 graduates proudly stood before their families gathered in the gym.

“We are so glad you came to celebrate with us,” said Aria, a kindergartener.

The class hosted the entire ceremony, including singing “I am a Promise” and “Jesus Loves Me” and offering family tributes of thanks and love to their parents. Tassels were moved, Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal, gave handshakes, and the students ended the program with an enthusiastic recitation of the poem “I Did It.” They marched down the aisle to applause, cheers, and blowing bubbles.

The following evening was eighth-grade night. With 27 graduates, the largest graduating class of the year couldn’t stop smiling during the entire program. Walter Weber, MHA middle school teacher, challenged each to “Go to high school. Be strong. Be brave. And be aggressive,” in his commencement address.

Logen, class president, in his goodbye to the middle school teachers, said they “all have a special place in our hearts.” He closed his speech, which included humorous roasts of the teachers, with thanks to his class, and by exclaiming “Go Mustangs!”

The final graduation events of the week were focused on the senior Class of 2022. Following MHA’s tradition, there were four ceremonies for the seniors: Blessing, Consecration, Baccalaureate, and Commencement.

The Blessing, hosted at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship, was a private, family event with tributes, where graduates received their cords, sashes, and scholarships among family and friends.

Consecration, hosted at Littleton Adventist Church, included a special, heartwarming baptism of senior Wilson.

“Graduation is such a special, exciting time as the class moves forward in their academic journey,” said Diane Harris, RMC director of education and Wilson’s mother. “We are so proud of each individual in this senior class.”

Paul Negrete, RMC associate director of education, challenged the students to “Give your life to Christ every day. Consecrate your ways to Him. Live a life of meaning for time and eternity.” The Seniors proceeded to offer tributes to their beloved high school teachers, and each Senior was presented with a Bible signed by MHA staff and teachers.

Baccalaureate was scheduled to be held at Denver South Adventist Church; however, the ceremony was moved to the MHA gym due to the snow, downed trees and power lines. The circumstances and change of venue didn’t deter the class from enjoying a sermon by David Asscherick, Light Bearers & ARISE co-founder and instructor, and music performed by Leandro Bizama, former MHA music teacher and current associate pastor at Campion Adventist Church.

That night was the eagerly anticipated Commencement, the last time the eight members of the class of 2022 entered as MHA students. Walter Weber challenged the students to “put your faith and your dreams in Him.”

Union College handed out more than $150,000 in scholarships, with a total of more than $700,000 from all Adventist universities awarded to the seniors.

The seniors were formally welcomed as MHA Alumni, and a burning torch was passed to the new senior class of 2023.

Carpenter reflected on the academic year that had just came to a close by saying, “This has been a tremendous year. I couldn’t be prouder of all the students as they made my first year at MHA memorable and special. We’re excited for the things to come for the next school year, and we are grateful for each family in our community. Have a great summer, and congratulations to all the graduates in the class of 2022!”

–RMCNews; photos supplied