Skip Navigation

GRADUATION 2020

We waited for restrictions to ease and on July 11, 2020, we were finally able to hold an outdoor graduation ceremony, bringing some closure and celebration. Social distance protocols were followed as much as possible. What does a socially distanced graduation ceremony look like? Well, all seats were positioned six-feet apart for all graduates, faculty, and board members. Assigned seating for immediate family of graduates were group together but six-feet apart from other families. All other attendees had to bring their own seats and were seated in the periphery. Attendees were asked to wear masks. They called for thunderstorms all week which caused the administration to hold off on making a call until the actual morning of the event, but in the end, it was a beautiful and clear evening. Thanks be to God!  

Photo credit: Mr. John Daly (1, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11) and Elliott Crane (2. 4. 5. 6. 8)

Our precious seniors are on their way to their next steps on the journey the Lord has for them. Each one, made in the image of God, has blessed our community through their life shared with us. Please join us in praying for them and enjoy reading some of their lessons learned and memories below. Seniors are listed in alphabetical order. 

Morgan Antkowiak

A couple of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge are the sunrise hike in Athens and my last night in Venice on Grand Tour!

I'm truly giving thanks for the last nearly 13 years of my life and the community that has surrounded me.

To those I leave behind at Rockbridge, I would encourage you to pursue honest and meaningful relationships with one another and to look for God's mercies each and every day.

Prayer would be greatly appreciated for making a college decision and navigating my whole college experience!

My senior thesis statement is: Politicians, activists, and the media have removed climate change from its scientific context and placed it in a manipulative and destructive political one; this prohibits productive conversation and promotes a morally wrong religious narrative.

A blessing from Mrs. Stevens: Strength, beauty, and poise, rooted in a deep-seated peace and confidence: I think of these things when I think of you, Morgan. May you continue to flourish and grow, with roots that go down deep into the unfailing well of Christ’s sufficiency. You are cherished and protected by a Father who delights in you completely, for when He looks at you, He sees Christ. Wrap yourself in that truth. Run to that security again and again and test our Father’s unwavering, unshakable, irrepressible love. Know, too, that Rockbridge has been richer for your presence: you will be remembered, celebrated, prayed for, and missed. I’m abundantly thankful to have known you as a student for these short thirteen years and look forward to knowing you as a sister for eternity. Go with God, dear Morgan. Grow in grace. Come back often.

Charity Arrington

One of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge is Grand Tour, which was amazing. I especially liked going to Rome and seeing Michelangelo's beautiful paintings.

I'm grateful for the privilege that my family and I have during this pandemic. God has blessed us with shelter and my parents with the ability to work from home. Although things have been challenging, it's clear that God is still looking out for us.

My word of advice to those I leave behind is a Word from the Lord: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

My senior thesis, which I defended, was: Christians should claim psychology as a study that is scientific and biblical.

A blessing from Mrs. Ward: Charity, your smile has brightened many of my days. God has given you so many talents and varied interests—how exciting to see His plan for you unfold! The Lord has gifted you with the ability to speak His truth with unshakable composure marked by gentleness. I love your passion to do all that is put before you to the best of your ability. You live out the command to “administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” I’ve seen you love others faithfully and truly; in doing so, you call us to live the higher standard of Christ-likeness. I pray you continue to be a light in this world; continue to show others that God’s law and His mercy are not incompatible but, together, are the foundation of all that is true, good, and beautiful.

Ben Ault

Some of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge are going on Grand Tour and Junior Soiree and playing baseball at Frederick Keys Stadium.

I'm giving thanks for God's faithfulness during these trying times. He's provided good friends who keep me going when I'm lonely or down. I've also been able to make use of a lot of opportunities with my family.

A word of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Be your real self and be willing to forgive. You only get so much time with your classmates. Realize now that they are your best friends. Never think you are better or worse than them. We all have our faults, so love each other no matter how much others annoy you. Christ loved people a lot worse than anyone you have ever interacted with. Ultimately, have fun with each other!

Please pray for me: 1) Wisdom and clarity in making college decisions 2) Joy and contentment missing many opportunities of senior year (baseball especially) 3) Continued relationships with friends, classmates, teachers, and younger students.

If I had a sandwich named after me it would be a jelly sandwich- 'cuz I'm Ben JAMMIN.'

I will be defending the following for my senior thesis: The design, practices, and people of the kingdom of heaven are the only solution to racial division in America.

A blessing from Dr. Seufert: "This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and struck in spirit and trembles at my word.” Your humility and high esteem for God’s word have regularly refreshed me these last couple of years, and I’m confident His eyes are on you. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to teach you, and I hope that wherever life goes, it will be a constant source of comfort, peace, and joy to know that He, the One who sits in heaven and looks down on everyone who inhabits His earth, and never sleeps, is watching over and protecting “your going out and your coming in, from now and until forever.” 

Devvon Bailey

One of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge will be spending time with a couple of close classmates in Delphi on Grand Tour.

I am thankful for the early action carried out by the Rockbridge staff on behalf of the school during the pandemic.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: If you become friends with your hardest teacher, the class becomes easier and possibly even more engaging.

Please pray for general peace and safety for our community.

I will be defending the following thesis statement: The U.S. punitive systems should focus more upon the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-felons back into society.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be called "De Von" with a French accent. 

A blessing from Mrs. Ward: Devvon, I am so grateful for the years you’ve been part of the Rockbridge community. Your godly character is evident in the way you mentor the young men of our school and in your deep dedication to your family. I have seen you lead by example in your diligent work for our school each summer. You have the unique ability to inspire others with your enthusiasm for a project. The Lord has created you to be a man who truly cares for others. I pray that in your future endeavors, you will steward the talents the Lord has given you, trusting that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

Lauren Bailey

One of my most memorable highlights of my time at Rockbridge was being allowed the opportunity and privilege to travel to California with my incredible XC team and run at the Woodbridge Invitational. That was truly one of the best experiences of my life.

I have been giving thanks for Mrs. Ball, Mrs. Crawford, and Mrs. Salada (teachers at Rockbridge) these last couple of weeks. These three women have had a bigger impact on my life than I think they realize. They all have seen me at different times and ages in my life and have mentored me throughout each stage. I have been so grateful for how they have loved me and have helped shape me into the person I am today. All three have seen me at my best and my worst and have loved me better than I deserve, all the while pointing me back to Jesus. These three women are the type of people I want to grow up and emulate.

To those I leave behind at Rockbridge I'd like to say: 1. Surround yourself with people who make you feel more encouraged and more yourself after you leave them. 2. Meet and love people where they are in life. Go to them, don’t wait to have them come to you. 3. Life is so much bigger than what is right in front of you. Don’t get bogged down in things that won’t matter in a day or week or year. Keep your eyes above the sun and toward eternity.

Please continue to pray for my dad as he is overseas and doesn’t know when he will be able to come home.

My senior thesis statement I will be defending is: The government can achieve better outcomes for foster children by reducing the presence of placement instability within the American Foster Care System and prioritizing placement stability.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be the turkey and maple bacon glazed club sandwich at the Nordstrom Cafe. It is the special place my mama and I go together, and it’s my absolute favorite sandwich.

A blessing from Mrs. Ball:  A young woman of godly character, grace in suffering, tenacious faith, unrelenting courage, deep lament, and a hearty belly laugh, it is I who have been blessed to coach you for so many years. As you prepare for the next chapter in your life, may the Lord continue to develop your ability to see.  May you always see abundant reasons for songs of praises, His goodness in your suffering, His handwriting on your life, glimpses of His beauty, and His storehouse of strength.  When your vision is dim and you cannot see, may He give you the strength to trust, hope, and pray, to cry out to Him who sees what we cannot, and remember that He has loved you with an everlasting love.  May you always feel Him holding you in the palm of His hand. (Psalm 27:13)

Michael Bekos

My favorite memory from my time at Rockbridge is going on Grand Tour.

I'm grateful for the relationship that each teacher works hard to build with their students.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Find the best way to study that helps you. Not everyone can study using the same methods.

My thesis presentation was on the following: All colleges should accept esports as a sport. 

A blessing from Mr. Northup: Michael, as I think back over your character and where you have come as a young man I praise God for the gifts of perseverance and compassion with which He has blessed you. Your sincere desire for truth and grace along with your love for others are blessings that I pray grow all the more as you seek first His kingdom. O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit pour into Michael’s heart, mind, and upon his lips, the spirit of wisdom, understanding, piety, and godly fear; enlighten him with the light of Your knowledge, and bestow upon him strength and steadfastness, that he may prosper in good works for the glorification of Your holy Name. Give him health and long life that he may labor for the building up and glory of Your holy Church and your most Holy Name. Amen.

 

Bailey Boardman

A couple of highlights of my time at Rockbridge: I really loved Captains Cup, particularly 11th grade when we won. It was super fun to create that with my classmates and just have fun. I also really enjoyed the soccer championship games this year. It was amazing to have such a good game my senior year.

I am truly thankful for my education. Not only has my education always pointed me to God, it really has been a good education. I’m also really thankful for every single person in my grade. I always call them my built-in friends because that’s what happens when you spend 13 years together.

Some words of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Don’t take any moment for granted. Always go down to lunch, even if you don’t feel like it. If you haven’t talked to that person in 4 years because you had a bad experience then, talk to them. People change. Try one sport for a season. Try one musical or play or variety show. Be outgoing when you want to be under a rock. And most of all be kind. High school is one of the toughest things you will go through and getting to high school is just as hard. Every year you spend a ton of time and energy working to complete it, but don’t forget that those years are important in building who you are and who you want around you. But also don’t forget to work.

Please pray for the world right now as we go through this pandemic and also for my family and my mom because we have recently lost our grandfather.

I will be defending the following for my senior thesis: The American coffee economy presents, prepares, and consumes coffee in a way that leads to addiction.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be called "The Boardy Bailman" because I don’t like sandwiches, and I don’t like that nickname of mine. But I would share it with my friends because that is what makes them happy.

A blessing from Mrs. Salada: Beautiful Bailey.  Encouraging yet challenging; talented yet humble; kind yet cheeky. While you have never been in my gradebook, you have made your way into my heart.  As you take flight, may you always know the Lord's goodness to you through Christ, dive into His word, ever pondering its truths in your heart, and always have a sure footing on the Rock that is unshakable. May your life be filled with joy, praising the One who is the source of it all. May your first instinct always be to seek the Lord no matter what the day holds.  May you always be filled with gratitude to the One who has made the Way for you, for no matter the season of life in which you find yourself, "...for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Dorothy Boswell

Some of favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge: Captain's Cup was always a good time for me ever since grammar school. The history parade was always really fun. The musicals I was a part of brought me so much joy. Oh my, there are a lot more than that, but I'll stop there.

I am giving thanks for the fact that I have almost made it through my 13 years at Rockbridge Academy despite the many challenges I have had to face. I am thankful for everyone at the school who encouraged me and helped me get to the end of high school.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Keep going. School may be very rough sometimes and a feeling of defeat may try and overtake you, but hold on. The education is so worth it, and you will feel so accomplished when you finish.

Please pray for me for health, mental and emotional strength, and a somewhat peaceful end to my senior year.

My thesis statement is: Christians should embrace therapies such as CBT and EMDR to treat the effects of traumatic life events.

If I had a sandwich named after me it would have avocado, onion, pickles, spinach, and lettuce on good sourdough bread. It's my favorite sandwich!

A blessing from Mr. Head: In God’s calling, not many are wise, or strong, or impressive as the world measures such things; instead, He chooses the weak and discarded things of the world to show His glory and might–and His unfailing love. From the kindergartner whose mom reminded her “you are not a cat” to the girl whose oft-broken heart inspired her thesis and gave her deep sympathy with those suffering around her, God has and will continue to keep His hand upon you; He bought you at infinite price. And He makes no returns on His purchases. May He use you to minister to the over-looked around you; may His grace abound in you when you are overwhelmed; may His glory shine in you when you are victorious; may His blessings and mercy follow you all the days of your life. 

Ruthie Cooley

A couple of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge are junior year’s Captain Cup (when we won!) and going on Grand Tour, of course.

I am giving thanks for my friends and classmates. 

Some words of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Reach out. Invest in the people around you because they will not always be there, but they are now.

Please pray for college decisions for me. 

I will be defending the following for my senior thesis: The Leviticus Purity Laws are significant to the modern Christian.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would have everything that is on Bean Rush’s sun dried tomato panini because it is superior to every alternative.

A blessing from Mr. Vaughn: “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.” Ruthie, you are a young woman whose heart is directed by love, whose imagination is captivated by beauty, and whose mind prizes the path of wisdom. It has been a tremendous honor and a source of much happiness to be your teacher. May the Lord deal graciously with you as you begin your life beyond Rockbridge. May He grant you the wisdom you so desire, and in finding her may your soul be satisfied, and may you “find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” 

Alanna Craig

My favorite memory of my time at Rockbridge will be the sunrise hike on Grand Tour! 

These days I have been grateful for the chance to slow down, step away from a busy schedule, and spend time with family.

A word of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Enjoy every moment! The Rockbridge community is so special, and you never know how much more time you'll get to spend with your friends and teachers.

I'd appreciate prayer for figuring out my roommate situation next year. Also, please pray that we get to go back to school for the last month!

My thesis statement that I will be defending is: Effective health aid in sub-Saharan Africa should be organic to the community, free for the recipients, and focused on prevention.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would have chicken salad with mayonnaise, grapes, and celery. That's one of my favorite sandwiches to bring for lunch.

A blessing from Mrs. Crawford: Alanna, it has been a joy and a privilege to teach you ever since you were in kindergarten.  You have grown from a focused, artistic five-year-old to an accomplished scholar-athlete and a dear sister in Christ.  I admire your intellect, your grit and persistence, and your pursuit of excellence in all things.  Your genuine care and compassion for others flow from your deep faith and love for the Lord.  As you leave Rockbridge and take on new challenges, my prayer is that you continue to grow in Christ, starting each day as we did in kindergarten, with expectancy and gratitude:  “This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24).  I am grateful for you!

Nathan Davenport

Some of my fondest memories of my time at Rockbridge are my times at FCA and playing soccer. 

I'm thankful for the four years I've spent at Rockbridge and the many friends I have made here, both students and staff. I'm also thankful that God has led me through this year which has been one of the most trying in my life.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Read God's Word. Know what it says. Pray to understand it. Discuss it. Listen to it. Believe it. Obey it. Love it. The more you do this, the more you will come to know, enjoy, and love God. Though the ink lies seemingly dead upon the page, God, through His Spirit, makes His word come to life in us when we meditate on it. It is alive and active. If you learn nothing else in all your time at Rockbridge, learn to appreciate what Jesus says: "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God."

I would appreciate prayer for wisdom in the coming days as I pursue college and the military with all the complications that come with those things. 

My senior thesis statement is: The proliferation of individual arms is necessary for the security of the free State because it provides a balance of power between all parties.

If I had sandwich named after me, it would be a seafood sandwich because it's the best!

A blessing from Mr. Northup: Nathan, it is clear that the Lord has granted you a heart of strong convictions and the steadfastness to live them out. I recall your willingness to stand fast in your understanding of God’s word as well as your growth in graciousness toward your brethren in your desire to serve others. May the only true and triune God continue to bless you with the double ring of grace and truth and all the blessings that come from seeking first His kingdom. May your desire for holiness be fulfilled that our great God and Savior Jesus Christ would mold you more and more into the fullness of His image by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of His name so that you come to perfect maturity in love, joy, and peace. Godspeed, brother. 

Alysa Fitch

One of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge is closing night of The Little Mermaid. It was such a good and bittersweet time with some of the people I have grown closest to at Rockbridge. I loved every moment of that show, and I am so sad to be leaving Rockbridge theater behind.  

I am so thankful for everything my teachers have done for their students, both across the whole school year and the extra effort they are putting in as we navigate remote learning.

A word of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Pick a thesis topic you love. It will make senior year so much more enjoyable!    

I would appreciate prayer as I make a college decision and for trust that God will lead me where he wants me. 

I will be defending the following thesis statement: American Christians need to better understand collectivist cultures and their own individualistic biases in order to form a better reading of Scripture’s teachings and construct their theology.     

A blessing from Dr. Seufert: Alysa, I have had the privilege of teaching some remarkable, because noticeably godly, young women during my time at Rockbridge. In your expressed excitement and satisfaction in seeing the truths of Romans 6, your admirable dissatisfaction and disappointment in the mixed nature of our current reality, your unrelenting kindness, gentleness, and meekness (in spite of the sharpness of your mind and other natural and impressive gifts, which often and easily tend toward pride), your godliness has been on regular display. “By this we may know that we are in Him.” I pray that as long as God gives you breath, He’ll give you abundant life, that you’ll know the joy that your strength is His and His is yours, and that you’ll find perfect peace in the realization that He is yours and you are His, His daughter and delight. 

Lauren Foley

My most memorable times at Rockbridge were probably all the performance opportunities I was a part of, specifically You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown because it was my first show and led me to want to be an actress. Grand Tour was also very fundamental to how I will view my class, and it felt like a coming of age movie.

I want to thank my parents for recognizing the benefits of a classical education. I have noticed more recently how differently I think and understand the world from other people; it's probably because I haven't interacted with the world much until this point. I am thankful for the Christian community I have grown up in because I know that the college world is not like that, however, I have come out of Rockbridge with very strong morals, and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for the hard work that Rockbridge has given me academically and for just provoking my thoughts further.

To those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Don't think something is too hard or not worth it. That mindset does nothing and being angry gets you nowhere. I would also say that if something is hard, ask for help. Rockbridge is a place where everyone has been through everything at some point, someone has gone through every grade and knows what you're going through. A perfect example is the current senior class. So, if something is hard don't be afraid to ask for help.

I am defending the following for my senior thesis: Capitalism should be maintained in the United States for the well-being of its citizens.

I ask for prayers for wisdom, generally, but also in this transition into adulthood.

If I had a sandwich named after me it would be a hot sandwich with turkey and roast beef heated up in a pan with cheddar cheese slightly melted on the top. There would be bacon and lettuce. The bread would be toasted and have the thinnest layer of mayonnaise and honey mustard. This would be my sandwich because my Dad has been making these for me since I was very little.

A blessing from Ms. Godfrey: Our generous God has given you many gifts, and it has been lovely to see you use them to bring Him glory during your years at Rockbridge. I pray that your love of beauty, truth, and goodness will always point you back to the One who is Beauty, Truth, and Goodness. Eric Liddell, an Olympic runner, once said, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." I pray that you will know God's pleasure when you sing, act, study, and interact with others. May the knowledge that you bring God pleasure fill you with joy and peace. The way forward might not feel easy, but you have the Way, the Truth, and the Life with you on this journey. You are in good hands!

 

Vivian Grev

A favorite memory I will carry with me is from Grand Tour! One of my favorite parts was Greek dancing—everyone was happy; it was normal to dance on tables and that was cool—high energy atmosphere. Another part was one night when we were walking in Rome and the sky was pink and purple and blue and the sun was setting over a forum; I felt totally and completely happy at that exact moment. 

I'm thankful that my parents have jobs in this time, that I am healthy, that I have food and somewhere to stay, that I will be able to graduate still, and that God has given me this time to practice time management, explore what I like doing, and learn how to make the most of what I have before me.

A word of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Never ever take anything for granted—high school, middle school, and elementary school will be gone before you know it. At Rockbridge, we have such a unique community that you won't find in most other places, so make the most of your time at Rockbridge!

Please pray for me for college decisions and that I would be loving to and patient with everyone and that I would be a light for Christ when I go out into the world.

My senior thesis topic which I will be defending is: The government should continue its policies that promote and encourage marriage in society.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be cheese for sure. Solely for the reason that cheese is the most amazing food to ever exist. It would probably have to be a sandwich involving pesto, mozzarella or goat cheese, and then some other ingredient like tomato or arugula or something to complement it. And then it would be toasted and be like a panini.

A blessing from Mrs. Grev: Vivian, I’ve tried to cherish each moment as your mother and teacher since God brought you into this world. I knew this time was coming but I’m not ready. Yet, I know you are ready. In the mystery of God’s providence throughout years of blessing and adversity, His grace and glory shines in your life. You never give up or compromise the Truth, you remain joyful and unwavering in your devotion to the Lord that is needed to persevere in life. Continue to live in Christ, rooted and built up in Him, and be strengthened in the faith. May He guard your course and protect your way. I will always be your “watchman on the wall,” praying as you go forward full of the Word and mighty in His Spirit. Never forget your way back home. I love you!

Ashleigh Hudson

Some of my favorite memories: All of Grand Tour was a memorable highlight for me, although I do have to say that one of my all-time favorites was either climbing up to the castle in Assisi and singing with some of my classmates or watching a concert of Vivaldi's Four Seasons with two of my favorite people and our moms in Venice on our last night. One of my favorite memories that is not from Grand Tour would probably be going to California with the cross country team. Although I could not run, I still was blessed to encourage our runners and spend time with my favorite people while at it. All of my senior year thus far has been incredible and filled with so many memorable highlights.

I am so grateful for the incredible people in my life at the moment. I have spent so much time with my family, which is an incredible blessing, my friends are still so encouraging and loving from far away, and I'm mostly grateful for the technology that allows us to still see people from a distance.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Enjoy this time with your friends and do not stress too much about school. Enjoy it. Before you know it, you are preparing for graduation, and it has all gone by so quickly. But mainly, don't forget to be grateful for all of the blessings and memories you make because they are gone before you know it. Enjoy school, sports, family and the hopefully forever friends you make. This is only one part of your journey, but enjoy it, treasure it and be grateful.

I would appreciate prayer for guidance on knowing where the Lord wants me to be in the fall.

I will be defending the following thesis statement: Zoos are valuable and to better fulfill the dominion mandate should emphasize conservation and education of the public rather than entertainment.

If I had a sandwich named after me it would have tomato, mayonnaise, and a hint of salt and pepper placed on perfectly toasted bread. People do not appreciate the sophisticated taste of a tomato sandwich made with fresh tomatoes from the garden, but I do. Also, it happens to be one of my favorite sandwiches.

A blessing from Mrs. Krmpotich: Ashleigh, what a delight you are with your sweet kindness to those around you, your faithful tenacity in pursuing the tasks the Lord has placed before you, and your dry, hilarious sense of humor! What a privilege it has been to see you grow into a mature young woman who leads and encourages by her example! May you love God more and more, stay grounded in His Word and Body, and always find joyful participation in the community of believers who point you to Him. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Audrey Kawecki

One of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge was when the Rhetoric choir got to sing in the White House last Christmas. 

I am thankful for the opportunities I have to chose from for college and my loving, supportive family, and for the family I have at Rockbridge.

A word to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Never take for granted the opportunity Rockbridge gives you to get to know everyone at school. Being able to call your school your family is a unique blessing.

Please continue to pray for all the medical workers (including my mom) who are working so hard and risking their health. Please also pray for me as I make a decision about college.

I will be defending the following for my senior thesis: Despite the differences in Western and Eastern theater, their characteristics both point to man's desire to be satisfied in a just, fair world.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be called the "I Cant Believe it's Not Gluten!" sandwich because I am gluten free and sometimes I want a sandwich :)

A blessing from Mrs. Ball: Audrey, lover of beauty, thoughtful listener, storyteller, diligent worker, bringer of joy, you have faithfully delighted thousands of audience members, hundreds of fellow cast members, and a privileged handful of creative team members during your tenure at Rockbridge.  You have given voice to the emotions, fears, joys, and sorrows we all share, and we are thankful.  In the years to come, as you encounter difficulty, may the Lord give you grace to lean into the dissonance of life with truth ever glistening on your face.  As you explore the depths of the palate of the heart, may you deeply taste the savor of God's Word.  May you see His hand in your joys, successes, and sorrows and continually abide in the shadow of His wings.  We will miss you but pray for God’s richest blessings upon you. (Jer. 29:11)

Catherine Keehner

The most memorable highlight of my time at Rockbridge was definitely going on Grand Tour. 

I am very thankful for all my classmates and especially those I am closest with who are always there for me.

A word to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Most seniors probably say this at the end of high school, but I feel this is especially prevalent during this time: appreciate all the moments you have to be in school, make memories with your classmates, and grow your relationships. You never know when it could end unexpectedly.

Please pray for wisdom for me to navigate life after high school in a godly fashion.

I am doing my thesis on the Battle of Gettysburg, in particular why the Confederates lost the battle. My thesis statement is: The disagreement and lack of cooperation between General Lee and General Longstreet resulted in the Confederate army losing the battle.

A blessing from Mr. Keehner: Catherine, from the time you could talk, you’ve always wanted to know, “What’s the plan?” Well, next year, everything changes. You’ll be embarking on full-time study to make your lifelong dreams a reality. You are so ready for this! What will it look like? What’s the plan? I don’t know any of the details, or the twists and turns it will take, but God does. Stay grounded in His word, and you’ll have peace. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Isaiah Larsen

My most memorable time at Rockbridge was definitely Grand Tour. That time of community and fellowship with fellow classmates was an unforgettable experience. Another memorable time is the time the baseball team played in the Frederick Keys Stadium. It was my first year playing baseball, and being able to play in a professional sports stadium was quite an experience.

I am thankful for the family and friends I have been blessed with and the time I have been able to spend with family lately. I am also grateful for the technology we have to still be able to connect with friends, as well as attending church and school. Finally, I am thankful that God's grace and love does not cease no matter how diseased the surrounding world is.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Appreciate each moment you have with your friends and family. Life is short. Don't take them for granted. You never know how much more time you will be able to spend with them. Love others and treat them with care and respect. God has blessed you with each person for a reason. Also, work hard in school. Putting in the time and effort now will benefit your future in numerous ways. Finally, no matter the circumstance, thank your parents for all they have done for you.

I would appreciate prayers for my future college and life decisions, as well as health for me and my family.

The senior thesis I defended was as follows: While smartphones have features that promote productivity, they ultimately facilitate decreased productivity of the user.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would consist of a few slices of cheese surrounded by two slices of bread. The bread would have a slight layer of butter on both sides. It would have to be grilled for a few minutes till partially crispy and the cheese is melted. This is famously known as grilled cheese, which is one of the few things that has made this social distancing time better. It also has to be served with tomato soup.

A blessing from Ms. Godfrey:  Isaiah, it has been such a privilege to watch you grow into a thoughtful man of God. Your insightfulness, humor, hard work, and care for others have set a good example for those who are coming up after you. I pray that God will bless your next steps and guide you in your calling.  Joshua 1:9 comes to mind for this upcoming transition; be encouraged by God’s Word: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” May you step into this new season with the confidence that God is by your side! 

Alex Lawing

Some of my favorite memories of being at Rockbridge are winning the MIAC soccer championship my junior year and helping us cap a great season and going on Grand Tour and seeing all the beautiful sights, but most importantly how close I got to my classmates. I will also always appreciate the ability to talk to any teachers; they really cared about us.

I am so grateful that I was raised in a Christian home and went to a Christian school. As I am going away to college I am realizing that I have had such a strong foundation because of these two experiences.

A word of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Enjoy school and Rockbridge; the teachers are super fun and nice and genuinely care for their students. Enjoy the ability that you have to talk about God in your classroom, and get to know your classmates. Something I wish I had done early on was hang out with my classmates and get to know them; I can say that I have 29 friends and I will really miss all of them when I graduate.

Please pray that even when I am away at college I would find a strong Christian community wherever I go and that God would allow me to be a light in the darkness and represent a Christ-like character especially in the military.

My senior thesis research has been on the Vietnam War and I will be defending: The Vietnam War was not a lost cause, but it was a winnable war in which the United States made vital mistakes that ultimately caused it to fail to achieve its goal.

If I could have a sandwich named after me, it would be called "The Boo" because my dad’s nickname for me ever since I was a baby was Boo and if you have ever been to one of my sporting events you have probably heard him yell it in his deep voice. It would be quite heavy on meat and cheese with the option of extra, extra bacon! 

A blessing from Mr. Lawing:  Alexander Ward Lawing, my son in the flesh and brother in the Spirit, grace, peace, mercy, joy, and blessing from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! God has uniquely gifted you, my son, with a tremendous heart of compassion and love. Your heart’s desire that those around you know joy and happiness is one of your greatest strengths. From leading little children in play, to pumping up your teammates on the court or field, to celebrating the accomplishments of all those around you, you bring joy and encouragement wherever you go. In all these things, God's love and goodness is reflected. May God grant you joy in return and give you ample opportunity to use this beautiful gift for His great glory! 

Ryan McDowell

Here are a few of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge: The random-seat conversation game during the bus rides on Grand Tour. Closing night of The Little Mermaid. The Woodbridge cross country meet in California.

I'm grateful that we have the technology to continue school and church despite having to stay home all the time. I'm grateful that the coronavirus came after the musical and not during. I'm grateful that grocery stores in the area still have plenty of food. I'm grateful for the Rockbridge community, particularly my grade. You only appreciate people fully when you're suddenly separated.

Some words of wisdom to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Don't be afraid of the new. If you focus only on what you already know and love, you'll miss the wealth found elsewhere. I was a dedicated soccer player in middle school, but I joined cross country in ninth grade and discovered a rich, welcoming, wonderful team. My first audition for a musical was as a twelfth grader, and The Little Mermaid was one of the highlights of this year. Trying new things was absolutely worth it.  Don't give up on the old. While you should absolutely try new things, that doesn't mean you should always be moving on to the next thing. Take your time, savor your present circumstances, and try to excel at whatever you may be doing. Just because something doesn't come naturally to you does not mean you should not pursue it. A somewhat silly example: in ninth grade, it was physically impossible for me to touch my toes. After two years of running and a LOT of stretching, I finally managed it. The best things come to those who are disciplined and consistently, quietly persevere even when things seem tough. The above two pieces of advice can be difficult to balance. I don't have the magic formula; if I did, I'd be rich. Living life well takes wisdom. The best way to gain wisdom, and the best piece of advice I can give, is to talk to your parents and other mentors. They have the experience and wisdom that you may lack.

Please pray for me for the following: Wisdom about summer plans. I originally scheduled most of my summer around jaw surgery in early June, which will most likely be canceled. Pray that I would know how to best adjust my plans. Please pray that our grade would grow closer despite being physically apart. Pray that I would find good fellowship in college. I love the community I've found through Rockbridge and Battalion, and I will sorely miss it this fall. Pray that I would maintain old friendships and develop new ones.

For my senior thesis, I will be defending: A cyber attack qualifies as a just cause for war when and only when it aims to cause physical damage or irreversible disruption.

If I had a sandwich named after me it would have four thin, medium-sized slices of salami on a buttered pretzel roll. Havarti or Muenster cheese is optional.

A blessing from Mr. Lawing: Ryan McDowell, brother in the Lord, bondservant of Christ, fellow soldier in the good fight of faith, dear friend; may grace, mercy, peace, and blessing from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be yours in abundance. Ryan, God has seen fit to bestow upon you a multitude of talents. He has gifted you with a superior mind, a mastery of words, a magnanimous heart. You have been faithful with these gifts. Your constant heartbeat has been one of care and concern for your classmates, your teachers, your Battalion brothers, your church, your family. As you go forth from among us, may the Lord bless you with even more. Let all that you do, as you love and serve, resound to the praise and glory of the Lord!

Juyoung Park

One of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge is having a lot of fun last year at junior soiree looking at cherry blossoms and dancing on the dinner cruise.

I am thankful that I was able to safely stay home and work on school without any difficulty.

A word of advice to those I leave behind at Rockbridge: Stay strong and work diligently, and you will make it!

Please pray that everything works out well with college in the upcoming fall.

My senior thesis research led me to defending this statement: A product, to be well-designed, must show its purpose through aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would be a BLT because LT just does not work in any situation whatsoever.

A blessing from Ms. Cawley: This man schooled me with his humility when I first met him all those years ago—newly acclimating to a culture and language not his own. Juyoung, the respect I have for you began when I witnessed the integrity, graciousness, and wisdom that accompanied your work ethic and relationships even at the tender age of 12. To this day, I remember words written in your sixth-grade autobiography and a genuineness of heart revealed. It is this sincerity of love, in the highest regard, which seems to have taken root within you. It reminds me of this quote by St. John Chrysostom, who said, "The church is a hospital, not a courtroom, for souls." The curative for all of us is the Love of God in Christ Jesus. Hold fast this remedy. I pray Paul’s Ephesians 3:14-19 prayer over you.

Anna Pavlat

Some of my favorite memories of my time at Rockbridge are: safely distracting Mr. Vaughn for all of Great Ideas class; playing psychology games online; coming in every morning and having Mrs. Crawford tell me either I'm wearing the wrong socks or I'm being too loud; the bible class taught by Mr. Lawing in eighth grade (my first year) where I first learned about the Trinity; going to FCA and enjoying fellowship with my friends and going to iHop afterwards.

During this time of hardship I am incredibly grateful for the family I have and for this unexpected time of bonding. I am also incredibly grateful for the growth, both academically and spiritually, that I experienced at Rockbridge.

To those I leave behind: Don't take Rockbridge for granted, time flies. Enjoy even the hardest moments at Rockbridge, because before you know it, your time there will be coming to an end.

Please pray for safety for my older grandparents, endurance for my mom and dad who are struggling with working at home, Please pray that colleges would open safely in the fall and for an in person graduation to actually happen. 

I presented my senior thesis on the following: All Christians should work to combat the pollution in his or her own lives.

I don't know if this counts as a sandwich but in quarantine I learned how to make a breakfast burrito. I make them with eggs, salami, salsa, and cheese. If a burrito counts as a sandwich I think that is the kind I would want to be named after me.

A blessing from Mrs. Bachmann: What a tremendous joy it has been to watch you grow throughout your Rhetoric years. Anna, when I think of you, what comes to mind first is your sweet spirit. It is contagious! I have been so impressed with your perseverance and your genuine care for your family and friends. My prayer for you is that you always know how loved and valued you are as a daughter of the King. May you put your trust and confidence in Him alone. As you go out into the world, may you continue to be a light for Christ … “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) May the Lord bless you and keep you always!

Sandra Quan

One of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge was going on Grand Tour with my friends and teachers. Grand Tour has given us so many things to be grateful for, including beautiful sights and delicious food from other cultures. I had a chance to get to know more about my classmates, and I am very thankful for that.

I am very thankful for all of my teachers, the staff, and my classmates at Rockbridge. They have been helping me through hard times and are always there for me.

To those I leave behind at Rockbridge: 1) Appreciate every moment you have at Rockbridge with your friends and teachers. 2) Get to know your classmates more and develop good relationships with them.
3) Feel thankful for every teacher and staff in our community because they are the most caring people that I've known during my time at Rockbridge. 4) Lean into seeking God in every struggle that you have. He created all things and is still in control of the situation. He will work this for good for those that love Him.

Please pray for me for college decisions and for wisdom as I go through the next exciting phase of my life journey. Please also pray that I would be wrapped in God's grace to infuse me with hope and the knowledge to make good choices.  

I did my thesis on the relationship between language and culture. My thesis statement is: Language is an effective way of communicating one’s cultural values and perspectives because it helps culture to develop, symbolizes cultural identity, and preserves one’s national traditions.

A blessing from Mrs. Crawford: Sandra, you have grown so much since coming to Rockbridge in the tenth grade!  I loved teaching you and having you in my homeroom every year. Your gentle spirit and sweet smile blessed me and your classmates daily. Your evident care and concern for others extended to our class plant, Walter, who would have perished had it not been for you! You have won a place in our hearts. Know how much you are loved and how much I cherish the conversations we have had. When you feel uncertain about the future, remember your years here and the knowledge, confidence, and friendships you gained! My prayer for you is from Philippians 1:6, that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.” I will miss you!

Zachary Reardon

One of the most memorable things that happened to me during my time at Rockbridge was tearing my ACL in a soccer game. This seems like a bad thing, but it was actually a highlight because now I can look back and understand all the good things that came about as a result of it. I learned so many things about God and about my faith, and I grew in many ways spiritually during that period of time. It is easy to become proud of athletic gifts from God, and I was surely guilty of that. But God humbled me and took His gift away, and in doing so, He taught me to trust in Him alone, and He showed me how to rejoice even in the worst of earthly circumstances.

One of the most memorable parts of the whole experience was the immediate reaction of love and support from the entire Rockbridge community. I was taken to the emergency room right after my injury, and several parents of my teammates had driven to the hospital ahead of the ambulance to be there with me. The assistant coach, Joel Pasquarelli from the class of 2019, rode with me in the ambulance. One of the things that I remember the clearest was when Mr. Griffith came to check on me. The headmaster of my school walked into the room shortly after my own parents. I don't know where he was or what he was doing, but he must have dropped it immediately and drove all the way to the hospital to check on me. My phone was flooded with texts and calls from so many of my friends asking me if I was okay and telling me that they had heard about what happened and that they would be praying for me. I was truly startled by the swift, compassionate reaction from the Rockbridge community, and I am very grateful for the support they gave me and the love they showed me. The people of Rockbridge make up a community that reflects the love of Jesus Christ to all of its members and the rest of the world, and I am grateful in a deep way, such that I cannot express, that I was able to have a share in it.

The message I would leave for the remaining students of Rockbridge will sound cheesy and stereotypical, but it is nonetheless valid. The thing about Rockbridge that I love and appreciate the most is the people—my classmates, my teachers, students from other grades. They are all impactful people and they are what makes Rockbridge a community rather than just a school. It isn't easy to find people like the ones at Rockbridge in the world, and its even harder to find a place where they all come together and devote themselves to each other. While it may seem like your years at Rockbridge are endless and at times even monotonous, when you face the reality of leaving you will wish they were longer. It is true that people often don't realize they have a good thing until they are about to lose it. So what I say to the students I leave behind is what I wish I had done more of during my time at Rockbridge: pay attention to how great your surroundings are and appreciate them while you have the chance.

I would greatly appreciate prayers for wisdom in my life. Going to college, getting a job, and everything else in life are all things that I need the wisdom and diligence that God provides to do well in.

My thesis statement is, "Christian joy is unconditional." I'm writing my thesis on the joy that Christians are able to have in their lives and how it is not dependent on physical circumstances. Since Christians always have Jesus with them and Jesus will never forsake His children, Christians always have a reason for joy. This is true even when they face terrible trials because Christ is always with His people in their trials. Although a Christian may grieve, he is never without joy because his God is always with him in his grief. So Christian joy is unconditional because it is present regardless of earthly circumstances.

My sandwich would be a dry potato roll with a few slices of turkey lunch meat inside. This is what I had countless times when I was rushing to throw my lunch together in the morning after sleeping through my alarm. In fact, in the last several months I dropped the roll entirely and just put lunch meat in a bag for my sandwich.

A blessing from Mr. Vaughn: Zach, I thank God for allowing me to be your teacher. Whether we were discussing philosophy, traveling to tournaments, or engaging in a riveting debate about which part of the body to land on when falling from a great height, I have enjoyed every moment of it. God has blessed you with understanding and a wise mind to know him and a steadfast and upright heart to seek him. Remember what you have received from his hand through your family, your church, and your teachers. For I am confident that by doing so you will stand unmoved “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”

Juliana Schueckler

Here are some of my favorite memories: The relationships I've made throughout my years at Rockbridge are very precious to me. Being a senior opened up some really sweet friendships and experiences. Visiting the grammar school students has always been one of my favorite things to do. I'm so grateful that I was able to visit Evergreen as much as I did: reading to the Kindergartners, celebrating Spirit Day, planting the tree, performing the Little Mermaid. After the shows, meeting with the audience was a dream. It felt like we brought Disney to Crownsville with how all of the kids reacted. I'll remember those faces for the rest of my life.

I am grateful that quarantine has brought back some things that I didn't have time for, like finding four-leaf clovers and taking naps.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Reach out. The teachers at Rockbridge want to see us grow. If you get stuck and don't know how to move forward, more often than not a teacher will put what they're doing aside and help you. Rockbridge is a really challenging school, so it's important to get help as soon as you feel that something's not right.

Please pray for wisdom for future decisions and for my health.

My senior thesis presentation was on the following: The immigration system can be more efficient by being flexible and accessible.

A sandwich? It would be called "Jude, what?" A pizza-crust dipped in applesauce. I discovered this combo in the gymcafetorium during lunch, delicioso. *chefs kiss*

A blessing from Mrs. Stevens: Juliana, you’re a gifted individual with a deep soul and a tremendous capacity for self-expression. Your curiosity, spunk, and tenderness have made our school a better place. Your passion and talent are well-matched with your humble generosity; you have a remarkable capacity to love others well. Go into the world and be brave and vulnerable, Juliana; this is the sometimes-daunting call placed upon an artist. Be strengthened in that task by remembering the unfailing Source of security and approval to which you have access. The God of the universe cherishes you! He beckons you to run to Him and hide yourself in Christ, fully known, fully forgiven, fully loved. Plumb the depths of that truth. Let it be your comfort and your strength in all the days to come.  Oh, how I shall miss you, sweet Juliana.  Come back often.

Sophie Schulze

I have such fond memories of Grand Tour! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of my classmates on much deeper level and exploring Greece and Italy. Some of my favorite memories would be exploring an ancient medieval castle in Assisi, Greek dancing in Olympia, and touring the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium in Athens! I also will forever cherish the memories I have made in the Mock Trial elective. The class itself is a family, and we have experienced a lot of different emotions together, the most frequent being laughter. I will always remember the days we would burst into laughter over something funny a judge had said in a previous trial!

I am so grateful for my family! I have always felt blessed to have two younger brothers who keep me and my entire family laughing.

My advice for those I leave behind: Enjoy school, learn about your classmates, and bond with them! Cherish each and every memory you make. While you may wish to move onto the next stage of your life, your school age years are so unique and should hold a special place in your heart. Also, I would encourage you to memorize Scripture and hide God's word in your heart. As I have gotten older, I have found myself relying on Scripture verses to encourage me through life!

I would appreciate prayer for me for wisdom as I enter the next stage of my life and that I would be able to model Christ to a fallen world.

I am writing my thesis on optimism. Specifically, my thesis statement which I will be defending is: All Christians should be radical optimists.

If I could have a sandwich named after me it would be a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread. When I was younger, I would always look forward to eating a good-old PB&J after a swim practice.

A blessing from Mrs. Schulze: Sophie, at your birth someone gifted you a plaque with the verse, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). I want to encourage you in the same way for this new journey you will soon be on: Call on the Lord, pray to Him, and seek Him always.  God has uniquely designed you with a quiet leadership, a gentle spirit, and a strong work ethic.  I’m so glad to have a front row seat to see how He will continue to use you!

 

Jillian Schwartz

Favorite memories: Soccer season was always my favorite time of year. The team was always so fun, and I have a lot of memories with all the girls I've played with. To be able to go to the championship game all four years was an amazing opportunity, and it was exciting to win in both junior and senior year. I am so proud of all my teammates, who I got to play beside and learn from, and I am grateful for all my coaches, who taught me so much.

I am giving thanks to God for having a plan and knowing the future. That is a comfort in uncertain times like these because I know that I don't have to have everything figured out because He already does. I am thankful for all the healthcare workers who put their lives on the line every day and work tirelessly to help those who are suffering. I want to thank all my teachers, coaches, directors, and the staff at Rockbridge Academy. Since I was five years old, I have had some of the best teachers and instructors that I could ever ask for, and that is certainly a blessing. The teachers at Rockbridge do not merely teach their subjects, but they pour into the lives of their students, and I am so thankful for them.

Some words of wisdom: Try to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you. If you want to try out for a sport or the musical, then go for it! It's always worth a try. Even if you don't play a sport or are not in the musical, try to go to every Friday night FCA, every big game, every concert. Sometimes it may feel easier to just stay at home and lay in bed, but the memories that you make now are so much more special than watching another episode of Netflix. School is a unique time (especially middle school and high school) because you see your classmates every single day, but you really get to know them in the experiences you share outside of the classroom. If you are active in a lot of extracurriculars, that's great, but even if you're not, support your classmates by going to their games or seeing their shows. These are the people you will be spending all of your young life with. Don't wait until 12th grade to realize you don't know any of them.

I will be defending the following thesis statement: The current form of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs is dangerous, and the FDA should therefore form a concrete and mandatory set of rules with increased enforcement.

A blessing from Ms. Knoll:  God has used you to bless the lives of your classmates, teachers, and coaches. Your sweet smile and tender spirit have encouraged us all over the years. As Paul wrote to the Philippian believers, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” for your encouragement over the years. You have partnered with us at Rockbridge for the furtherance of the gospel by being a shining light of godliness in the spheres God has placed you. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Continue to look to God for provision and joy, and may He be glorified through your life.

Colton Snyder

Some of my most memorable moments during my time at Rockbridge were times spent with a special group of friends from the class of 2018. Also, Grand Tour was amazing along with spending lunches with my closest friends.

A word of advice to those I leave behind: Don't let yourself get discouraged. Yes, the work may be a lot and it may be hard, but the teachers and staff are there to help you. Take advantage of Bible classes, as that is a huge privilege that Rockbridge gives you that other schools may not.

Please pray for those people in my life that have not come to know Christ. Also, please pray for the relationships that I have formed to be strengthened, especially the relationship with God.

My thesis statement which I defended was: Although the government can enact the death penalty, Christians should vote for other ways of punishment.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would have mozzarella and prosciutto on it because I fell in love with these two amazing ingredients on Grand Tour and ate nothing but these things for breakfast.

A blessing from Mrs. Salada: Colton, what a privilege it has been to walk alongside you for two years!  I have been blessed by you, as you reached out, in the midst of the chaos at school, asking me how I am doing, on countless occasions.  And I look forward, with great anticipation, to see what the Lord will do with your life, your gifts, and your dedication to that which and those whom you love.  May you immerse yourself in the word of God at all times since it “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)  And may you always cling to the Lord, as “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46). ¡Vaya con Dios!

Sarah Soltis

The most memorable highlight of my time at Rockbridge is going on Grand Tour.

I'm really thankful that all our teachers are working so hard to considerately put together online school, and I'm also especially grateful during this time for a wonderful family, a safe home, and good food.

A word of advice to those I Ieave behind at Rockbridge: Remain patient for God's plan to work out, and find confidence in the fact that, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I will be defending the following for my senior thesis: A proper understanding of beauty is foundational to the Christian's apologetic.

If I had a sandwich named after me, it would consist of brie, chicken, and apple, purely because I think that would be a very good sandwich.

A blessing from Mrs. Soltis: Sarah, it has been wonderful to see your growth through the years, both as your mom and teacher.  You have definitely matured from the shy, quiet fifth grader I taught in 2012. While I am not surprised by your gifts in writing, you have truly blossomed in your abilities as a rhetorician and theologian, especially in Mock Trial and in your class discussions. We will miss your leadership and laughter next year! As you depart from our community, I pray that you will continue to abide in Christ and share your joy with others. This life will have peaks and valleys, but the Lord truly is your shepherd. Keep smiling at the days to come and remember to "rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

Sarah Williams

One of my favorite memories from my time at Rockbridge was going on Grand Tour!

I am very thankful for my family. They make me laugh and are always there for me no matter what.

To those I leave behind at Rockbridge:  Enjoy every moment of your time at Rockbridge. These thirteen years have flown by like crazy, and I’m very sad that it is coming to an end.

Please pray for me for wisdom in navigating God’s path for me as I transition out of Rockbridge and head into college.

My senior thesis statement I will be defending is:  Music has mental, emotional, and physical effects which Christians should learn in order to glorify God.

A blessing for Sarah from Mrs. Williams:  Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time to plant and a time to pluck up.  Your roots have grown at home and expanded in this beautiful Rockbridge community.  You have prospered as the light of Christ, reflected from a bountiful body of genuine believers, strengthened you in soul and spirit. God's own Spirit has watered you through both joys and trials.   As you go, may you sense Jesus going with you.  He will give you strength and courage daily to passionately reflect His truth, love, beauty, and grace in your new surroundings…to bear fruit!  May the abundance and contentedness of your own life also till the soil around you, so new Gospel seeds may spring forth.  You are loved!

SCHOOL IS OPEN