Warriors’ Baccalaureate and Commencement services reflect school’s values, celebrate seniors’ accomplishments
On Memorial Day weekend of 2021, eighty-seven graduating seniors became Warrior Alumni. With a baccalaureate service held on Friday, May 28, 2021, and commencement taking place on Sunday, May 30, 2021, WC’s administration, faculty, seniors, and their families took time to reflect on their past and look ahead to their bright future. Many voices took the stage to share words of wisdom and encouragement to the Class of 2021, both in speaking and in song. Just as in years past, through both of these memorable events, each of the voices shared a common thread, pointing to the Truth and clinging to the hope that we have in Jesus.
Following the welcome of Interim Upper School Principal Tim Kraynak, seven seniors took to the stage to lead the service in worship. Corbyn Antrim, Emma Kurzenknabe, Maya Kurzenknabe, Tucker O’Roark, Rena So, Josh Jeyandran, and Tommy Rettstatt lead the crowd in singing “Waymaker” and “Jesus, We Love You.” Senior Ethan Kraynak then took the stage to introduce this year’s baccalaureate speaker, his mother and WC alumna Alicia Kraynak (WC ’94). Mrs. Kraynak, mother of five, co-founder of the Warrior Prayer Initiative, and Bible study leader to teen girls, delivered a heartfelt address based on Ephesians 3:17-19. Among her many words of wisdom, she encouraged the class of 2021, “Hold to your dreams, but loosely. Hold tight to the Truth.”
After Mrs. Kraynak’s address, Upper School science teacher Dawn McMahon continued the tradition of reading the Seuss classic “Oh, the Places You Will Go” to the graduating class. Five senior ladies, Corbyn Antrim, Jezzy Tagoe, Oyinda Oladejo-Lawal, Hope Nyland, and Alysha Beard, then sang a beautiful song. Tim Kraynak returned to the stage to deliver the service’s benediction. Kraynak charged the seniors, “There is so much God-given talent in this graduating class…take what God has given you and give it back to the world for His glory.” A choir ensemble closed the service with a beautiful rendition of WC’s alma mater written by Coral Varian (WC ’20) and Wyatt Kerns (WC ’22).
Don’t miss a moment of this memorable event–watch the service in full here:
In what was his final commencement ceremony as WC’s Head of School, Troy McIntosh began the 2021 graduation ceremony. He reminded the seniors, “Everything that you’ve learned–both in school and outside of school–that is true, points you to Christ.” Senior Zachary Hoheisel then gave a rousing introduction to this year’s keynote speaker, beloved eighth-grade Bible teacher Michael Clutz. In his address entitled “A Teacher’s Statement,” Clutz brought his familiar style of humor and story-telling rooted in Bibical truths to share three lessons with the class of 2021. The first lesson: We are not God, and we are not in control–we need Him desperately. The second lesson: In a year of constant change, Jesus shines even brighter because He’s the only One who never changes. Lesson three: The One that doesn’t change is changing things for the better. Clutz encouraged the seniors to not miss where God is at work in their everyday lives, as well as in His plans for their futures. Following Clutz’s address, five Warriors (seniors Joshua Jeyandran, Elizabeth Busby, Hope Nyland, Shelby Amrine; junior Wyatt Kerns) performed an instrumental rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
The president of WC’s school board, John Barron, then took to the stage to present this year’s Joshua, Daniel, and Solomon awards. Receiving the Joshua award for the student who most consistently displays positive participation and leadership in student activities and student government was Tucker O’Roark. In O’Roark’s address to his peers, he encouraged his fellow graduates to look for God, be kind to others, and follow the wisdom of I Peter 2:12. Receiving the Daniel award for the student who best exemplifies bold faith was David Reid. Reid referenced the Biblical testimony of Daniel as he addressed his peers, encouraging them to be bold for Christ. Receiving the Solomon award for the student who has been wisely diligent in academic endeavors was Joshua Jeyandran. Jeyandran began his acceptance address with the question largely on all of his peers’ minds, “What does God have for me beyond WC?” He reminded his classmates that the pursuit of wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Then the moment that everyone had been waiting for came: the awarding of the diplomas.
Make sure to see the full 2021 commencement here:
Class of 2021, congratulations!