By Tiffany Roney
CHAPMAN--Honor was king at Chapman High School graduation.
Kevin Suther, principal of CHS, invited parents and teachers to stand for having shaped the graduates’ lives. He also called forth applause from the audience for US Army Lieutenant Peter Choe, a member of Ft. Riley’s Adopt a School program, through which his troop, the 5-4 Cav Blackfoot Troop, “adopted” Chapman High School.
Looking back over the past four years, Kyle Anderson, CHS alumnus and one of two voted graduation speakers, shared a rundown of his classes’ successes.
In athletics, among other accomplishments, the girls’ tennis senior-heavy team went to state. In academics, two seniors made it to nationals in FBLA; the forensics department has sent a core group of students to state for 3 years in a row; FFA took the most prestigious award in the state, which is known as the Triple Crown; vocal and band students competed at top levels and succeeded and his class received the standard of excellence in every state test they took in high school. They also received the Governor’s Achievement Award.
“The most touching to me was seeing the class come together to help a fellow student fight and win his battle with cancer,” Anderson said. “Most of these accomplishments were goals that were set, met and often surpassed, but some were just a group of people striving to be the best they could be.”
Shawntelle Flanders, Chapman High School alumnus and the second graduation speaker, her fellow graduates to not stick with what is comfortable, but, rather, to find out what they were made to do.
“I have seen people settle for something unequivocal because they were too comfortable with being mediocre,” Flanders said. “I’ve spent enough time with all of you in the last four years to see that all of you have potential to be something great. You were all made to do something.”
Suther told students they are receiving the freedom to make their own choices.
“You need to develop a brave and confident attitude when taking your path,” Suther said.
He said if students never take chances, they may never reach their full potentials.
Anderson told his class they will make decisions in the coming months that will shape them for the rest of their lives. He said it is important for each person to have a plan of what kind of person they want to be when they leave college and then make the daily decisions to get themselves there.
“It is important to realize that happiness is not a purpose in life,” Anderson said. “What makes you happy at one time might make you unhappy in the future. This ‘searching for happiness’ is a never-ending circle of short-term fixes that only get you to tomorrow. If you make your decisions based on what will benefit your future, it will reduce your stress, simplify your decisions and increase your satisfaction in life as a whole.”
Anderson said he has one life purpose that has directed his last 4 years and will continue to direct his decisions in the coming years – to do everything he does to the glory of God and to use the talents God has given him to the fullest.
“I like how Lance Wubbels says it: ‘Baskets of beliefs are of little value; I have to make certain that my beliefs are turned into convictions that set the course of my life,’” Anderson said. “‘If I know that others are watching my life as an example, that my life is influencing others, I will ask God to shape my character to be a reflection of his heart.’”