When you enroll your child in a school, we know that you're ultimately entrusting your child's future (at least partially) to the teachers and leaders who will spend the coming years helping to mold their development. You're not just hoping for a fun couple of years learning neat things in the classroom. You're investing in who your child will become when they don that cap and gown and walk across that stage and into adulthood. You're investing in your future graduate.
Since our inception in 1996, we've had the privilege of watching many young men and women mature from rambunctious little Grammar School cuties to mature, thoughtful young adults. It's been a joy to watch how God shapes them individually, and to see the fruits of a Classical Christian Education show forth in their lives. Seeing these well-spoken, clear-minded, firmly-founded students makes us - and their parents - feel good about sending them off into the next phase of their sojourn in this world.
This year's crop of graduates is no exception. Many of them have been here since kindergarten, and just last week, we cheered them on as they defended their capstone Senior Theses. We watched them articulate judicious stances on invariably tough topics, and dialogue with expert panelists with poise.
Over the years, we've seen them grapple with age-old questions in Omnibus, develop fascinating scientific research experiments, conquer the utter complexity of Calculus II, goof off in silly costumes during traditional Veritas House events, and shoot the breeze with teachers and classmates on weekly coffee house trips.
And now, they move on to their next adventure.
Each of our 2020 graduates is heading to a four year college to pursue a degree, though their career paths of choice couldn't be more varied. We have engineers, chemists, artists, business majors, nurses, teachers, writers, and more. We've had graduates go into the military, others to trade school, and others straight into their careers after high school.
The liberal arts tradition of Veritas Academy and other Classical Christian Schools around the world is designed to produce well-rounded young adults who have a deep appreciation for the magnificent beauty and order found in all subjects, whether they are left-brained or right-brained, bibliophiles or math whizzes.
"I have been fortunate to be taught why it is important to care about literature and history, even though I am more inclined mathematically. I have even grown to love history, literature, and theology often to the same extent as mathematics," says Veritas 2020 Senior Jonathan Forbes, who is planning to study Chemical Engineering at Villanova and train to be an officer in the U.S. Navy. "This classical approach, similar to the liberal arts college approach, has been extremely influential in my ability to care about learning and and to think critically about topics that are thrown at me."
This year's crop of seniors certainly has had a lot "thrown at" them, considering the sudden shutdown of their in-person classes just before the fourth quarter. Disappointing, even heartbreaking? You bet. Mission trips, their final New York City field trip, class events - all cancelled. Graduation - postponed and highly modified (but still happening, praise the Lord!). And senior thesis, the capstone of their academic studies, done virtually via webcam instead of the day long in-person support and celebration that was planned.
Our seniors have met these challenges with grace and dexterity. Challenging one another in deep Omnibus discussions. Moving forward in complex science and math learning. And presenting and defending those grand theses on Zoom.
Regarding Senior Thesis, Micah Cochran says that was one aspect of his education that always seemed intimidating to him over the years, looking ahead to it. And that was without having a crisis hit shortly before the presentation to make them have to rethink much of their strategy!
"The pandemic hit, and my class learned with some shock that not only were we taking online school for the rest of the year, but we would also have to deliver our thesis virtually," Micah, who is currently undecided on his college, said.
"This was a challenge to be met and my class rose to the occasion. Working together with Mrs. Nissley, the process was made as smooth as it could be during these unprecedented times. I sacrificed my 45-slide PowerPoint for a skeleton structure of a maximum of ten slides. These new requirements challenged us deliver our thesis with rhetorical skill through a webcam, and every single student came through. This entire ordeal taught me that no matter how chaotic the circumstances are, the hard work and commitment you pour into a project is always reflected."
It is true that, just as we discussed in last week's blog, the Classical disciplines of Logic and Rhetoric - in which these seniors are well versed and adept - give them transferrable skills that are just as (if not more) useful and necessary in an ever-shifting digital world like this as they were for the great orators centuries ago.
That's the beauty of a Classical Christian Education like the one at Veritas Academy. It prepares students - not for a specific career, or even necessarily for college, but for life. Life as a disciple of Christ. Life as a leader in their communities and churches. Life as a spouse, parent, and friend. How? By cultivating loving, serving, thinking students who grow to become loving, serving, thinking adults.
Get to Know the Veritas Academy Class of 2020!
Join us in congratulating this extraordinary group of students who are graduating this year from Veritas Academy. We are so proud of each of you!
Want to Know More About Veritas Academy?
If you're looking for a school that will prepare your child utterly well for the world ahead of them - both academically and spiritually - then we encourage you to visit Veritas Academy and get to know us better. We are conducting Private Virtual Tours currently, and would love to meet you. Come see how our exceptional, rigorous, proven academics, joyful learning environment, and Classical training in critical thinking and communicating work together to cultivate students who are well-spoken, well-versed, and well-thought, ready for the Christ's calling on their lives in the world ahead.