Private schools plan graduations

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

As the school year comes to a close, local private schools are celebrating commencement ceremonies this weekend.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and First Baptist Christian School will hold their graduation ceremonies Saturday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Isle of Wight Academy is holding its ceremony today at 7 p.m.

NSA’s morning ceremony will take place on the lawn of the upper school, and Old Dominion University president John R. Broderick will deliver the commencement address.

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There are 84 graduates at NSA, many of whom will go on to colleges across and outside of the country.

Class valedictorian Bracey Parr will attend St. Louis University in Madrid, and salutatorian Jeffrey Ruland will go to the University of Virginia.

The NSA senior class was offered $4,065,590 in merit-based scholarships, according to a school press release.

Also on June 4, First Baptist will hold its afternoon graduation ceremony for nine seniors at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church.

The commencement speaker will be Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, who is a retired Army officer and the author of “Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom.”

Boykin is also the brother of Kacee Griffin, the First Baptist lower school principal who passed away last month after a battle with cancer.

First Baptist’s Susan Glover said the students and staff look forward to Boykin’s insight and what he has to say.

Some of the school’s seniors are going on to colleges, including Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech, while two are joining the military.

First Baptist’s valedictorian is Katelin Jones, and its salutatorian is Samuel Barone.

Glover said the small size of the class makes commencement both an exciting and difficult time for the students.

“It’s a bittersweet time in their lives, because they have spent so much time together,” she said.

Isle of Wight Academy is holding its commencement ceremony for 40 graduates today in the school’s gymnasium, and lower school assistant headmaster Joseph Whitley, who graduated from IWA in 2000, will speak at the event.

IWA guidance director Lisa Sumrak said the graduates are going on to several schools across the state and country and have received several scholarships.

Valedictorian Brittany Noah will go to Virginia Commonwealth University, and Salutatorian Christopher Core will attend Ohio State University.

For more information, contact Nansemond-Suffolk Academy at 539-8789, First Baptist Christian School at 925-4461 and Isle of Wight Academy at 357-3866.