Playing songs to say goodbye

Published 11:03 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

Ethan Voight, one of the two valedictorians for Suffolk Christian Academy’s class of 2019, has assumed several important roles at his school over the years. One of those responsibilities has been playing the piano.

He’s played for SCA graduation and baccalaureate ceremonies over the past couple of years, as well as other elementary and upper school programs.

“My great-grandmother played when I was little, and I was always kind of fascinated by it,” said Ethan, 17. “I started when I was 5 and I really enjoyed it, so I just continued to pursue it.”

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His pursuits led him to a co-valedictorian title with none other than Kaitlyn Brittingham, 17, one of his closest friends. It’s an exciting turn of events for a friendship that started on much more competitive terms.

“I would say it’s pretty exciting. We’ve been pretty close in rank throughout our whole academic careers here at Suffolk Christian Academy, and at first what started out as a competition turned into a friendship,” he said.

They’ve quizzed each other and helped with each other tough homework. If Ethan left a book at school, then Kaitlyn would text him pictures of the textbook pages he needed and vice versa. There was also plenty of life advice shared between them.

“It’s been nice to have someone to help me and bounce ideas off of,” he said.

Ethan has kept busy his senior year with five SCA classes, plus dual enrollment classes between Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin and New River Community College in Dublin. He said that the school was very accommodating with study hall blocks to help ease the burden of budgeting time.

“Being able to get times to catch my thoughts together (to) organize what I need to do and prioritize my assignments was very helpful,” he said.

One of the highlights of his senior year has been growing closer to the other members of his graduating class.

“I think the dynamics of our class were really nice,” he said. “Just being able to enjoy other’s company and build good friendships.”

Ethan plans to attend Regent University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies. His mother is an elementary school teacher, and he wants to follow in her footsteps as a teacher.

Teaching younger children as a program assistant for SCA’s summer programs also helped him realize that he wanted to teach, he said.

“Being able to invest in a child’s development is very rewarding,” he said. “That’s what motivated me to pursue education.”