By: Emily Chesnic, Campus Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

Hartville –  The commencement ceremony for Lake Center Christian School’s 17th graduating class was held Saturday, May 20 at Maranatha Bible Church in Springfield, OH.

Secondary Principal Mrs. Crystal Maarschalk began the ceremony applauding the 42 graduates for their academic achievements and service  as spiritual leaders. “For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the humble with victory,” Psalm 149:4 (Class of 2023 class verse)

Campus Pastor Mr. Jeff Knori ended the ceremony with a closing prayer – a special Lake Center graduation tradition.  The graduates, alongside their parents, lined up around the edges of the sanctuary while Mr. Knori asked God to use them in the future to influence their colleges, places of employment, churches, and families for Christ, abiding in the Truth of His Word.

In his prayer, Mr. Knori said the Class of 2023 exemplifies Lake Center’s core values, including service to Christ, Christian character, and academic excellence, leaving a legacy at the school. Though departing from Lake Center’s campus, the graduates will remain part of the Lake Center family, he said.

‘Be Strong and Courageous’

Mr. Scott Goodspeed, retired CEO of Hilscher-Clarke Electric, Lake Center School Board Chairman, and parent of an LCCS Class of 2023 graduate, provided the ceremony’s commencement address, challenging the graduates to “Be strong and courageous” in how they live and lead.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

He challenged them to be unwavering in their commitment to be lifelong followers and servants of Christ. 

“This dark world needs the salt and light you have to give and the love of Jesus you reflect,” Mr. Goodspeed told the Class of 2023. 

This dark world needs the salt and light you have to give and the love of Jesus you reflect.”

Living Stone Award Honors Christian Leaders 

During the ceremony, Mr. Knori presented  “The Living Stone Award,” an honor special to Lake Center to recognize one male and one female student committed to the cause of Christ. This year’s Living Stone Award, inspired by I Peter 2:5-6, included a scholarship sponsored by ForeverLawn. 

Ms. Jayne Barber, the female award recipient is “honest, trustworthy, reliable, caring, loving, mature, and selfless,” said Mr. Knori. 

“Her love for Jesus permeates throughout her being. She has been an important leader in her discipleship group and a good mentor to the younger girls,” he said. 

The male recipient of the honor, Mr.  Josh Hornyak, made “tremendous strides in developing his Christian Character in high school” and is unafraid to talk about Jesus with others, Mr. Knori said.

“He constantly encourages younger students and is well-loved and respected among his peers. He has served on student council and is an Eagle Scout where he has done a lot of service,” he said. He was also the Class of 2023 Male Chaplain.

Developing Diverse Abilities for God’s Glory

Lake Center Graduates 17th Class

Above: The Class of 2023 is greeted with cheers from elementary students as they take the traditional walk through the Lake Center hallways ahead of graduation day. 

Photographs By: Mrs. Linda Gingerich

Above: Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Shananne Lewis pray with their daughter, Lake Center Class of 2023 graduate RaeAnna Lewis, at the end of the commencement ceremony. The graduates, alongside their parents, lined up around the edges of the sanctuary for the closing prayer – an LCCS graduation tradition to send them out into the world to live for Christ.

Above: Mr. and Mrs. Cory and Christine Miller selected Lake Center Christian School as their family’s partner for Christian Education. Their son, Ender, is a kindergarten at Lake Center this year. Mr. and Mrs. Miller also are the parents of Oakely, 2, and Autumn, 6 months.

Photograph Provided by The Miller Family

More than $2 Million in Scholarships

Mrs. Maarschalk said each of the LCCS Class of 2023 graduates will further their careers at a variety of colleges, universities, on the mission field, or in the world of work. At the time of graduation, 83 percent of the 2023 graduates were enrolled in a college or university for the fall.

Lake Center’s class of 2023 clocked hundreds of service hours during high school and received more than $2.1 million combined in scholarships to college and universities, with additional scholarship awards and grants still being received. 

LCCS, a K-12, private Christian school in Hartville, is thankful to have played a part in the lives of this year’s seniors, partnering with their families and churches to provide a Christ-centered education with a biblical worldview.

Class of 2023 Honors

Valedictorian – Jayne Barber

Salutatorian – Emma Weise

Academic Diploma with Honors (awarded by the State of Ohio to students meeting academic, grade point average, and ACT/SAT test score requirements): Jayne Barber, Emma Weise, Jacob Summers, Peyton Fisher, Sydney Varga, (John) Reese Foraker, Taylor Goodspeed,  Jacob Wyder

Distinguished Christian High School Student (an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) designation to recognize outstanding achievements in one or more categories of academics, athletics, Christian service, fine arts, and leadership): Ben Allan, Jayne Barber, Taylor Goodspeed, Katie Hall, Elsie Haught, Joshua Hornyak, Christina Luton, Titus Mock, Ta’Misha Twitty, Jacob Wyder

National Honor Society (nationwide organization for high school students, with selection based on four criteria: academic achievement, leadership, service, and character): Jayne Barber, Peyton Fisher, Elsie Haught, Kathryn Hall, Alexis Joseph, Christian Luton, Emily Miller, Titus Mock, Taylor Tufts, Sydney Varga, Emma Weise, Nina Yoder 

Tri-M Music Honor Society (students meeting academic criteria and enrolled in a school sponsored music-ensemble): Alayna Bernardo, Peyton Fisher, (John) Reese Foraker, Taylor Goodspeed, Elsie Haught, Alexis Joseph, RaeAnna Lews, Faith Varga, Jacob Wyder, Nina Yoder

Ohio High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Award (seniors with the highest GPA and four or more varsity letters): Jayne Barber, Taylor Goodspeed, Jacob Wyder

Ohio High School Athletic Association Award of Excellence (seniors who display sportsmanship, ethics, and integrity): Emma Weise, Jacob Wyder

Ohio High School Athletic Association Courageous Student Award (senior who overcame an extraordinary situation while displaying tremendous courage): Elsie Haught

Letter Plaque (awarded to seniors who have a varsity letter in three or more sports): Jacob Wyder

Photographs By: Inter-State Studio

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