The ceremony was led with GCA principal Gregory Gerard welcoming the audience to the celebration.
He began with student’s accomplishments in and out of the classroom, and commended the students for their hard work and persistency in achieving their goals.
He mentioned briefly that out of the 59 students, 45 of them had completed the College Preparatory Program.
Gerard spoke about some of the mission trips the students attended, which ranged frp, all over the world including: Central America, Europe and Asia.
“We are proud of them, and we are grateful to the parents that made Georgia Cumberland Academy apart of their lives and your lives,” concluded Gerard.
Students Jessica Tonsberg and Shelly Payne followed with a short scripture and prayer before the ceremony really kicked off.
Dr. Greg Harper, pastor of the Dalton Seventh-Day Adventist Church and religion teacher for freshmen, spent his time speaking by breaking down the Mission Statement of GCA. He broke it down into three points, “Know, Love and Serve.”
“The mind is the measure of mankind,” said Harper. “It’s the brains we take notice of after the bronze and beauty wear off.”
He talked about when he was in high school, and wished he had spent more time in the library than he did dating and playing ball.
He mentioned the role that the Lord played in his life, and how beneficial his faith is.
His second point was Love.
“The way in which you live out the love of God will have profound effects that you may not understand until years later,” said Harper. “Remember God has a reward for you, and remember the love of Christ surpasses knowledge.”
He went on to talk about serving.
“Doing something for someone else that tended to go unnoticed, but brought joy to your soul and mine,” said Dr. Harper.
He went on to tell the graduates how they should continue their service to their community and to their God.
Harper concluded, “Class of 2012 you have a mission in life, to know, to love and to serve Christ, and remember that you are a forgiven saint.”
The Senior Class President Katarina Monteagudo followed his speech, and she reflected on not only her time at the academy, but the class as a whole. She also looked forward to what the future may hold for her fellow graduates and her.
She quoted Winston Churchill by saying, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
She went on to say that the Class of 2012 shouldn’t get caught up in short-term success, or even their failures, but what they should do is to keep striving to better their selves and never stop pushing forward.
Monteagudo commends her classmates for their hard work over the four year, and uplifts their potential for success in the world.
There were two graduates that received national honors. Rachel Marie Brogden received the National Achievement Scholarship, and Noraleen Adele Danforth received the National Merit Scholarship.
Many scholarships were awarded to this graduating class including scholarships from Southern Adventist University, which gave 46 students a combined total of $278,500 dollars in scholarships and grants.
Associate Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Services Marc Grundy was there on behalf of Southern Adventist University, and said that the university expected the scholarships and grants to grow to one million dollars.
Students Grace Kim and Kenesha Ryce preformed a violin duet for the special music presentation before Principle Gregory Gerard presented the graduating Class of 2012 their diplomas.
“We prayed this day would come. Marking days off our calendar, and counting down the hours, minutes and second,” Monteagudo said. “We pulled our pranks, but now it is time to get into the real world.”