MOUNT VERNON — Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart, quoted State Rep. Josh Mandel, keynote speaker for the Knox County Christian Home School Association Commencement ceremony. Over 400 people attended the graduation as 30 students from Knox County received their diplomas Friday night at Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene.
Mandel encouraged the graduates to set up goals for their dreams, and to stand on the principles that they have been taught, and their convictions. Even if they are told, “You’re too young, wait your turn,” Mandel reminded the graduates to remember how they were raised, and to work honestly and work hard.
“I am thrilled to be graduating,” said Caleb Baitz. “Home schooling has been a huge blessing in my life. ... This past year I have been able to graduate early, which allowed enough flexibility that I was able to intern with a national organization with a student leadership school called Teen Pack. I’ve spent the last six months traveling with them, and I have come back home this week to graduate.”
Baitz’s future plans are to study communication through long-distance learning with Thomas Addison College.
“Home schooling has been a wonderful experience for me. I’ve been home schooled my entire life,” said Benjamin Haws. “My one recommendation for all sophomores and juniors out there is to start looking for a college earlier because you do not want to do all the paperwork your senior year.”
In the fall, Haws will be attending Union University in Jackson, Tenn., to study film and communications.
“I really enjoyed home schooling. It’s allowed me to do some things that I might not necessarily have had the time to do,” said Ruthie Kreidler. “I’m graduating a year earlier than I should, so I think home schooling has helped me get ahead.”
Kreidler is not quite sure what she would like to do after she graduates. She will be taking some general education courses at Central Ohio Technical College, but she is sure that God will lead her in the right direction.
“I have been home schooled for my entire educational career and I have enjoyed more than I could have imagined,” said Tyler Fehrman. “It has provided me a lot of great opportunities.”
For the 2009-10 school year, Fehrman will be attending Mount Vernon Nazarene University, majoring in business marketing.
“And I am running for City Council here in Mount Vernon; I will be the youngest candidate in the state. I have some big plans and I am excited to see what happens after the school year is over,” he said.
The association has been holding graduation ceremonies for about 12 years, and now has 130 families involved.