February 14, 2023

Congratulations to our 2023 Declamations Semi-Finalists!

Dear Students,

I am proud of you. It’s been my great joy to walk around campus the last few weeks to see and hear students at all grade levels declaiming great speeches, poems, and snippets of drama in their English classes. I know that for most of you this experience has been difficult, but I am delighted to hear from many of you that it has also been good. This means you are learning and growing, and that is why we are here. 

I commend you for helping one another practice, for encouraging one another to have courage, and for applauding one another to take the leap and do the hard thing. I love that you are cheering for one another. This shows your great respect for each other as image bearers of God, and it shows that we are building up our beloved community. 

These things are truly good, even if they are not easy—in fact, because they are not easy! You are learning the skill of speaking in public with confidence. As a result you are learning how to be stronger, more resilient, more courageous, and more self-confident. You are also memorizing things that are true, good, and beautiful—things that are good to hide in your heart so that you never forget them. 

Special Congratulations to our 2023 Semifinalists!
Norah Packiam
Thomas Tripp
Madi Drotter
Ashley Gundlach
Sara Read
Mila Applebee
Jessie Levasheff
Kallie Martin
Gracie Harris
Emma Hartman
Addison Arbini
Rowan Campbell
Sophia C.
Nathan Kopel
Sara Hammond
Quinn Johnson
Jaylee Tovias
Ava Aneed
Katie Fischer
Will Glidewell
Dominic Ureno
Kenna Smith
Sammy Gibbs

Congratulations on taking these important steps. Keep up the good work. Best of luck to each of you as you declaim throughout this week for a spot in the finals! We love you, and we are truly proud of you.

With joyful anticipation,
Rev. Chris Stratton
Academic Dean

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