The campus is (relatively) quiet this afternoon. We just finished our farewell all faculty/staff luncheon where we say “see you later” to those staff members who are not returning next year and to our ten month employees who are not required to be on campus during the summer.
We say a special “Godspeed” to Peggy Bever (18 years) and Sandra Youmans (28 years) as they begin enjoying a well deserved retirement after serving our school and students so faithfully over the years. I also say “relatively quiet” because there will still be summer strength programs, robotics camp, summer school, and athletic camps for young children filling our buildings.
Along with that, expansion of the Student Center and two additional parking lots, and 34 of our staff will work throughout the summer in preparation for the 2018-2019 school year. There never seems to be a dull moment at Faith Lutheran, nor would we have it any other way.
We have successfully made it to the conclusion of our 39th academic year. Our culminating activities included promoting 278 8th graders to high school and graduating the largest senior class (220) in the history of the school. As our high school principal Mr. Scott Fogo noted at the commencement ceremony, the Class of 2018 excelled in the arts, athletics, academics, clubs, and community service and were rewarded for their efforts by amassing over $8.5M worth of collegiate scholarship awards. Bidding farewell to them is bittersweet as we deeply appreciate their leadership, talent, diligence, and character which will leave a lasting imprint on the proud history of our school. We are excited to see where their futures take them.
As we are well aware, life on this side of heaven isn’t all Skittles and rainbows. The Faith Family suffered many difficult blows this year. We had two students and one alumnus shot at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on 1 October and many more who still bear the emotional brunt of the trauma they experienced that night. We had two teachers suffer the devastating loss of children and two other teachers who lost parents. One of our directors lost his wife to cancer. We had a recent alumnus and current assistant football coach pass away, and we had a 14 year-old freshman killed in a tragic car accident. We had a student lose a parent and other students and a board member diagnosed with debilitating illnesses. It was a tough year, yet through it all, the powerful presence of God was felt and known. The assurance of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provided the hope, peace, and comfort that we leaned heavily upon during these especially painful times. I can’t imagine going through these events without prayer, God’s Word, and a supportive community of believers.
Each year we strive to attain our mission of “Everyone Prepared! Everyone Saved!” I believe we can say “Mission Accomplished!” It was another wonderful year of thinking and learning and creating and running and playing and acting and singing and dancing and teaching and engaging and understanding and laughing and studying and collaborating and designing and painting and drawing and presenting and sharing and explaining and reading and writing and developing and basking- in the glow of God’s grace. I can’t wait for it all to start over again in August!
Have a wonderful summer Faith Family,
Dr. Steve Buuck